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Educational Research Questions - Dissertation Example

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The researcher is explaining how she collected data, coded and analyzed them, discussed her own biases and strategies in connection with the concept of researcher values, and finally, the way she withdrew from the field after the study was over (Leedy and Ormrod, 2010, p.159-162)…
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Educational Research Questions
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The researcher is explaining how she collected data, d and analyzed them, discussed her own biases and strategies in connection with the conceptof researcher values, and finally, the way she withdrew from the field after the study was over (Leedy and Ormrod, 2010, p.159-162). The research problem was to assess the “patterns of academic participation (of five students who formed the respondents of this study) and the meanings and relationships of these five students regarding their academic participation in high school” (Leedy and Ormrod, 2010, p.159). Five subjects were used for this study and they were given the pseudonyms, Gerald, Trish, Nick, Tyrone and Abe, for the sake of keeping the personal information they disclose strictly private (Leedy and Ormrod, 2010, p.159). All of these five were high school students with special needs of learning and communication. The criteria for their selection were that “they were attending high school and (were) enrolled in at least one academic subject in the general school curriculum” Leedy and Ormrod, 2010, p.159). Among these five students, Nick was found to be seated at a physical distance from other students (Leedy and Ormrod, 2010, p.161).Over three semesters, these five students were imparted 52 visits by the researcher (Leedy and Ormrod, 2010, p.159). Along with this observation method, some other methods were also used for data collection including conversations and semi-structured interviews with “adults involved and concerned with the students”, and scrutiny of official records and documents (Leedy and Ormrod, 2010, p.160). The respondents included “general and special education teachers, assistants and parents” (Leedy and Ormrod, 2010, p.159). Audio tapes and transcriptions were used to record the interviews and conversations (Leedy and Ormrod, 2010, p.161). Interviews and informal conversations with each child were structured in a way that similar information is obtained about each child (Leedy and Ormrod, 2010, p.159). Detailed field notes were alo extensively used by the researcher as data for analysis (Leedy and Ormrod, 2010, p.160). The questions asked were about the history of the child’s academic life so far, the strengths and weak points of the child in academic activities, the attitude of the child towards school, the learning achievement of the child, parent expectations, and so on (Leedy and Ormrod, 2010, p.159). The method of analysis used was, constant comparative method of analysis (Leedy and Ormrod, 2010, p.160). The process of coding data included, looking for “emerging themes and recurrent events”, dividing them into categories, and then once again “reevaluating” the themes and categories (Leedy and Ormrod, 2010, p.160). This amounted to “axial coding” (Leedy and Ormrod, 2010, p.161).The researcher also “wrote analytic memos” on the data (Leedy and Ormrod, 2010, p.160). The pilot study was already done which helped to generate the primary themes for the study and the data analysis aiming for the final research outcome could find more themes as well (Leedy and Ormrod, 2010, p.160). QSR Nudist was used to code the data (Leedy and Ormrod, 2010, p.161). The author’s self-identified biases included, a tendency to “express findings about expectations in cause and effect terms”, being a “disability rights advocate”, a “prejudice against professional assessments” and an “assumption that students benefit from academic inclusion” (Leedy and Ormrod, 2010, p.161). Another limitation of the study was that while making observations, often the researcher was not close enough to the subject so as to notice and note down the facial expressions (Leedy and Ormrod, 2010, p.160).One strategy to overcome these biases was to “keep an open mind” (Leedy and Ormrod, 2010, p.162). Also, studies which made professional assessments for which the researcher had reservations about, were read only toward the end of the study to avoid biases from developing (Leedy and Ormrod, 2010, p.162). Continuous “self-reflection” in the form of memos and “discussions with mentors” helped to avert the bias (Leedy and Ormrod, 2010, p.162). Always looking for “disconfirming evidence” was yet another way to reduce bias (Leedy and Ormrod, 2010, p.162). When the quantity of relevant information began to decrease, the researcher knew that it was time to leave the field (Leedy and Ormrod, 2010, p.162). But even as the researcher slowly withdrew from the scene, constant contacts were maintained with the subjects (Leedy and Ormrod, 2010, p.162). The qualitative study presented here is a study that makes use of content analysis methodology. References Leedy, P. D., & Ormrod, J. E. (2010). Practical research: Planning and design (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc. Read More
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