Kelly Hughes<br />February 28, 2010<br />EDU 710<br />Action Research Chapter 4<br /><ul><li>How would you describe the relationship between a research topic, a research question, and a set of hypotheses?</li></ul>The relationship between a research topic, a research question, and a set of hypotheses is fairly direct. A research topic is the broad idea that you would like to study. Once you have decided upon a topic, you then move on to narrowing your topic and forming a research question. The research question guides the research you will be doing. A set of hypotheses are “intelligent, informed, guesses about the findings of the study.” <br /><ul><li>Think of a topic of interest to you and appropriate for an action research study. State the topic, a research question, and all three types of hypotheses for your topic.</li></ul>Research Topic: School Safety <br />Research Question: Is there a direct correlation to how safe students feel at school to their academic performance?<br />Null Hypothesis: There will be no change in student academic performance regardless of how safe they feel at school.<br />Nondirectional Research Hypothesis: There will be a change in student academic performance depending on how safe they feel at school. <br />Directional Research Hypothesis: Students who feel safer at school will perform better academically than those students who do not feel safe.<br /><ul><li>Think of another research topic of interest to you. Develop a research question for investigating the topic using a qualitative approach and another for using a quantitative approach. Are your questions different? Could they be identical? Explain your answers</li></ul>Research Topic: Music in Schools <br />Research Question (Qualitative): Are students who participate in school music programs happier than those who do not?<br />Research Question (Quantitative): Do students who participate in music programs at school perform better on standardized tests than those who do not?<br />My questions are slightly different. My qualitative question measures happiness which cannot really be measured in terms of exact numbers or percentages. My Quantitative question measures performance on tests. This could be measured in terms of exact numbers or percentages by looking at the outcome of the standardized tests given to the students. <br /><ul><li>Find and discuss an example of correlational research that has appeared in newspapers or in the news. Are there any misconceptions or misinterpretations evident?</li></ul>5. Briefly describe an appropriate research design for each of the research questions listed in #3.<br />Qualitative Research Question: Are students who participate in music programs happier than those who do not?<br />Research Design: To investigate this research question, I think I would conduct a Case Study where I observed music students over a period of time, interviewed a group of the students on an individual basis, and also interviewed their primary classroom teacher to gain some comparisons of attitudes of music students versus non-music students.<br />Quantitative Research Question: Do students who participate in music programs at school perform better on standardized tests than those who do not?<br />Research Design: To investigate this quantitative research question I would use a Group Comparison Design method. To do this, I would compare the standardized test scores of a class of students who do not participate in a music program, to those scores of a class of students who do participate in a music program. <br />Action Research Chapter 5<br />1. Describe what you might see as the benefits of collecting both qualitative and quantitative data as part of an action research study. Do you envision any potential negative aspects or weaknesses associated with collecting both as part of the same study?<br />I think that collecting both qualitative and quantitative data as part of an action research study could be useful. While qualitative data might not always be the most “sound” or reliable, if you collect both types of data, the quantitative data could be used to further prove the qualitative results. I would imagine, however, that people are more likely to believe or rely on quantitative data when it comes to a research study, so using the qualitative data along with the quantitative might lead to people to be skeptical of the study.<br />2. Why is it important for researchers in general, and specifically for teacher-researchers, to take measures to ensure the quality of their collected data?<br />It is important for researchers to ensure the quality of their data for two reasons. The first reason that the quality of data needs to be ensured is because imprecise data could be inaccurate and misleading. The second reason, and perhaps the most important, is that imprecise data leads to inaccurate results which in turn is an essential waste of time for all parties involved in the study. <br />3. Observation & Field Notes<br />*See Attached<br />4. Topic: Eating Habits<br /><ul><li>Do you eat breakfast regularly?
How long after you get up in the morning do you eat breakfast?