The five steps in scientific method include, recognition and definition of the problem, the formulation of hypotheses, the collection of data, the analysis of data and stating conclusion. Scientific method has its own limitations. For example, scientific method is unable to answer value-based questions, unable to capture the full richness and complexities of the participants. Other limitations include Limitations of our measurement instruments and ethical and legal responsibilities.
questions of personal philosophy, values, and ethics cannot be solved using the scientific method, it gives a simplified version of realityApplication of the scientific method cannot capture the richness or uniqueness of individuals being studied. (many other variables not examined) It gives us a simplified version of realityInstruments of measurement always have a degree of error. All educational research is done with the cooperation or non-cooperation of people who agree to provide data. There are ethical concerns that must be taken into account. a. sheltering participants from potential harm b. informing participants of the nature of the research c. address the expectations of the participants
Despite the difficulties of applying the scientific method in educational settings, the steps are similar to those used in other controlled settings.
Quantitative research states the hypotheses to be examined, and specifies research procedures that will be usedThere is little personal interaction with participants because data is usually collected using paper-and-pencil, non-interactive instrumentsAssumption that we inhabit a stable, uniform, and coherent world that we can measure, understand, and generalize about, (prevalent in the scientific world)
Do NOT accept the view of a stable, coherent, uniform worldThey argue that all meaning is situated in a particular perspective or context and because different people and groups have different views and contexts the world has many different meaningsOften avoid stating hypotheses before data are collected
There are two ways to classify research. One is classification of research by method and another is classification of research by purpose. Classification of research by method shows the overall strategies followed to collect and analyze data. Whereas classification of research by purpose shows the degree of direct applicability of research to educational practices and settings.The largest distinction we can make in classifying research by method is the distinction between quantitative and qualitative research. Quantitative and qualitative research in turn include several distinct types or methods, each designed to answer a different kind of research question. Quantitative research approaches are applied to describe current conditions, investigate relations and study cause-effect phenomena. For example, survey research is often designed to describe current conditions. Studies that investigate the relations between two or more variables are correlational research. Experimental studies and causal-comparative studies provide information about cause-effect outcomes. Studies that focus on the behavioral change an individual exhibits as a result of some intervention fall under the heading of single-subject research. Qualitative research seeks to probe deeply into research settings to obtain in-depth understandings about the way things are, why they are that way, and how the participants in the context perceive them. In order to achieve the detailed understandings, qualitative researchers undertake sustained in-depth, in context research that allows them to uncover, subtle, less overt, personal understanding. For example, in narrative research, the focus is to study how different humans experience the world around them. The researcher typically focuses on a single person and gathers data by collecting stories about the person’s life. In ethnography, , the focus is on a group’s cultural patterns and perspectives to understand participants behavior and their context in their natural settings. In case study, we focus on a unit of study or a bounded system, that may include a teacher, a classroom, an organization itself.Research designs can also be classified by the degree of direct applicability of the research to educational practices or settings. When purpose is the classification criterion, all research studies fall into one of two categories i.e. basic research and applied research. Applied research can be subdivided into evaluation research, research and development and action research. Basic research is conducted solely for the purpose of developing or refining a theory. Basic researchers may not be concerned with the immediate utility of their findings. Applied research as the name implies, is conducted for the purpose of applying or testing a theory to determine its usefulness in solving practical problems. For example, evaluation research is the systematic process of collecting and analyzing data about the quality, effectiveness, merit, or value of programs, products, or practices. Research and development is the process of researching consumer needs and developing products to fulfill those needs. The purpose of research and development is not to formulate or test a theory, but to develop effective products for use in schools. Action research, in education is any systematic inquiry conducted by teachers, principals, school councilors, or other stake holders in the teaching learning environment to gather information about the ways in which their particular schools operate, the teachers teach, and the students learn. Its purpose is to provide teacher researchers with a method for solving everyday problems in their own settings.
One common type of survey research involves assessing the preferences, attitudes, practices, concerns or interests of a group of people. In this particular example, teachers are asked to fill our questionnaires, and results are presented as percentages e.g. teachers spent 50% of their time lecturing, 20% asking or responding to questions, 20% in discussion and 10% in providing individual student help.
In this example scores on intelligence test and a measure of self-esteem are required from each member of a given group. The two sets of scores are analyzed and the resulting coefficient indicates the degree of correlation.
In this particular example, the grouping variable is the employment status of the mother with two possible values i.e. the mother works or does not work. The dependent variable is absenteeism, measured as number of days absent. The researcher identifies a group of students with working mothers and a group whose mothers do not work, gathers information about their absenteeism, and compare the groups.
In this example, the independent variable is type of reinforcement with three values; positive, negative, or no reinforcement; the dependent variable is attitude towards school. The researcher randomly forms three groups from a single large group of students. One group of students receive positive reinforcement, another negative reinforcement, and the third no reinforcement. After the treatments are applied for a predetermined time, student attitudes towards school are measured and compared for each of the three groups.
In this particular example, how the behavior modification program affected Johns conduct in the class. Johns conduct before the program implementation could be compared with the conduct after the modification of the program.
In this particular example, teachers can be asked to write their experiences about students who have drug problems. The researcher can collect descriptions of events through interviews and observation and can synthesize them into narrative or stories.
In this particular example, the researcher might go to India to be part of Indian community to see how Indians make sandwich, why do they make the sandwich in that particular way? How their making of sandwich is different from the other people in India? Is their any religious restricts what or what not to include in sandwich?
In this particular example, the researcher might ask the key management personnel of Dowling College to be part of the study, Other stake holders such as students can also be included in the study to depict their over all view about the management of the program and its impact on stake holders.
Introduction toEducationalResearch Chapter One
Learning Outcomes1. Describe the reasoning involved in the scientific method2. Describe the different approaches of educational research3. Define and state the characteristics of each research approach4. Identify and differentiate among research purposes5. Discuss the ethical obligations of researchers
Introduction to Research Why is educational research significant? 1. Educational research contributes to educational theory and educational practice 2. As a professional we need to know how to find, understand, and evaluate findings 3. As a professional we need to be able to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate research claims Question: Can you think of another reason as to why educational research is important?
The Scientific Method Five steps in the scientific method Recognition and definition of the problem Formulation of hypotheses Collection of data Analysis of data Stating conclusions
The Scientific Method: (ResearchProcess) How do we obtain knowledge?1. Reasoning: logical thought to reach a conclusion a. Inductive reasoning: involves developing generalizations based on observations of a limited number of related events or experiences. (ex: page 4) b. Deductive reasoning: involves essentially the reverse process, arriving at specific conclusions based on general principles, observations, or experiences(i.e., generalizations) (ex: Page 4)
Limitations of the methods ofobtaining knowledge Experience, authority, inductive reasoning, and deductive reasoning, each approach to understanding has limitations when used in isolation (Ex: page 4; Story about Aristotle) These methods are very effective when used in conjunction with one another as components of the scientific method
Limitations of the ScientificMethod1. Cannot answer all questions2. Correctness3. Cooperation (all these things can limit and alter the results of the study)
Application of the ScientificMethod in Education Research is the formal systematic application of the scientific method to the study of problems Educational research is the formal, systematic application of the scientific method to the study of educational problems.
Approaches to Research QuantitativeResearch: is the collection and analysis of numerical data to describe, explain, predict, or control phenomena of interest 1. states the hypotheses 2. There is little personal interaction 3. Assumptions about the world
Approaches to Research Qualitative Research: is the collection, analysis, and interpretation of comprehensive narrative and visual (i.e., nonnumerical) data to gain insights into a particular phenomenon1. No uniform world2. Believes in different perspectives3. No hypotheses
Differences betweenQualitative and Quantitative1. Qualitative research often involves the simultaneous collection of a wealth of narrative and visual data over an extended period of time vs. Quantitative research which is mainly the collection of numerical data2. Qualitative research data collection, as much as is possible, occurs in a naturalistic setting vs. Quantitative research which tends to be done in more researcher controlled environments
Classifying ResearchBy method By Purpose Quantitative Survey Correlational Casual Experimental Single subject Comparative Basic & applied Qualitative Evaluation Ethnographic Research & DevelopmentNarrative Case study Action research
Quantitative Design Survey Research Purpose – to collect numerical data to test hypotheses or answer questions about the current status of the subject of study. Example: Howdo second grade teachers spend their teaching time?
Quantitative Design Correlational Purpose – to determine the extent to which two or more variables are statistically related Example: What is the relation between intelligence and self-esteem?
Quantitative Design Causal-comparative Purpose – to explore relationships among variables that cannot be actively manipulated or controlled by the researcher Example: How does having a working mother affect a child’s school absenteeism?
Quantitative Design Experimental Purpose – to establish cause and effect relationships between variables Example: Isthere an effect of reinforcement on students’ attitude towards school?
Quantitative Design Single subject Purpose – to investigate cause and effect relationships with samples of one (1). Example: What is the effect of a behavior modification program on John’s conduct in class?
Qualitative Design Three basic designs Narrative Ethnography Case Study
Qualitative Designs Narrative Purpose – focus on studying a single person and gathering data through the collection of stories that are used to construct a narrative about the individual’s experience and the meanings he/she attributes to them Example: how do teachers confront, and deal with, high school students who have drug problems
Qualitative Designs Ethnography Purpose – to obtain an understanding of the shared beliefs and practices of a particular group or culture Example: what are the beliefs and practices of making a sandwich in an Indian culture?
Qualitative Design Case Study Purpose – to conduct research on a unit of study or bounded system . an individual teacher, a classroom, or a school can be a case. Example: How do Dowling College manage Doctor of Education Program in PhD?
The Purpose of Research Basic research Collection and analysis of data to develop or enhance theory Example: Learning theories Piaget Constructivism Gardener’s multiple intelligence
The Purpose of Research Applied research Collection and analysis of data to examine the usefulness of theory in solving practical educational problems Example: Will the theory of multiple intelligences help improve my students’ learning?
The Purpose of Research Evaluation research The collection and analysis of data to make decisions related to the merit or worth of a specific program Example: Is the new reading curriculum better than the old one? Is the new geography curriculum meeting the students’ and teachers’ needs?
The Purpose of Research Research and development The development of effective products for use in schools Examples Thedevelopment of a Smart Board to enhance a teacher’s use of technology in the classroom
The Purpose of Research Actionresearch The collection and analysis of data to provide a solution to the practical, valued problems of educators within their own school or organization Examples How can disciplinary policies be enforced consistently in our school?
Milgram Obedience toAuthority Experiment Video
Ethics Moralprinciples that govern a persons or groups behavior. Questions which deal with Right and Wrong. Norms of Conduct.
Ethics in research The researcher has to think whether the study is ethically “Right” to conduct. If the research study will bring any negative influence on participants? Ifthe participants will face any embarrassments after conducting the research study?
Cont … Ifthe researcher can keep the confidentiality and privacy intact after the research? Ifthe researcher sought the participants consent to make them part of his or her research?
The Best PracticeTwo rules of Ethics of research are following : Participants should not be harmed Physically, Mentally and Socially. Researchersobtain participants informed consent before conducting the research.
Development of Ethical codesfor Research Different organizations developed Code of Ethics for Research. In 1974 US Congress passed the NATIONAL RESEARCH ACT OF 1974 which gives permission to National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research.
Discussion Questions What did you learn from the video in terms of Ethical Considerations in Research? Do you think that the methodology used in the research was Ethical? Explain. If you were in the researcher’s place what would you have done differently, based on what you have learnt from the video? How important are the ethical considerations in the research?
Closing ArgumentsIt is important to understand different approaches to educational research, such as qualitative and quantitative, and how a researcher applies the approaches while conducting the research.It is also important to keep in mind the ethical context when developing the research methodology.
ReferenceGay, L.R.; Mills. G. E.; Airasian, P. (2012). Educational Research: Competencies for analysis and applications. New York: Pearson.