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Feedback on your application will be via your Independent Studies Supervisor or Co-ordinator
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Request for Ethical Approval for Individual Study Programme of Research by Please complete this form and return it to your Independent Studies Supervisor or Co-ordinator as advised by local guidance. Feedback on your application will be via your Independent Studies Supervisor or Co-ordinator
1. Your Name:
2. Programme name and code
3. Contact Info
Tel No.
4. Module name and code
5. Name of project supervisor (Director of Studies)
6. Title or topic area of proposed study
A comparative study of independent reading amongst year six pupils in primary schools in Accra (Ghana), and Sheffield (England).
7. What is the aim and objectives of your study?
The research will aim at providing a comparison on the reading practices as well as reading habits among six year pupils of Sheffield with those of Accra in England and Ghana respectively.
The main objective of the research will be to evaluate; The similarities between the teaching modes as well as curricula in the two countries; The impediments faced by students in these two countries; The various actions that have been taken to avert the challenges.
8. Brief review of relevant literature and rationale for study (attach on a separate sheet references of approximately 6 key publications, it is not necessary to attach copies of the publications)
There is great diversity between primary schooling for year six pupils in these two regions, which has therefore been a motivating factor for this research. According to Nyarko (2008), a Ghanaian Times editor, nearly four districts in the Greater Accra Region were experiencing overstaffing in primary schools with nearly more than 850 teachers. Among these districts included Ga West and East, as well as Tema and Accra metropolis, which recorded 77, 128, 193 and 454 respectively. Nyarko (2008) further points out that such a situation could possibly be as a result of large enrolment that leads to two or more teachers in one class as almost the entire class rely on their teachers on virtually all educational aspects. This is not the case with Sheffield where year six classes are adequately staffed as other educational facilities can be improvised to supplement direct learning such as computers, magazines among others (Tymms and Merrell, 2007), which usually begins as early as year six.
Kwame (2010) indicates that Education in Ghana as a whole is mainly conventional learning in a classroom where most of the pupil’s work is mainly theoretical where the pupils tend to rely heavily on their teachers. On the contrary, their Sheffield counterparts tend to learn from an integrative educational approach that embraces both theoretical and practical learning. This is majorly due to the economic status of these two regions where poor income distribution and economy of Accra limits the resources available for such young children. As for the latter, there are adequate learning resources ranging from computers, which therefore imply that pupils from Sheffield are well exposed thereby easing their access to learning while simultaneously requiring very little assistance and supervision in learning (Tymms and Merrell, 2007). Such knowledge on the diversity of challenges in learning existing in various parts of the world creates awareness to a prospective teacher on the possible challenges that exist in education. Similarly, the knowledge of the same equips the teacher with the appropriate skills necessary to enhance learning.
9. Outline of study design and methods
The research will make use of certain research utilities that can aid not only in gathering data, but also in the recording and storage of data for future reference. The research will involve the use of previously collected and documented data on primary education in both Sheffield and Accra done by various scholars as well as research institutions. Since the research will attempt to figure out how parents, teachers as well as pupils tend to perceive education system, the research will therefore carry out interviews with these stakeholders. Specifically, primary school teachers and head teachers, parent representatives and pupils will be interviewed. Pupils to be interviewed will be randomly selected while teachers and parents will be systemically sampled with prime focus being on the respective class teachers. Collected data will be statistically presented.
10. Research Ethics
Does the proposed study entail ethical considerations Yes / No (please circle as appropriate)
If ‘No’ provide a statement below to support this position.
If ‘Yes’ move on to Question 11.
11. Ethical Considerations: Please indicate how you intend to address each of the following in your study. Points a - i relate particularly to projects involving human participants.
Guidance to completing this section of the form is provided at the end of the document.
a. Consent:
The research will aim at providing a comparison on the reading practices as well as reading habits among six year pupils of Sheffield with those of Accra in England and Ghana respectively.
b. Deception
The research will be a straightforward and no deception would be condoned.
c. Debriefing
All participants, (teachers, parent representatives, and pupils) will be orally debriefed at the end of the interview. As for the pupils, debriefing will be done in simple straightforward questions that they will be able to comprehend.
d. Withdrawal from the investigation
Before commencing the research, the subjects will be told of their rights and privileges in participating in the research. They will be informed that they will be free to withdraw themselves or any comment that they made in the course of the interview even if data has been analysed.
e. Confidentiality
There is a possibility that some teachers may fall victim of reprimand by the school heads in case they give information that somehow compromises the school’s reputation. To prevent this, the research interviews will observe high degree of confidentiality, thus no names or information provided by a participant other than the final analysed data will be revealed.
f. Protection of participants
Participants who wish to remain anonymous will have their privacy upheld and treated with respect.
g. Observation research [complete if applicable]
h. Giving advice:
This will not be required since information provided so enhance the accuracy of the information obtained by elimination of doctoring information.
i. Research undertaken in public places [complete if applicable]
j. Data protection: data will be highly protected as per the data protection act for proof of data legality
k. Animal Rights [complete if applicable]
l. Environmental protection [complete if applicable]
12. Sample: Please provide a detailed description of the study sample, covering selection, number, age, and if appropriate, inclusion and exclusion criteria.
The study will target year six primary pupils whose age may vary depending on the country’s educational system. The study sample will also be determined by the number of pupils in the class as well as the number of facilitators.
13. Are payments or rewards/incentives going to be made to the participants? If so, please give details below.
To avoid favouritism that may otherwise compromise the data, no incentives will be offered to the participants.
14. What study materials will you use? (Please give full details here of validated scales, bespoke questionnaires, interview schedules, focus group schedules etc and attach all materials to the application)
Since the study will target the pupils and teachers, questionnaires will be used.
15. What resources will you require? (e.g. psychometric scales, equipment, such as video camera, specialised software, access to specialist facilities, such as microbiological containment laboratories).
16. Have / Do you intend to request ethical approval from any other body/organisation ? Yes / No (please circle as appropriate)
If ‘Yes’ – please give details below.
17. The information supplied is, to the best of my knowledge and belief, accurate. I clearly understand my obligations and the rights of the participants. I agree to act at all times in accordance with University of Derby Code of Practice on Research Ethics
Date of submission………………………………..
Signature of applicant……………………………………………
Signature of project supervisor (Director of Studies) ……………………………………………
For Committee Use Reference Number (Subject area initials/year/ID number)………………….
Date received……………… Date approved ……………. Signed………………………
PLEASE SUBMIT ALONG WITH THIS APPLICATION THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTATION WHERE APPROPRIATE (please tick to indicate the material that has been included or provide information as to why it is not available):
Questionnaires/Interview schedules
Covering letters/Information sheets
Briefing and debriefing material
Consent forms for participants
Advice on completing the ethical considerations aspects of a programme of research
Informed consent must be obtained for all participants before they take part in your project. The form should clearly state what they will be doing, drawing attention to anything they could conceivably object to subsequently. It should be in language that the person signing it will understand. It should also state that they can withdraw from the study at any time and the measures you are taking to ensure the confidentiality of data. If children are recruited from schools you will require the permission, depending on the school, of the head teacher, and of parents. Children over 14 years should also sign an individual consent form themselves. If conducting research on children you will normally also require Criminal Records Bureau clearance. You will need to check with the school if they require you to obtain one of these. It is usually necessary if working alone with children, however, some schools may request you have CRB clearance for any type of research you want to conduct within the school. Research to be carried out in any institution (prison, hospital, etc.) will require permission from the appropriate authority.
Covert or Deceptive Research
Research involving any form of deception can be particularly problematical, and you should provide a full explanation of why a covert or deceptive approach is necessary, why there are no acceptable alternative approaches not involving deception, and the scientific justification for deception.
How will participants be debriefed (written or oral)? If they will not be debriefed, give reasons. Please attach the written debrief or transcript for the oral debrief. This can be particularly important if covert or deceptive research methods are used.
Withdrawal from investigation
Participants should be told explicitly that they are free to leave the study at any time without jeopardy. It is important that you clarify exactly how and when this will be explained to participants. Participants also have the right to withdraw their data in retrospect, after you have received it. You will need to clarify how they will do this and at what point they will not be able to withdraw (i.e. after the data has been analysed and disseminated).
Protection of participants
Are the participants at risk of physical, psychological or emotional harm greater than encountered ordinary life? If yes, describe the nature of the risk and steps taken to minimise it.
Observational research
If observational research is to be conducted without prior consent, please describe the situations in which observations will take place and say how local cultural values and privacy of individuals and/or institutions will be taken into account.
Giving advice
Students should not put themselves in a position of authority from which to provide advice and should in all cases refer participants to suitably qualified and appropriate professionals.
Research in public places
You should pay particular attention to the implications of research undertaken in public places. The impact on the social environment will be a key issue. You must observe the laws of obscenity and public decency. You should also have due regard to religious and cultural sensitivities.
Confidentiality/Data Protection
You must comply with the Data Protection Act and the Universitys Good Scientific Practice This means:
It is very important that the Participant Information Sheet includes information on what the research is for, who will conduct the research, how the personal information will be used, who will have access to the information and how long the information will be kept for. This is known as a fair processing statement.
You must not do anything with the personal information you collect over and above that for which you have consent.
You can only make audio or visual recordings of participants with their consent (this should be stated on the Participant Information sheet)
Identifiable personal information should only be conveyed to others within the framework of the act and with the participants permission.
You must store data securely. Consent forms and data should be stored separately and securely.
You should only collect data that is relevant to the study being undertaken.
Data may be kept indefinitely providing its sole use is for research purposes and meets the following conditions:
The data is not being used to take decisions in respect of any living individual.
The data is not being used in any which is, or is likely to, cause damage and/or distress to any living individual.
You should always protect a participants anonymity unless they have given their permission to be identified (if they do so, this should be stated on the Informed Consent Form).
All data should be returned to participants or destroyed if consent is not given after the fact, or if a participant withdraws.
Animal rights.
Research which might involve the study of animals at the University is not likely to involve intrusive or invasive procedures. However, you should avoid animal suffering of any kind and should ensure that proper animal husbandry practices are followed. You should show respect for animals as fellow sentient beings.
Environmental protection
The negative impacts of your research on the natural environment and animal welfare, must be minimised and must be compliant to current legislation. Your research should appropriately weigh longer-term research benefit against short-term environmental harm needed to achieve research goals.
Achieving Universal Primary Education in Ghana by 2015: A Reality or Dream? (2010, September 9).
Retrieved October 25, 2011, from The Ghanain Journal:
Cullinan, B. E. (2010, November). Independent Reading and School Achievement . Retrieved October 10,
2011, from American Library Association:
Education Development Center, Inc. (2004). Technology and teaching children to read: What does the
research say? Retrieved October 25, 2011, from Neirtec:
Ghana Government Official Portal. (2009, October 10). Retrieved October 25, 2011, from Ghanas
Education System:
Hammond, N. (2008, May 12). Greater Accra Primary Schools Overstaffed. Retrieved October 25, 2011,
from Modern Ghana:
KWAME, B. –G. (2010, February 17). Issues: Concerning Education in Ghana (Part two). Retrieved
October 25, 2011, from The Statesman:
Tymms, P., & Merrell, C. (2007). Standards and quality in English primary school over time: the national
evidence. Cambrige: University of Cambrige.
U.S Department of State. (2011, June 1). Bureau of African Affairs: Background Note: Ghana. Retrieved
October 25, 2011, from U.S Department of State: Diplomacy in Action: Read More
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