The research problem


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The research problem

  1. 1. The Research Problem Fundamental Issue in Research
  2. 2. What is a research problem? This can be anything that anybody finds unsatisfactory or unsettling Research problems involve areas of concern or conditions that might need improvement and difficulties that need to be eliminated
  3. 3. Research questions Usually a research problem is initially posed as a question Approaches to answering the questions may involve various methodologies: How can a principal improve faculty morale? (interview research) How do parents feel about the school counselling program? (survey research) Does client-centered therapy produces more satisfaction in clients than traditional therapy?(traditional experimental research)
  4. 4. Does behavior modification reduce aggression in autistic children? (single-subject experimental research) Are the descriptions of people in social studies discussions biased? (grounded theory research) What goes on in an elementary school classroom during an average week? (ethnographic research) Do teachers behave differently towards students of different genders? (causal-comparative research) How can we predict which students might have trouble learning certain types of subject matter? (correlational research)
  5. 5. Whatever the methods the researcher must collect data of some sort to answer his research problems to make them researchable Unresearchable questions: examples are those that cannot have empirical or observable value Example: Should philosophy be taught in high school? - there is no way to determine what should or what should not be done The question could be rephrased as: Do people think that philosophy be taught in high school? By doing so the problem becomes empirical and therefore researchable
  6. 6. Research questions that are metaphysical or transcendental are unresearchable Examples: What is the meaning of life?; Does God exist?; Are children happier when taught by a teacher of the same gender?; What is the absolute best way to teach history?; What would schools be like today if WWII did not occur Questions 1 is a metaphysical question Questions 1, 4 and 5 are vague The last question requires the creation of an impossible situation
  7. 7. Characteristics of good research questions Research questions must be feasible These can be investigated without expending an undue amount of time, energy or money What would be the level of achievement if each student is given a laptop to use for a semester?- not feasible How do students of Magsaysay High School feel about the new social studies textbook issued in the District? - feasible
  8. 8. The research questions must be clear Most people would agree to what the key words in the question mean Example: How do teachers feel about special classes for the educationally handicapped? Issues raised: what age group is involved? What is the level of experience of the teachers? Are all teachers in the country involved? Does “feel” mean “opinion,” “emotional reactions,” What is the definition of educationally handicapped?
  9. 9. A definition of terms maybe necessary in clarifying terms Define terms clearly and when feasible, operationally and constitutively
  10. 10. The question must be significant- it must be worth investigating The researcher must be guided by these three cardinal rules: How might answers to this research advance knowledge in my field? How might answers to this research question improve educational practice? How might answers to this research question improve human condition This boils down to researcher’s personal and professional contribution and advancement
  11. 11. The question is ethical- it will not involve physical or psychological harm to human beings or the social environment of which they are a part
  12. 12. Ethics in research Ethics refers to questions regarding right and wrong When researchers think about ethics they must ask themselves if it is right to conduct a certain study or to carry out certain procedures Ethical behavior conforms to the standards of a given profession or group
  13. 13. Examples of unethical practices in research A researcher requires a group of high school sophomores to sign a form in which they agree to participate in a research study Asks first graders sensitive questions without the consent of their parents Requires university students to fill out a questionnaire about their sexual practices Deletes data he collects because these do not support his hypothesis Involves a group of eight graders in a research study that may harm them psychologically
  14. 14. More examples Possibility of harm to participants Deception: we are required to ask you to sign this consent form. You need not read it because it is just routine A few cases seemed quite different from the rest so we deleted them As a student in this university you are required to participate in this study There is no need to tell any of the parents that we are modifying the school lunch diet for this study Requiring students to participate in class discussion might be harmful to some, but it is necessary for our research
  15. 15. The researcher must: Ensure the confidentiality of his research data – once the data has been collected he must make sure that no one else save for a few research assistants has access to the data All subjects have to be assured that any data collected shall be held in confidence The names of individual subjects should never be used in any publication that describe the research All participants shall have the right to withdraw from the study or request that the data collected will not be used
  16. 16. Subjects should not be deceived The issue of deception is a troublesome matter Whenever possible the researcher must conduct the research using methods that do not require deception If alternative methods cannot be devised the researcher must determine whether the use of deception is justified by the prospective study’s scientific, educational or applied value If the participants are deceived the researcher must ensure that they are provided with sufficient explanation as soon as possible.
  17. 17. Research with minors An informed consent of parents or their legal guardians is required for participants defined as minors. Signers must be provided wiuth all the necessary information in appropriate language and must have an opportunity to refuse
  18. 18. Researchers do not present themselves as diagnosticians or counselors in reporting results to parents. Children may never be coerced into participation in a study. Any renumeration for the child’s services does not affect the application of these and other ethical principles.
  19. 19. The researcher must further do Minimize risk to participants by using procedures that do not unnecessarily expose subjects to harm Risks that may occur are reasonable in relation to the benefits that are anticipated. Equitable selection – the proposed research does not discriminate among individuals in the population Protection of vulnerable individuals – children, pregnant women, children, prisoners, mentally disabled or economically disadvantaged persons, etc.
  20. 20. Informed consent – researchers must provide complete information about all aspects of the proposed study that might be of interest or concern to a potential participant and this must be presented in a form that the participant can easily understand. Participants have the right to withdraw from the study at anytime without penalty Informed consent must be appropriately documented
  21. 21. Monitoring of the data being collected to ensure the safety of participants Privacy and confidentiality – ensuring that any and all information obtained during a study is not released to outside individuals where it might have embarrassing or damaging consequences.
  22. 22. Detect problems and improve: Is education during the American period better than toda y? How to the students fell about the new HEKASI and MAKABABYAN curriculum? Teachers are more morally upright today under the present DepEd Secretary Students are more assertive today that ten years ago.