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Educational Research: Introduction to the Concept







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Educational Research: Introduction to the Concept. EDU 8603 Educational Research Richard M. Jacobs, OSA, Ph.D. Research. The systematic application of a family of methods employed to provide trustworthy information about problems.
Educational Research: Introduction to the Concept

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Slide 1

Educational Research: Introduction to the Concept

EDU 8603

Educational Research

Richard M. Jacobs, OSA, Ph.D.

Slide 2

Research...

  • The systematic application of a family of methods employed to provide trustworthy information about problems

…an ongoing process based on many accumulated understandings and explanations that, when taken together lead to generalizations about problems and the development of theories

Slide 3

The basic steps of research...

Scientific and disciplined inquiry is an orderly process, involving:

recognition and identification of a topic to be studied (“problem”)

description and execution of procedures to collection information (“method”)

objective data analysis

statement of findings (“results”)

Slide 4

Types of research...

Basic…

…the process of collecting and analyzing information to develop or enhance a theory

Slide 5

Applied…

…conducted for the purpose of applying or testing theory and evaluating its usefulness for solving problems

Slide 6

Evaluation…

…concerned with making decisions about the quality, effectiveness, or value of programs, products, or practices

Slide 7

The research continuum…

field

laboratory

evaluation research

pure research

APPLIED

BASIC

current problems

theory development

what works

why it works

produces concepts

provides data

Slide 8

Approaches to reasoning...

Inductive…

…developing generalizations from a limited number of specific observations or experiences

…highly dependent on the number and representativeness of the specific observations used to make the generalization

Slide 9

Deductive…

…developing specific predictions from general principles, observations, or experiences

…dependent on the truth of the generalizations used as a basis for its logic

Slide 10

Relating reasoning with research methods…

laboratory work

field work

evaluation research

pure research

QUALITATIVE

QUANTITATIVE

researcher intersubjectivity

researcher objectivity

post-structuralism: depth

logical positivism: factual

“snapshot”

“portrait”

Slide 11

Research methods...

Quantitative…

…collects and analyzes numerical data obtained from formal instruments

Slide 12

Qualitative…

…collects and analyzes nonnumeric data over an extended period of time to situate meaning within a particular perspective or context

Slide 13

Quantitative methods...

  • descriptive research (“survey research”)

  • correlational research

  • causal-comparative research (“ex post facto research”)

  • experimental research

Slide 14

  • descriptive research (“survey research”)

…collects data in order to answer questions about the current status of the subject or topic of study

…uses formal instruments to study preferences, attitudes, practices, concerns, or interests of a sample

Slide 15

  • correlational research

…determines whether and to what degree a relationship exists between two or more variables

…the presence of a correlation does not indicate a cause-effect relationship primarily due to multiple confounding factors

Slide 16

Correlation coefficient (r)…

-1.00

0.00

+1.00

strong positive

strong negative

no relationship

Slide 17

A positive correlationship…

y

x

Slide 18

A negative correlationship…

y

x

Slide 19

No correlationship…

y

x

Slide 20

No correlationship…

y

x

Slide 21

  • causal-comparative research (“ex post facto research”)

…at least two different groups are compared on a dependent variable or measure of performance (called the “effect”) because the independent variable (called the “cause”) has already occurred or cannot be manipulated

Slide 22

Variable...

…a concept (e.g., intelligence, height, aptitude) that can assume any one of a range of values

Slide 23

Research variables...

Independent…

…an activity or characteristic believed to make a difference with respect to some behavior

…(syn.) experimental variable, cause, treatment

Slide 24

Dependent…

…the change or difference occurring a a result of the independent variable

…(syn.) criterion variable, effect, outcome, posttest

Slide 25

  • experimental research

…the researcher selects participants and divides them into two or more groups having similar characteristics and, then, applies the treatment(s) to the groups and measures the effects upon the groups

Slide 26

Quantitative method decision tree…

Is there a cause-effect relationship?

YES

NO

Is the independent variable manipulated?

Is there a relationship or prediction being made?

YES

NO

YES

NO

Experimental

Causal-Comparative

Correlational

Descriptive

Slide 27

Qualitative methods...

  • historical research

  • grounded theory

  • ethnography

  • phenomenology

  • ethology

  • case study

  • ethnomethodology

  • action research

  • symbolic interaction

Slide 28

  • historical research

…studies available data to study, understand, and interpret past events

Slide 29

  • ethnography

…studies cultural patterns and perspectives of participants in their natural settings

Slide 30

  • ethology

…compares the origins, characteristics, and culture of different societies

Slide 31

  • ethnomethodology

…studies how people make sense of their everyday activities in order to behave in socially accepted ways

Slide 32

  • symbolic interaction

…investigates how people construct meaning and shared perspectives by interacting with others

Slide 33

  • grounded theory

…investigates how inductively-derived theory about phenomenon is grounded in the data of a particular setting

Slide 34

  • phenomenology

…considers how the experience of particular participants exhibits a unique perspective

Slide 35

  • case study

…examines the characteristics of a particular entity, phenomenon, or person

Slide 36

  • action research

…practitioner-based systematic reflection upon practice aimed at improving professional practice

Slide 37

Generally speaking, qualitative researchers….

…spend a great deal of time in the settings being studied (fieldwork)

…rely on themselves as the main instrument of data collection (subjectivity; intersubjectivity)

…analyze data using interpretative lenses

Slide 38

…employ expressive language and voice in descriptions and explanations

…seek depth of perspective (i.e., “waves of data” requiring ongoing interpretation)

…judged in terms of believability, trustworthiness, coherence, and logic of interpretations

Slide 39

Types of criticism...

Internal…

…evaluates the worth or trustworthiness of the content of the data

External…

…assesses the authenticity of the data source

Slide 40

  • data sources…

…primary

…secondary

…tertiary

Slide 41

Limitations of the scientific and disciplined inquiry approach…

  • not able to investigate philosophical and/or moral/ethical problems (“shoulds” and “oughts”) only factual matters

  • the presence of intervening and confounding variables make assertions probable rather than proven

  • imperfections in sampling, instruments, procedures

Slide 42

Mini-Quiz…

  • Identify the research methodology…

…a study of the research on the effect of anxiety on achievement from 1900 to 1990

historical

Slide 43

…a study of the effect of socioeconomic status on self-concept

causal-comparative

Slide 44

…a study to compare the achievement of two groups: one group taught in an anxiety-producing environment and one group taught in an anxiety reducing environment

experimental

Slide 45

…a study of the personal and educational interactions in a group of teachers developing social studies standards for a high school curriculum

qualitative

Slide 46

…a study to compare the achievement of a group of students classified as high-anxious and a group classified as low-anxious

causal-comparative

Slide 47

…a study of teachers’ attitudes toward unions

historical

Slide 48

…a study of the effect of large-group versus small-group instruction upon achievement

experimental

Slide 49

…a study of SAT preparation by three students, with particular emphasis on their anxiety

qualitative

Slide 50

…a study to determine the relationship between scores on an anxiety scale and scores on an achievement measure

correlational

Slide 51

…a survey of teachers to determine how and to what degree they believe anxiety affects achievement

descriptive

Slide 52

This module has focused on...

introductory research concepts

…which enable educators to access, understand, and evaluate research findings and the claims purported by researchers

Slide 53

The next module will focus on...

research problems

...as the foundation for a literature review and the formulation of a hypothesis


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