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Final Research Proposal Name: Institution: Introduction Many often wonder why some students have difficulty paying attention in class or performing well in academics as compared to others. Some students often perform better in school than others. For instance, why would one student be able to pay more attention in class, take excellent notes, involve in all class activities, and perform well in class tests while others cannot?…
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Final Research Proposal Introduction Many often wonder why some have difficulty paying attention in or performingwell in academics as compared to others. Some students often perform better in school than others. For instance, why would one student be able to pay more attention in class, take excellent notes, involve in all class activities, and perform well in class tests while others cannot? Researchers invest lots of efforts in trying to explain while some student lack in vital academic abilities. Nonetheless, the cause of variations in academic performance has not been successfully explained yet. However, researchers have come up with various hypotheses in attempting to provide explanations. Evidently, there appears to be a link between student lifestyle and their educational performance, with breakfast being pointed out as one of the determinants of student performance. A number of scientists point out that taking breakfast helps students to do better at cognitive levels (Simeon, 1989; Grantham-McGregor, 1989; Worobey, 1999). This highlights the importance of further research into these claims. This research seeks study the relationship between having breakfast and academic performance. There is a widely held notion among parents that breakfast is an important meal. Many researchers have attempted to establish the worth of children consuming breakfast in influencing cognitive ability and academic attentiveness. Many such studies have been conducted both on short-term and long-term basis. The need for conducting studies within confined laboratory conditions as well as field studies cannot be underestimated. While many researches have validated the importance of eating breakfast on health, academic attention, and academic performance, many others have argued to the contrary. Generally, there exist lots of inconsistencies in researches on this subject. Variables The study focuses on a number of variables. Eating breakfast is the independent variable while class attentiveness, academic performance, and cognitive ability are the dependent variables studied. Literature review Lots of existing literature supports the hypothesis that eating breakfast positively influences the performance of students in school. A number of studies have shown that breakfast positively impact on undernourished students more than it does on the general student population. In essence, different studies have reported different results with most supporting the earlier hypothesis. Other scientific studies have gone to depth of explaining how glucose levels affect performance of children. In a research by Benton & Parker (1998) it was reported that students who consumed breakfast seemingly had high glucose levels leading to an afterthought that glucose could be contributing to student’s performance. It has also been suggested that the kind of breakfast consumed also matters as is witnessed in a research which looked into two-year school breakfast programs. A research to demonstrate the impact of breakfast on cognitive ability was conducted in 1989 (Simeon & Grantham-McGregor, 1989). The research focused on 3 categories of children. This included stunted children, on-stunted children, and malnourished children. Stunted children were defined as those with retarded linear growth where growth is hindered by poor nutrition. Non-stunted constituted children who had no form of physical growth impairment while malnourished children were those who lacked essential elements derived from meals. Multiple aspects of cognitive performance were investigated (Simeon & Grantham-McGregor, 1989). Although reporting the importance of breakfast on cognitive ability, the study looked at glucose levels and whether it has anything to do with cognitive functionality. The study undertook three experiments which evaluated memory and intelligence through respective tests. The study sample constituted 33 university students. The findings supported the notion that blood glucose level had an effect on their memory. More particularly, the study pointed out that carbohydrates can adversely affect children’s performance. Another research evaluated the impact of two-year breakfast programs in various schools. The study sample constituted of pre-school children, their nutrient intakes, and their corresponding academic performance. The study sought to establish the difference between home-prepared breakfast and school breakfast and how they affected student performance. The experiment was grouped into two categories whereby one tested student cognitive performance while the second study grouped students into those who were having breakfast and those who were not. The initial studies simply compared the children amongst themselves based on the days they had breakfast and days they did not while the second compared children who participated against those who did not participate in school breakfast. Both studies reported enhanced intelligence, thanks to school breakfast which reportedly had additional nutritional values. Pre-academic task performance also shot up for those who had school prepared breakfast (Worobey & Worobey, 1999). In another study, Klemnan (1998) sought to find the relation between involvement in National School Breakfast Program to enhanced psychosocial behavior and academic performance among students. In the study, 133 elementary school students were followed before and after start of the universal breakfast program. The study’s results showed that students whose breakfast participation was increased show significantly higher attentiveness in class and earned higher grades in mathematics, in addition to having significantly lesser behavioral emotional challenges. Interestingly, although lots of these studies looked into the link between breakfast and academic performance or attentiveness in class, none directly studied the relationship between these variables. In essence, the studies somehow deviated from directly reporting the relationships. For instance, one ultimately introduced glucose content which cannot be purely attributed to breakfast while another compared school and home breakfast, literally introducing the issue of breakfast content essentially deviating from breakfast to type of food. This study will attempt to abridge this gap and report the direct relationship between having breakfast and the aforementioned variables. Further, the study will draw upon multiple researches to expand its study base and basis for comparison. These researches will also form basis for the specific research areas and methodologies that the research will be focused on. Methodology Qualitative research will be used in the study. Tenth grade high schools students will be used in the study. The class instructors and parents will be interviewed with emphasis on instructors who interact with the students prior to lunch time. The instructors will be interviewed to establish the level of student participation in class while the parents will be interviewed to establish the student’s breakfast habits. Initial class participation of the student and their breakfast habits will be recorded, and the researcher will further seek to establish whether skipping breakfast would impact on their level of participation and performance. Four control groups will be used in the research. Two groups will have changed the breakfast consumption habits with one changing from having breakfast to not having, while the other will change from not having to having breakfast. The other two groups will retain their initial habits with one continuing with not having breakfast while the other will continue having breakfast. Data Analysis Plan Data analysis will be done based on the responses made by the supervisor and the initial data collected with respect to the students breakfast eating habits. Based on the interview responses, the research will make inferences and discuss the relation between the studied variables. Research question 1. How skipping breakfast does affect students’ participation in classes held before lunch? Study hypotheses 1. Those who normally don’t eat breakfast and now do eat breakfast, should improve attention/performance, 2. Those who normally do eat breakfast, and now do not eat breakfast, their attention/performance in class should go down 3. Those who normally don’t eat breakfast and still do not eat breakfast, should show no change in attention/performance 4. Those who normally do eat breakfast and still do should show no change in attention/performance. Ethical considerations The researcher will first seek permission from all those to be involved in the study. As a matter of fact, no one will be included in the study without his/her informed consent. It is important to note that the instructor will not be informed about the control group assigned to any of the students to avoid biased reporting. Assumptions Considering that the methodology used in qualitative and largely pegged on the interview responses from the parents and the instructor, the research presumes they would both be honest and give sincere responses. Bias As already mentioned, the instructors will not be informed the group category in which the students are classified to ensure that they do not give biased results intended to favor their pre-defined conceptions. References Benton, D., & Parker, P.Y. (1998). Breakfast, blood glucose, and cognition. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 67 (8), 772S-778S. Kleinman, R. (1998). New Harvard research shows school breakfast program may improve children’s behavior and performance. Retrieved from http://www.kidsource.com/kidsource/content4/breakfast.html Simeon, D.T., & Grantham-McGregor, S. (1989). Effects of missing breakfast on the cognitive functions of school children of differing nutritional status. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 49 (2), pp. 646-653. Worobey, J., & Worobey, H. S. (1999). The impact of a two-year school breakfast program for preschool-aged children on their nutrient intake and pre-academic performance. Child Study Journal, 29 (10), pp. 113. Read More
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