CSUEB Remarkable Differences in Childrens Ability to Achieve Research Paper

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Thoroughly read chapters 2-4 of Creswell and Guetterman (2019) and chapter 4 of File, et al., (2017). Remember to check the Rubric for Scoring the Reading Response as you finalize your responses to the following prompts:

In your own words, differentiate the following terms: research topic, research problem, purpose, and research questions. With your research topic in mind, write a draft for the four terms you just defined.

What are the things you would consider to see if a problem could, and should, be researched? With your discussions on your topic (so far), would you say it could and should be studied? Why do you think so? What could you do to find out for sure?

What is a literature review? Why is it important? Compare and contrast the literature review for quantitative and qualitative research. Discuss the rationale/purpose for the differences you identified.

In addition to the role of literature that you have discussed on question #3, compare and contrast qualitative and quantitative research methods in two more ways. Include specific information and/or terms presented in the texts to support your responses. How do this week's readings influence your thinking of qualitative and quantitative track of research (as a researcher and as a research consumer)?

This is the chapter 4 of File, et al., (2017).


My research topic is Academic Resilience

This is my introduction and use this information to answer Q1.

Statement of the problem

When I was training at kindergarten in my last year of college, we were enhancing young children’s ability to achieve. I noticed marked differences in the children. Some of kids have the internal motivation for learning and research, and they are often persistent and determined to perform their duties on their own. Other kids are totally opposite. After I did research about this, I found that academic resilience makes a big difference in the way children approach academic tasks. Research shows that children who feel more competent about their abilities choose more difficult tasks, and these choices can lead to higher levels of academic resiliency Mykkanen, Kronqvist & Jarvela, (2013). Children can show resilient behaviors inside and outside of school.

I would like to do this research for all person in the community and take the benefit of parents, teachers, and adults.

During the student's academic development, many factors, including culture, family, relationships, and values, are helpful for the positive growth and development of children. Some students have to face multiple problems within those factors such as poverty, parent's separation, parental preoccupation, young people with special educational or complex needs. These problems become part of life, and all students must cope with adversity. These things affect students’ performance in academic tasks and their resilience towards their everyday life.

Purpose of the study

This research supports parents to step up the things they do to have a greater impact on the achievements of their most disadvantaged pupils often whom suffer from a lack of resilience. As children transition from home-based learning to school-base learning, parents need to give importance to academic resilience of their children. Accepting one’s limiations and learning to overcome the challenges allows for better academic achievement for children.

Research Questions

: What strategies can be applied to four to six years old to help them to be resilient in academic tasks? How do children develop academic resilience both inside and outside school? How can this skill be taught to young children?

Please remember to check the Rubric for Scoring.

Please don't use general information use the information in the chapters and other sources from books or articles.

Please use simple language and U.S.A academic words

The number of pages depend on the information.

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Educational Research This page intentionally left blank Educational Research Planning, Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research FOURTH EDITION John W. Creswell University of Nebraska–Lincoln Boston Columbus Indianapolis New York San Francisco Upper Saddle River Amsterdam Cape Town Dubai London Madrid Milan Munich Paris Montreal Toronto Delhi Mexico City São Paulo Sydney Hong Kong Seoul Singapore Taipei Tokyo Vice President and Editor-in-Chief: Paul A. Smith Development Editor: Christina Robb Editorial Assistant: Matthew Buchholtz Marketing Manager: Joanna Sabella Production Editor: Karen Mason Production Coordination: TexTech International Text Design and Illustrations: TexTech International Cover Design: Linda Knowles Cover Art: © Chin Yuen. www.chinyuenart.com This book was set in Garamond by TexTech. It was printed and bound by Edwards Brothers, Inc. The cover was printed by Phoenix Color Corp. Copyright © 2012, 2008, 2005, 2002 by Pearson Education, Inc., 501 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116. All rights reserved. Manufactured in the United States of America. This publication is protected by Copyright, and permission should be obtained from the publisher prior to any prohibited reproduction, storage in a retrieval system, or transmission in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or likewise. To obtain permission(s) to use material from this work, please submit a written request to Pearson Education, Inc., Permissions Department, 501 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116, or email permissionsus@pearson.com. Between the time website information is gathered and then published, it is not unusual for some sites to have closed. Also, the transcription of URLs can result in typographical errors. The publisher would appreciate notification where these errors occur so that they may be corrected in subsequent editions. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Creswell, John W. Educational research : planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research / John W. Creswell. — 4th ed. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN-13: 978-0-13-136739-5 (alk. paper) ISBN-10: 0-13-136739-0 (alk. paper) 1. Education—Research—Methodology. I. Title. LB1028.C742 2012 370.72—dc22 2010050958 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 ED 15 14 13 12 11 ISBN-10: 0-13-136739-0 ISBN-13: 978-0-13-136739-5 This text is dedicated to Karen, who provided caring editorial help and support through four editions of this book. You have been my inspiration and thoughtful advocate throughout this project. Thanks for standing beside me. This page intentionally left blank Brief Contents PART I An Introduction to Educational Research 1 CHAPTER 1 PART II The Process of Conducting Research Using Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches 2 The Steps in the Process of Research 57 CHAPTER 2 Identifying a Research Problem 58 CHAPTER 3 Reviewing the Literature 79 CHAPTER 4 Specifying a Purpose and Research Questions or Hypotheses 109 CHAPTER 5 Collecting Quantitative Data 140 CHAPTER 6 Analyzing and Interpreting Quantitative Data 174 CHAPTER 7 Collecting Qualitative Data 204 CHAPTER 8 Analyzing and Interpreting Qualitative Data 236 CHAPTER 9 PART III Reporting and Evaluating Research 265 Research Designs 293 CHAPTER 10 Experimental Designs 294 CHAPTER 11 Correlational Designs 337 CHAPTER 12 Survey Designs 375 CHAPTER 13 Grounded Theory Designs 422 CHAPTER 14 Ethnographic Designs 461 CHAPTER 15 Narrative Research Designs CHAPTER 16 Mixed Methods Designs 534 CHAPTER 17 Action Research Designs 576 501 vii This page intentionally left blank Contents PART I An Introduction to Educational Research 1 1 Chapter The Process of Conducting Research Using Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches 2 A Definition of Research and Its Importance 3 Research Adds to Our Knowledge 4 • Research Improves Practice 4 • Research Informs Policy Debates 6 • Several Problems with Research Today 6 The Six Steps in the Process of Research 7 Identifying a Research Problem 8 • Reviewing the Literature 8 • Specifying a Purpose for Research 9 • Collecting Data 9 • Analyzing and Interpreting the Data 10 • Reporting and Evaluating Research 10 The Characteristics of Quantitative and Qualitative Research in Each of the Six Steps 11 Quantitative Research Characteristics 13 • Qualitative Research Characteristics 16 • Similarities and Differences between Quantitative and Qualitative Research 19 • Research Designs Associated with Quantitative and Qualitative Research 20 Important Ethical Issues in Conducting Research 22 Institutional Review Boards 22 • Professional Associations 23 • Ethical Practices throughout the Research Process 23 • Some Ethical Issues in Data Collection 23 • Some Ethical Issues in Data Reporting 24 Skills Needed to Design and Conduct Research 24 Solving Puzzles 25 • Lengthening Your Attention Span 25 • Learning to Use Library Resources 25 • Writing, Editing, and More Writing 25 Key Ideas in the Chapter 26 The Definition and Importance of Educational Research 26 • The Six Steps in the Process of Research 26 • The Characteristics of Quantitative and Qualitative Research 26 • The Types of Research Designs Associated with Quantitative and Qualitative Research 26 • The Important Ethical Issues 27 • The Skills Needed to Design and Conduct Research 27 Useful Information for Producers of Research 27 Useful Information for Consumers of Research 27 Understanding Concepts and Evaluating Research Studies 28 Sample Quantitative Study Sample Qualitative Study 29 42 PART II The Steps in the Process of Research 57 2 Chapter Identifying a Research Problem 58 What Is a Research Problem and Why Is It Important? 59 How Does the Research Problem Differ from Other Parts of Research? 59 Can and Should Problems Be Researched? 61 Can You Gain Access to People and Sites? 61 • Can You Find Time, Locate Resources, and Use Your Skills? 61 • Should the Problem Be Researched? 62 How Does the Research Problem Differ in Quantitative and Qualitative Research? 63 How Do You Write a “Statement of the Problem” Section? 64 The Topic 64 • The Research Problem 66 • Justification of the Importance of the Problem 66 • Deficiencies in What We Know 69 • The Audience 70 What Are Some Strategies for Writing the “Statement of the Problem” Section? 70 A Template 70 • Other Writing Strategies 71 • Think-Aloud About Writing a “Statement of the Problem” 72 ix x CONTENTS Examples of “Statement of the Problem” Sections 72 Reexamining the Parent Involvement and the Mothers’ Trust in School Principals Studies 75 Key Ideas in the Chapter 76 Define a Research Problem and Explain Its Importance 76 • Distinguish between a Research Problem and Other Parts of Research 76 • Criteria for Deciding Whether a Problem Can and Should Be Researched 76 • The Difference between Quantitative and Qualitative Research Problems 76 • The Five Elements of a “Statement of the Problem” Section 76 • Strategies Useful in Writing the “Statement of the Problem” Section 76 Useful Information for Producers of Research 77 Useful Information for Consumers of Research 77 Understanding Concepts and Evaluating Research Studies 77 Conducting Your Research 3 Chapter 78 Reviewing the Literature 79 What Is a Literature Review and Why Is It Important? 80 How Does the Literature Review Differ for Quantitative and Qualitative Studies? 80 What Are the Five Steps in Conducting a Literature Review? 81 Identify Key Terms 82 • Locate Literature 82 • Critically Evaluate and Select the Literature 91 • Organize the Literature 92 • Write a Literature Review 98 Reexamining the Parent Involvement and the Mothers’ Trust in Principals Studies 104 Literature Review Analysis in a Quantitative Study 104 • Literature Review Analysis in a Qualitative Study 104 Key Ideas in the Chapter 105 What Is a Review of the Literature and Why Is It Important? 105 • The Five Steps in Conducting a Literature Review 105 Useful Information for Producers of Research 106 Useful Information for Consumers of Research 107 Understanding Concepts and Evaluating Research Studies 107 Conducting Your Research 4 Chapter 107 Specifying a Purpose and Research Questions or Hypotheses 109 What Are Purpose Statements, Research Questions, Hypotheses, and Objectives? 109 The Purpose Statement 110 • Research Questions 110 • Hypotheses 111 • Research Objectives 111 Why Are These Statements and Questions Important? 112 How Do You Design Quantitative Purpose Statements, Research Questions, and Hypotheses? 112 Specify Variables 112 • The Family of Variables 114 • Think-Aloud About Identifying Variables? 119 • Theories and Testing of Variables 120 • Writing Quantitative Purpose Statements 122 • Writing Quantitative Research Questions 124 • Writing Quantitative Hypotheses 125 How Do You Design Qualitative Purpose Statements and Research Questions? 128 Differentiating between Quantitative and Qualitative Purpose Statements and Research Questions 128 The Central Phenomenon in Qualitative Research 129 Emerging Processes in Qualitative Research 130 • Writing Qualitative Purpose Statements 131 • Writing Qualitative Research Questions 132 Reexamining the Parent Involvement and Mothers’ Trust in Principals Studies 136 Key Ideas in the Chapter 136 Distinguish among Purpose Statements, Research Questions, Hypotheses, and Objectives 136 • Know Why These Statements and Questions Are Important 137 • Write Quantitative Purpose Statements, Research Questions, and Hypotheses 137 • Write Qualitative Purpose Statements and Research Questions 137 Useful Information for Producers of Research 137 Useful Information for Consumers of Research 138 Understanding Concepts and Evaluating Research Studies 138 Conducting Your Research 5 Chapter 139 Collecting Quantitative Data 140 Five Steps in the Process of Data Collection 140 What Participants Will You Study? 141 Identify Your Unit of Analysis 141 • Specify the Population and Sample 141 What Permissions Will You Need? 147 Obtain Different Types of Permissions 147 • Obtain Informed Consent 148 What Information Will You Collect? 150 Specify Variables from Research Questions and Hypotheses 150 • Operationally Define Each xi CONTENTS Variable 151 • Choose Types of Data and Measures 151 What Instrument Will You Use to Collect Data? 157 Locate or Develop an Instrument 157 • Search for an Instrument 157 • Criteria for Choosing a Good Instrument 158 • Interval/Ratio Scales 167 • Think-Aloud About Finding and Selecting an Instrument 167 How Will You Administer the Data Collection? 169 Standardization 169 • Ethical Issues 169 Reexamining the Quantitative Parent Involvement Study 170 Key Ideas in the Chapter 170 State the Five Steps in the Process of Quantitative Data Collection 170 • Identify How to Select Participants for a Study 171 • Identify the Permissions Needed for a Study 171 • List Different Options for Collecting Information 171 • Locate, Select, and Assess an Instrument(s) for Use in Data Collection 171 • Describe Procedures for Administering Quantitative Data Collection 171 Useful Information for Producers of Research 171 Useful Information for Consumers of Research 172 Understanding Concepts and Evaluating Research Studies 172 Conducting Your Research 6 Chapter 173 200 Identify the Steps in the Process of Analyzing and Interpreting Quantitative Data 200 • Preparing Your Data for Analysis 201 • Analyzing the Data 201 • Reporting the Results 201 • Interpreting the Results 201 Useful Information for Producers of Research 202 Useful Information for Consumers of Research 202 Understanding Concepts and Evaluating Research Studies 202 Conducting Your Research 7 Chapter 203 Collecting Qualitative Data 204 What Are the Five Process Steps in Qualitative Data Collection? 205 What Are the Different Sampling Approaches for Selecting Participants and Sites? 206 Purposeful Sampling 206 • Sample Size or Number of Research Sites 209 What Types of Permissions Will Be Required to Gain Access to Participants and Sites? 210 Seek Institutional Review Board Approval 210 • Gatekeepers 211 What Types of Qualitative Data Will You Collect? 212 Observations 212 • Interviews 217 • Documents 223 • Audiovisual Materials 224 Analyzing and Interpreting Quantitative Data 174 What Procedures Will Be Used to Record Data? What Are the Steps in the Process of Quantitative Data Analysis? 175 How Do You Prepare the Data for Analysis? Key Ideas in the Chapter 175 Score the Data 175 • Determine the Types of Scores to Analyze 177 • Select a Statistical Program 178 • Input Data 179 • Clean and Account for Missing Data 181 How Do You Analyze the Data? 182 Conduct Descriptive Analysis 183 • Conduct Inferential Analysis 187 How Do You Report the Results? 195 Tables 196 • Figures 196 • Present Results 197 How Do You Interpret the Results? 197 Summarize the Major Results 198 • Explain Why the Results Occurred 199 • Advance Limitations 199 • Suggest Future Research 199 Reexamining Data Analysis and Interpretation in the Parent Involvement Study 199 225 Using Protocols 225 • Think-Aloud About Observing 227 What Field and Ethical Issues Need to Be Anticipated? 228 Field Issues 228 • Ethical Issues 230 Revisiting the Mothers’ Trust in Principals Qualitative Study 232 Key Ideas in the Chapter 233 Five Process Steps in Collecting Data 233 • Sampling Approaches to Selecting Participants and Sites 233 • Permissions Required to Gain Access 233 • Various Types of Qualitative Data to Collect 233 • Procedures for Recording Data 233 • Field Issues and Ethical Considerations in Data Collection 233 Useful Information for Producers of Research 234 Useful Information for Consumers of Research 234 Understanding Concepts and Evaluating Research Studies 234 Conducting Your Research 235 xii 8 Chapter CONTENTS Analyzing and Interpreting Qualitative Data 236 What Are the Six Steps in Analyzing and Interpreting Qualitative Data? 237 How Do You Prepare and Organize the Data for Analysis? 238 Organize Data 238 • Transcribe Data 239 • Analyze by Hand or Computer 239 • Use of Qualitative Computer Programs 241 How Do You Explore and Code the Data? 243 Explore the General Sense of the Data 243 • Code the Data 243 • Think-Aloud About Coding a Transcript 245 How Do You Use Codes to Build Description and Themes? 247 Description 247 • Themes Interrelating Themes 251 248 • Layering and How Do You Represent and Report Findings? 253 Representing Findings 253 • Reporting Findings 254 How Do You Interpret Findings? 257 Summarize Findings 258 • Convey Personal Reflections 258 • Make Comparisons to the Literature 258 • Offer Limitations and Suggestions for Future Research 259 How Do You Validate the Accuracy of Your Findings? 259 What Audience Will Receive the Report? 266 • What Are the Types of Research Reports? 267 How Should You Structure Your Report? 272 Look at the Physical Structure of Research Reports 272 • Design an Appropriate Quantitative Structure 273 • Design an Appropriate Qualitative Structure 273 • Think-Aloud About the Structure of a Study 276 How Do You Write in a Sensitive, Ethical, and Scholarly Way? 277 Use Language That Reduces Bias 277 • Encode Scholarly Terms into Your Research 278 • Use Ethical Reporting and Writing of Research Results 278 • Use an Appropriate Point of View 280 • Balance Your Research and Content 281 • Interconnect Sections for Consistency 281 • Advance a Concise Title 282 How Do You Evaluate the Quality of Your Research? 282 Employ Appropriate Standards 283 • Quantitative Standards 283 • Qualitative Standards 283 • Evaluate with a Process Approach 285 Reexamining the Parent Involvement and Mothers’ Trust in Principals Studies 288 Key Ideas in the Chapter 288 The Purpose of a Research Report and Its Types 288 • How to Structure your Research Report 289 • Sensitive, Ethical, and Scholarly Writing Practices 289 • Criteria for Evaluating a Research Report 289 Reexamining Qualitative Data Analysis in the Mothers’ Trust in Principals Case Study 260 Useful Information for Producers of Research 289 Key Ideas in the Chapter Useful Information for Consumers of Research 290 261 Six Steps in the Process of Analyzing and Interpreting Qualitative Data 261 • Prepare and Organize the Data for Analysis 261 • Explore and Code the Data 261 • Coding to Build Description and Themes 261 • Represent and Report Qualitative Findings 262 • Interpret the Findings 262 • Validate the Accuracy of the Findings 262 Useful Information for Producers of Research 262 Useful Information for Consumers of Research 263 Understanding Concepts and Evaluating Research Studies 263 Conducting Your Research 9 Chapter 264 Reporting and Evaluating Research 265 What Is a Research Report and What Are Its Types? 266 Understanding Concepts and Evaluating Research Studies 290 Conducting Your Research 291 PART III Research Designs 293 10 Chapter Experimental Designs 294 What Is an Experiment, When Should You Use It, and How Did It Develop? 295 When Do You Use an Experiment? 295 • When Did Experiments Develop? 295 What Are Key Characteristics of Experiments? 296 Random Assignment 296 • Control Over Extraneous Variables 297 • Manipulating Treatment Conditions 300 • Outcome Measures 301 • Group Comparisons 302 • Threats to Validity 302 What Are the Types of Experimental Designs? 307 CONTENTS Between-Group Designs 309 • Within-Group or Individual Designs 313 What Are Potential Ethical Issues in Experimental Research? 321 What Are the Steps in Conducting Experimental Research? 322 Step 1. Decide if an Experiment Addresses Your Research Problem 322 • Step 2. Form Hypotheses to Test Cause-and-Effect Relationships 322 • Step 3. Select an Experimental Unit and Identify Study Participants 323 • Step 4. Select an Experimental Treatment and Introduce It 324 • Step 5. Choose a Type of Experimental Design 324 • Step 6. Conduct the Experiment 324 • Step 7. Organize and Analyze the Data 324 • Step 8. Develop an Experimental Research Report 325 How Do You Evaluate Experimental Research? 325 Key Ideas in the Chapter xiii Two or More Measures for Each Individual in the Study 355 • Step 4. Collect Data and Monitor Potential Threats 355 • Step 5. Analyze the Data and Represent the Results 356 • Step 6. Interpret the Results 357 How Do You Evaluate a Correlational Study? 357 Key Ideas in the Chapter 358 The Definition, Use, and Development of Correlational Research 358 • Types of Correlational Designs 358 • Key Characteristics of Correlational Designs 358 • Ethical Issues in Conducting Correlational Research 358 • Steps in Conducting a Correlational Study 359 • Criteria for Evaluating a Correlational Study 359 Useful Information for Producers of Research 359 Useful Information for Consumers of Research 359 Additional Resources You Might Examine 359 326 A Definition of Experimental Research, When to Use It, and How It Developed 326 • Key Characteristics of Experimental Research 326 • Types of Experimental Designs 326 • Ethical Issues in Experimental Research 326 • Steps in Conducting an Experiment 327 • Evaluating an Experiment 327 Useful Information for Producers of Research 327 Useful Information for Consumers of Research 328 Additional Resources You Might Examine 328 Example of a Correlational Study 361 12 Chapter Survey Designs 375 What Is Survey Research, When Do You Use It, and How Did It Develop? 376 When Do You Use Survey Research? 376 • How Did Survey Research Develop? 376 Example of an Experimental Study 330 What Are the Types of Survey Designs? 377 11 Chapter Cross-Sectional Survey Designs 377 • Longitudinal Survey Designs 379 Correlational Designs 337 What Is Correlational Research, When Do You Use It, and How Did It Develop? 338 When Do You Use Correlational Research? 338 • How Did Correlational Research Develop? 338 What Are the Types of Correlational Designs? 339 The Explanatory Design 340 • The Prediction Design 341 What Are the Key Characteristics of Correlational Designs? 342 Displays of Scores 342 • Associations between Scores 345 • Multiple Variable Analysis 348 Potential Ethical Issues in Conducting Correlational Research 353 What Are the Steps in Conducting a Correlational Study? 354 Step 1. Determine If a Correlational Study Best Addresses the Research Problem 354 • Step 2. Identify Individuals to Study 355 • Step 3. Identify What Are the Key Characteristics of Survey Research? 380 Sampling from a Population 381 • Questionnaires and Interviews 382 • Instrument Design 385 • Response Rate 390 How Do You Construct and Analyze a Mailed Questionnaire? 392 The Cover Letter 392 • Overall Questionnaire Construction 398 • Data Analysis of a Research Questionnaire 398 How Do You Design and Conduct an Interview Survey? 398 Stance of the Interviewer 399 • Training of Interviewers 399 • Steps in Interviewing 400 • A Telephone Interview Guide 400 What Are Potential Ethical Issues in Survey Research? 402 What Are the Steps in Conducting Survey Research? 403 xiv CONTENTS Step 1. Decide if a Survey Is the Best Design to Use 403 • Step 2. Identify the Research Questions or Hypotheses 403 • Step 3. Identify the Population, the Sampling Frame, and the Sample 403 • Step 4. Determine the Survey Design and Data Collection Procedures 404 • Step 5. Develop or Locate an Instrument 404 • Step 6. Administer the Instrument 404 • Step 7. Analyze the Data to Address the Research Questions or Hypotheses 404 • Step 8. Write the Report 404 How Do You Evaluate Survey Research? 404 Key Ideas in the Chapter 405 Defining Survey Research, When to Use It, and How It Developed 405 • Types of Survey Designs 405 • Key Characteristics of Survey Research 405 • Constructing and Using a Mailed Questionnaire 406 • Designing and Conducting an Interview Survey 406 • Potential Ethical Issues in Survey Research 406 • Steps in Conducting Survey Research 406 • Criteria for Evaluating Survey Research 406 Theoretical Sampling 441 • Step 5. Code the Data 441 • Step 6. Use Selective Coding and Develop the Theory 442 • Step 7. Validate Your Theory 442 • Step 8. Write a Grounded Theory Research Report 442 How Do You Evaluate Grounded Theory Research? 442 Key Ideas in the Chapter 443 What Is Grounded Theory, When to Use It, and How It Developed 443 • Three Types of Grounded Theory Designs 443 • Key Characteristics of Grounded Theory Research 443 • Potential Ethical Issues in Grounded Theory Research 444 • Steps in Conducting a Grounded Theory Study 444 • Evaluating the Quality of a Grounded Theory Study 444 Useful Information for Producers of Research 444 Useful Information for Consumers of Research 444 Additional Resources You Might Examine 445 Example of a Grounded Theory Study 446 Useful Information for Producers of Research 407 Useful Information for Consumers of Research 407 Additional Resources You Might Examine 407 Example of a Survey Study 409 13 Chapter Grounded Theory Designs 422 What Is Grounded Theory Research, When Should You Use It, and How Did It Develop? 423 When Do You Use Grounded Theory? 423 • How Did Grounded Theory Develop? 423 Types of Grounded Theory Designs 424 The Systematic Design 424 • The Emerging Design 428 • The Constructivist Design 429 • Choosing Among the Designs 430 The Key Characteristics of Grounded Theory Research 431 A Process Approach 431 • Theoretical Sampling 432 • Constant Comparative Data Analysis 434 • A Core Category 435 • Theory Generation 436 • Memos 438 Potential Ethical Issues in Grounded Theory Research 439 What Are the Steps in Conducting Grounded Theory Research? 440 Step 1. Decide if a Grounded Theory Design Best Addresses the Research Problem 440 • Step 2. Identify a Process to Study 440 • Step 3. Seek Approval and Access 441 • Step 4. Conduct 14 Chapter Ethnographic Designs 461 What Is Ethnographic Research, When Should You Use It, and How Did It Develop? 462 When Do You Conduct an Ethnography? 462 • How Did Ethnographic Research Develop? 462 What Are the Types of Ethnographic Designs? 464 Realist Ethnographies 464 • Case Studies 465 • Critical Ethnographies 466 What Are the Key Characteristics of Ethnographic Research? 468 Cultural Themes 468 • A Culture-Sharing Group 469 • Shared Patterns of Behavior, Belief, and Language 470 • Fieldwork 470 • Description, Themes, and Interpretation 472 • Context or Setting 473 • Researcher Reflexivity 474 Ethical Issues in Conducting Ethnographic Research 474 What Are the Steps in Conducting an Ethnography? 475 Step 1. Identify Intent and the Type of Design, and Relate Intent to Your Research Problem 477 • Step 2. Discuss Approval and Access Considerations 477 • Step 3. Use Appropriate Data Collection Procedures 477 • Step 4. Analyze and Interpret Data within a Design 478 • Step 5. Write the Report Consistent with Your Design 480 How Do You Evaluate an Ethnography? 480 Key Ideas in the Chapter 481 Defining Ethnographic Research, Its Use, and Its Development 481 • Three Types of Ethnographic Designs 481 • Potential Ethical Issues in CONTENTS Ethnographic Research 481 • Steps in Conducting an Ethnography 481 • Criteria for Evaluating an Ethnography Study 482 xv Useful Information for Consumers of Research 518 Additional Resources You Might Examine 518 Example of a Narrative Study 521 Useful Information for Producers of Research 482 Useful Information for Consumers of Research 483 Additional Resources You Might Examine 483 Example of an Ethnographic Study 15 Chapter 485 Narrative Research Designs 501 What Is Narrative Research, When Do You Use It, and How Did It Develop? 502 When Do You Use Narrative Research? 502 • How Did Narrative Research Develop? 502 What Are the Types of Narrative Designs? 503 Who Writes or Records the Story? 504 • How Much of a Life Is Recorded and Presented? 504 • Who Provides the Story? 504 • Is a Theoretical Lens Being Used? 505 • Can Narrative Forms Be Combined? 505 What Are the Key Characteristics of Narrative Designs? 505 Individual Experiences 507 • Chronology of the Experiences 508 • Collecting Individual Stories 508 • Restorying 509 • Coding for Themes 511 • Context or Setting 512 • Collaborating with Participants 512 What Are Some Potential Ethical Issues in Gathering Stories? 512 What Are the Steps in Conducting Narrative Research? 513 Step 1. Identify a Phenomenon to Explore That Addresses an Educational Problem 514 • Step 2. Purposefully Select an Individual From Whom You Can Learn About the Phenomenon 515 • Step 3. Collect the Story From That Individual 515 • Step 4. Restory or Retell the Individual’s Story 515 • Step 5. Collaborate with the Participant–Storyteller 515 • Step 6. Write a Story About the Participant’s Experiences 516 • Step 7. Validate the Accuracy of the Report 516 How Do You Evaluate Narrative Research? 516 Key Ideas in the Chapter 516 What Is Narrative Research, When Is It Used, and How Did It Develop? 516 • The Types of Narrative Designs 517 • The Key Characteristics of Narrative Designs 517 • Potential Ethical Issues in Gathering Stories 517 • Steps in Conducting a Narrative Study 517 • Evaluating a Narrative Study 517 Useful Information for Producers of Research 517 16 Chapter Mixed Methods Designs 534 What Is Mixed Methods Research, When Is It Used, and How Did It Develop? 535 When Do You Conduct a Mixed Methods Study? 535 • How Did Mixed Methods Research Develop? 536 What Are the Types of Mixed Methods Designs? 539 The Convergent Parallel Design 540 • The Explanatory Sequential Design 542 • The Exploratory Sequential Design 543 • The Embedded Design 544 • The Transformative Design 546 • Multiphase Design 547 What Are the Key Characteristics of Mixed Methods Designs? 548 Provide a Rationale for the Design 548 • Include Collecting Quantitative and Qualitative Data 548 • Consider Priority 548 • Consider Sequence 549 • Match the Data Analysis to a Design 550 • Diagram the Procedures 553 What Are Some Potential Ethical Issues in Mixed Methods Research? 553 What Are the Steps in Conducting a Mixed Methods Study? 554 Step 1. Determine If a Mixed Methods Study Is Feasible 554 • Step 2. Identify a Rationale for Mixing Methods 555 • Step 3. Identify a Data Collection Strategy 555 • Step 4. Develop Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods Questions 556 • Step 5. Collect Quantitative and Qualitative Data 556 • Step 6. Analyze Data Separately, Concurrently or Both 556 • Step 7. Write the Report as a One- or Two-Phase Study or a Multiple-Phase Study 557 How Do You Evaluate a Mixed Methods Study? 557 Key Ideas in the Chapter 557 Mixed Method Research, Its Use, and Its Development 557 • Types of Mixed Methods Designs 558 • Key Characteristics of Mixed Methods Research 558 • Potential Ethical Issues in Mixed Methods Research 558 • Steps Used in Conducting Mixed Methods Research 558 • Evaluating a Mixed Methods Study 559 Useful Information for Producers of Research 559 Useful Information for Consumers of Research 559 Additional Resources You Might Examine 560 Example of a Mixed Methods Study 561 xvi 17 Chapter CONTENTS Action Research Designs 576 Useful Information for Producers of Research 593 Useful Information for Consumers of Research 593 What Is Action Research, When Do You Use It, and How Did It Develop? 577 When Do You Use Action Research? 577 • How Did Action Research Develop? 577 What Are the Types of Action Research Designs? 579 Practical Action Research 579 • Participatory Action Research 582 What Are the Key Characteristics of Action Research? 586 A Practical Focus 586 • The Teacher–Researcher’s Own Practices 586 • Collaboration 586 • A Dynamic Process 587 • A Plan of Action 587 • Sharing Research 587 What Are Some Potential Ethical Issues in Action Research? 588 What Are the Steps in Conducting an Action Research Study? 589 Step 1. Determine if Action Research Is the Best Design to Use 589 • Step 2. Identify a Problem to Study 589 • Step 3. Locate Resources to Help Address the Problem 589 • Step 4. Identify Information You Will Need 589 • Step 5. Implement the Data Collection 590 • Step 6. Analyze the Data 591 • Step 7. Develop a Plan for Action 591 • Step 8. Implement the Plan and Reflect 591 How Do You Evaluate an Action Research Study? 591 Additional Resources You Might Examine 594 Key Ideas in the Chapter Glossary 617 592 Definition of Action Research, Its Use, and Its Development 592 • Types of Action Research Designs 592 • Key Characteristics of Action Research 592 • Potential Ethical Issues in Action Research 592 • Steps in Conducting an Action Research Study 593 • Evaluating an Action Research Study 593 Example of an Action Research Study 596 APPENDICES 603 A B C D E Appendix Answers to the Chapter Study Questions 605 Appendix Determine Size Using Sample Size Tables 609 Appendix Commonly Used Statistics in Educational Research 613 Appendix Nonnormal Distribution 614 Appendix Strategies for Defending a Research Proposal 615 References 631 Author Index 639 Subject Index 643 Preface NEW TO THE FOURTH EDITION You will find several key changes in this edition as a result of reader feedback and the careful review of the last edition by anonymous external reviewers. ◆ Increased coverage of ethical issues—this edition includes an expanded treatment of ethical issues that occur throughout the research process, from the inception of the idea, through data collection, analysis, reporting, and the use of the research. These ethical discussions incorporate many new ideas, references, and authors who have focused attention on the developing field of the ethics of conducting research. ◆ Ethical issues are highlighted throughout the specific research design chapters of Part III. For example, ethical concerns unique to experimental research, survey research, narrative research, and mixed methods research—to name a few of the design chapters—are given specific attention. In addition, these design chapters now include a new boxed feature called “Ethical Dilemma” in which the reader is introduced to a specific ethical issue that may arise in using the design. The reader is also asked to consider how to resolve the issue. ◆ Most of the sample articles used throughout the book are new. They present recently published journal articles so that the issues presented in the articles address timely concerns (and recent methods ideas) that educational researchers need to know. As with past editions, these articles are annotated with marginal notes to help readers locate key passages of research and important characteristics of research. ◆ The references used in this edition have been extensively updated from past editions of this book. Key writers in research methods have issued new editions of books, and readers need to be introduced to these new editions. Also, new books on research methods are continually being published, and readers need to be informed of the latest writings. At the end of each chapter are suggestions for additional resources to consider for more information about certain topics. Also, references to software and their Web sites have been updated when needed. ◆ The text has been streamlined to focus on key content that needs to be mastered. Chapters 1 and 2 have been combined to focus attention on important ideas from the outset. Also, the objectives at the start of chapters now match the central topics in the chapter and the summary at the end of the chapter. ◆ Quantitative and qualitative research approaches continue to be seen as forms of research that lie along a continuum (instead of two completely separate approaches). In this book, the discussion about the characteristics of both quantitative and qualitative research now better reflects this continuum. Often in educational research, studies are not entirely either quantitative or qualitative but contain some elements of xvii xviii PREFACE both approaches. The design chapters on mixed methods and action research reinforce this emerging trend in research. THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE TEXT The philosophy that guided the development of this text is twofold. First, research involves a process of interrelated activities rather than the application of isolated, unrelated concepts and ideas. Educators practice research following a general sequence of procedures—from the initial identification of a research problem to the final report of research. This means that understanding the sequence or flow of activities is central to inquiry. Thus, the text begins with specific chapters devoted to each step in the process of research and the inclusion of concepts and ideas within this process. Second, the educational researcher today needs a large toolbox of approaches to study the complex educational issues in our society. No longer can we, as educators, use only experiments or surveys to address our research problems. Educators in this new century—whether conducting research or reading research to self-inform—need to know about quantitative, qualitative, and combined approaches to inquiry and to have an indepth understanding of the multiple research designs and procedures used in our studies today. In each step in the process of research, this text will introduce you to quantitative, qualitative, and combined approaches. Throughout the text, you will learn about the differences and similarities of qualitative and quantitative research. In the last section of the text, you will be introduced to eight distinct quantitative and qualitative research designs or procedures that comprise the repertoire of the educational researcher in the quantitative, qualitative, and combined applications of research. KEY FEATURES This text offers a truly balanced, inclusive, and integrated overview of the field as it currently stands. As you will see from the table of contents, the book’s coverage is unique in its balanced presentation of quantitative and qualitative research. Moreover, it consistently examines foundational issues of research—for example, determining how to approach a project and understanding what constitutes data and how to analyze them— from quantitative, qualitative, and mixed perspectives. This approach helps students understand fundamental differences and similarities among these approaches. This text has three main purposes: ◆ It provides balanced coverage of quantitative and qualitative research. ◆ It helps students learn how to begin to conduct research. ◆ It helps students learn how to read and evaluate research studies. Let’s look at each of these in detail to see how each can help you achieve your course objectives. Balances Coverage of Quantitative and Qualitative Research This text provides balanced coverage of all types of research designs. This provides readers with a complete picture of educational research as it is currently practiced. The text PREFACE begins with an overview in part I of the general nature of educational research and the specific quantitative and qualitative approaches to educational research. Next, in part II, chapters 2 through 9, the book examines in depth the steps in the research process: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Identifying a research problem Reviewing the literature Specifying a purpose and research questions or hypotheses Collecting either quantitative or qualitative data Analyzing and interpreting either quantitative or qualitative data Reporting and evaluating the research Looking at the process simultaneously from both quantitative and qualitative perspectives helps students understand what choices a researcher has available and what meaning exists for a particular choice. After this discussion, in part III, students will learn the procedures for conducting specific types of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods studies. Chapters 10 through 17 provide balanced coverage and examples of each of these types of educational research designs: experimental, correlational, survey, grounded theory, ethnographic, narrative, mixed methods, and action research. Helps Students Learn How to Begin to Conduct Research Both the research process and design chapters offer the researcher step-by-step guidance in the basic aspects of planning, conducting, and evaluating research. A number of features guide readers through the steps and procedures of research. For example, a fictional beginning researcher, Maria, who is also a high school teacher and new graduate student, is followed throughout part II and part III to illustrate one researcher’s efforts and to provide students with a realistic perspective of the process of research and the selection of specific research designs. Other features include, but are not limited to: ◆ Tips on planning and conducting research in “Useful Information for Producers of Research” ◆ Checklists that summarize key points such as evaluation criteria used to assess the quality of a quantitative or qualitative study ◆ In-text examples of actual and hypothetical studies that illustrate the correct and incorrect ways of reporting research ◆ Follow-up activities in “Understanding Concepts and Evaluating Research Studies” to help students apply the concepts they’ve just learned ◆ A “Think-Aloud” feature that describes practices the author has found useful Helps Students Learn How to Read and Evaluate Research Studies Direct guidance on reading research is offered throughout the text. To further help students become more skilled at interpreting and evaluating research, the text offers a number of features. Most important among these are the many articles included in the text and the “Useful Information for Consumers of Research” feature. ◆ The text provides annotated research articles in each of the design chapters in part III. Two other articles—one qualitative, one quantitative—appear at the end of chapter 1. All of these complete articles (there are numerous other, shorter article excerpts in the book) include highlighted marginal annotations that help students understand the structure of articles and the key issues with which a reader should be concerned xix xx PREFACE when evaluating the quality and the applicable scope of each particular piece of research. ◆ The “Useful Information for Consumers of Research” feature appears at the end of every chapter and offers concrete guidance in interpreting and evaluating research. NEW! COURSESMART eTEXTBOOK AVAILABLE CourseSmart is an exciting new choice for students looking to save money. As an alternative to purchasing the printed textbook, students can purchase an electronic version of the same content. With a CourseSmart eTextbook, students can search the text, make notes online, print out reading assignments that incorporate lecture notes, and bookmark important passages for later review. For more information, or to purchase access to the CourseSmart eTextbook, visit www.coursesmart.com. SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIALS A number of ancillaries are available to complement the text: MyEducationLab Prepare with the Power of Practice MyEducationLab is an online learning tool that provides contextualized interactive exercises and other resources designed to help develop the knowledge and skills researchers need. All of the activities and exercises in MyEducationLab are built around essential learning outcomes. The Web site provides opportunities to both study course content and to practice the skills needed to understand and carry out research. For each topic covered in the course you will find most or all of the following features and resources: Assignments and Activities Designed to enhance student understanding of concepts covered in class and save instructors preparation and grading time, these assignable exercises give students opportunities to apply class content to research scenarios. (Feedback for the assignments is available to the instructor only.) Building Research Skills These exercises help students develop skills that are essential for understanding and carrying out research. Study Plan A MyEducationLab Study Plan consists of multiple choice assessments tied to learning outcomes, supported by study material. A well-designed Study Plan offers multiple opportunities to fully master required course content as identified by learning outcomes: ◆ Learning outcomes identify the learning outcomes for the topic and give students targets to shoot for as they read and study. PREFACE ◆ Multiple Choice Assessments assess mastery of the content. These assessments are mapped to learning outcomes, and students can take the multiple choice pretests as many times as they want. Not only do these assessments provide overall scores for each outcome, but they also explain why responses to particular items are correct or incorrect. ◆ Study Material: Review, Practice, and Enrichment give students a deeper understanding of what they do and do not know related to topic content. This material includes activities that include hints and feedback. Visit www.myeducationlab.com for a demonstration of this exciting new online teaching resource. Instructor Supplements The following resources are available for instructors to download at www.pearson highered.com/educators: Online Test Bank and MyTest The Test Bank contains various types of items—multiple choice, matching, short essay, and fill in the blank—for each chapter. Questions ask students to identify and describe research processes and design characteristics they have learned about and to classify and evaluate quantitative and qualitative studies and research situations. Offered along with the Test Bank is Pearson MyTest a powerful assessment generation program that helps instructors easily create and print quizzes and exams. Questions and tests are authored online, allowing ultimate flexibility and the ability to efficiently create and print assessments anytime, anywhere! Instructors can access Pearson MyTest and their test bank files by going to www.pearsonmytest.com to log in, register, or request access. PowerPoint Slides These slides include key concept summarizations and other graphic aids to help students understand, organize, and remember core concepts and ideas. Web CT and BlackBoard Course Content Cartridges The online course cartridges contain the content of the Test Bank, available for use on either online learning application. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This book is a culmination of 30 years of experience in conducting both quantitative and qualitative research in education and the social sciences. It could not have been written without the capable assistance of numerous individuals such as graduate students, research assistants, and colleagues at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Dr. Dana Miller assisted in a timely and thorough review of many chapters. Dr. Vicki Plano Clark provided editorial assistance and a key conceptual eye for missing details as well as useful leads for sample illustrative articles. Amanda Garrett has provided invaluable assistance in locating up-to-date materials and in conceptualizing ideas. Dr. Ron Shope developed the initial PowerPoint presentation. Others have been helpful as well. Dong Dong Zhang provided inspiration for many applied ideas and support at critical phases of the project. Other graduate students offered useful ideas, including Michael Toland, Kathy Shapely, and many other students in my graduate program area, quantitative and qualitative methods of education, as did students in my classes on the foundations of educational research. Dr. Bill Mickelson served as a statistics consultant and quantitative analysis reviewer. xxi xxii PREFACE I am also indebted to Kevin Davis at Pearson for initiating this book and providing the vision to launch it as the “next-generation” research methods text in education. Christina Robb, my excellent development editor at Pearson for this edition, provided patience, support, and useful insights throughout the project. Numerous reviewers helped to shape this book: Patricia L. Busk, University of San Franciso; Julita G. Iambating, California State University at Sacramento; Hari Koirala, Eastern Connecticut State University; Rene Parmar, St. John’s University; John Rogutt, Illinois State University; Christine Anne Royce, Shippensburg University; Linda Shepard, Indiana University at Bloomington; and Stephen Whitney, University of Missouri at Columbia. P A R T O N E An Introduction to Educational Research C onsider research your personal journey. It will be challenging but also exciting. Pack along for your journey a toolkit. In chapter 1 you will be introduced to the basic supplies. In your pack, place a solid understanding of “research.” Also include a map—the six steps in the process of conducting research. Realize that on this journey you need to respect people and the places you visit. Enjoy the process using your natural skills such as the ability to solve puzzles, use library resources, and write. After learning the process of research, decide on which of two major paths—quantitative or qualitative research—you will follow. Each is viable, and, in the end, you may choose to incorporate both, but as you begin a study consider one of the paths for your research journey. Let us begin. 1 1 C H A P T E R The Process of Conducting Research Using Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches W hat is research? Research is a process in which you engage in a small set of logical steps. In this chapter, we define research, discuss why it is important, advance six steps for conducting research, and identify how you can conduct research ethically by employing skills that you already have. You can approach research in two ways—through a quantitative study or a qualitative study—depending on the type of problem you need to research. Your choice of one of these approaches will shape the procedures you use in each of the six steps of research. In this chapter, we explore the many ways these two approaches are similar and different. By the end of this chapter, you should be able to: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ Define and describe the importance of educational research. Describe the six steps in the process of research. Identify the characteristics of quantitative and qualitative research in the six steps. Identify the type of research designs associated with quantitative and qualitative research. ◆ Discuss important ethical issues in conducting research. ◆ Recognize skills needed to design and conduct research. To begin, consider Maria, a teacher with 10 years of experience, who teaches English at a midsized metropolitan high school. Lately, a number of incidents in the school district have involved students possessing weapons: ◆ A teacher found a 10th grader hiding a knife in his locker. ◆ A 12th-grade student threatened another student, telling him “he wouldn’t see the light of day” unless he stopped harassing her. ◆ At a nearby high school, a student pointed a handgun at another student outside the school. 2 CHAPTER 1 The Process of Conducting Research Using Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches These incidents alarm district officials, school administrators, and teachers. The principal forms a committee made up of administrators and teachers to develop guidelines about how the school should respond to these situations. In response to a call for teachers to serve on this committee, Maria volunteers immediately. Maria sees the school committee assignment and her graduate program’s research study requirement as mutual opportunities to research school violence and weapon possession and to have a positive impact on her school. Where does she begin? Maria’s situation of balancing the dual roles of professional and graduate student may be familiar to you. Let’s assess her present research situation: ◆ Maria recognizes the need to closely examine an important issue—school violence and weapons at school—although she is new to research. However, she is not a stranger to looking up topics in libraries or to searching the Internet when she has a question about something. She has occasionally looked at a few research journals, such as the High School Journal, the Journal of Educational Research, and Theory into Practice, in her school library, and she has overheard other teachers talking about research studies on the subject of school violence. Although she has no research background, she expects that research will yield important findings for her school committee and also help her fulfill the requirement to conduct a small-scale research study for her graduate degree. ◆ To complete the required research for her graduate program, Maria must overcome her fears about planning and conducting a study. To do this, she needs to think about research not as a large, formidable task, but as a series of small, manageable steps. Knowing these smaller steps is key to the success of planning and completing her research. Your situation may be similar to Maria’s. At this stage, your concerns may start with the question “What is research?” A DEFINITION OF RESEARCH AND ITS IMPORTANCE Research is a process of steps used to collect and analyze information to increase our understanding of a topic or issue. At a general level, research consists of three steps: 1. Pose a question. 2. Collect data to answer the question. 3. Present an answer to the question. This should be a familiar process. You engage in solving problems every day and you start with a question, collect some information, and then form an answer. Although there are a few more steps in research than these three, this is the overall framework for research. When you examine a published study, or conduct your own study, you will find these three parts as the core elements. Not all educators have an understanding and appreciation of research. For some, research may seem like something that is important only for faculty members in colleges and universities. Although it is true that college and university faculty members value and conduct research, personnel in other educational settings also read and use research, such as school psychologists, principals, school board members, adult educators, college administrators, and graduate students. Research is important for three reasons. 3 4 PART I An Introduction to Educational Research Research Adds to Our Knowledge Educators strive for continual improvement. This requires addressing problems or issues and searching for potential solutions. Adding to knowledge means that educators undertake research to contribute to existing information about issues. We are all aware of pressing educational issues being debated today, such as the integration of AIDS education into the school curriculum. Research plays a vital role in addressing these issues. Through research we develop results that help to answer questions, and as we accumulate these results, we gain a deeper understanding of the problems. In this way, researchers are much like bricklayers who build a wall brick by brick, continually adding to the wall and, in the process, creating a stronger structure. How can research specifically add to the knowledge base and existing literature? A research report might provide a study that has not been conducted and thereby fill a void in existing knowledge. It can also provide additional results to confirm or disconfirm results of prior studies. It can help add to the literature about practices that work or advance better practices that educators might try in their educational setting. It can provide information about people and places that have not been previously studied. Suppose that you decide to research how elementary schoolchildren learn social skills. If you study how children develop social skills, and past research has not examined this topic, your research study addresses a gap in knowledge. If your study explores how African American children use social skills on their way home from school, your study might replicate past studies but would test results with new participants at a different research site. If your study examines how children use social skills when at play, not on the school grounds, but on the way home from school, the study would contribute to knowledge by expanding our understanding of the topic. If your study examines female children on the way home from school, your study would add female voices seldom heard in the research. If your study has implications for how to teach social skills to students, it has practical value. Research Improves Practice Research is also important because it suggests improvements for practice. Armed with research results, teachers and other educators become more effective professionals. This effectiveness translates into better learning for kids. For instance, through research, personnel involved in teacher education programs in schools of education know much more about training teachers today than they did 20 years ago. Zeichner (1999) summarized the impact of research on teacher training during this period (see Table 1.1). Teacher trainers today know about the academic capabilities of students, the characteristics of good teacher training programs, the recurring practices in teacher training programs, the need to challenge student beliefs and worldviews, and the tensions teacher educators face within their institutions. But before these research results can impact teacher training or any other aspect of education, individuals in educational settings need to be aware of results from investigations, to know how to read research studies, to locate useful conclusions from them, and to apply the findings to their own unique situations. Educators using research may be teachers in preschool through Grade 12, superintendents in school district offices, school psychologists working with children with behavioral problems, or adult educators who teach English as a second language. Research may help these individuals improve their practices on the job. Research offers practicing educators new ideas to consider as they go about their jobs. From reading research studies, educators can learn about new practices that have been CHAPTER 1 The Process of Conducting Research Using Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches TABLE 1.1 Zeichner’s (1999) Summary of Major Research Results in Teacher Education Research Conducted What Researchers Have Learned Surveys about students in teacher education programs • From academic, social class, racial, ethnic, and gender characteristics of both teacher educators and their students, the research has challenged the misconception that students who go into teaching are academically inferior to those who go into other fields. • Despite changing U.S. demographics, teacher education programs admit mostly students who are white, monolingual English speakers. Specific case studies of individual teacher education programs • Successful teacher education programs have a coherent vision of good teaching and close links to local schools. • Researchers need to spend time living in teacher education programs to understand them. Conceptual and historical research on teacher education programs • Teacher education programs differ in their approaches, such as the importance of disciplinary knowledge versus students learning versus critiquing societal inequalities in schooling practices. • Programs throughout the 20th century have emphasized recurring practices such as performance-based teacher education. Studies of learning to teach in different settings • It is difficult to change the tacit beliefs, understandings, and worldviews that students bring to teacher education programs. • The impact of a program on students can be increased through cohort groups, portfolio development, case studies, and narratives in which they examine their beliefs. Nature and impact of teacher education activities and self-studies • Despite the sometimes unfavorable structural conditions of teacher educators’ work, their voices are being heard. • Teachers, in these self-studies, describe the tensions and contradictions involved in being a teacher educator. tried in other settings or situations. For example, the adult educator working with immigrants may find that small-group interaction that focuses on using cultural objects from the various homelands may increase the rate at which immigrants learn the English language. Research also helps practitioners evaluate approaches that they hope will work with individuals in educational settings. This process involves sifting through research to determine which results will be most useful. This process is demonstrated in Figure 1.1, which focuses on three steps that a classroom teacher might use (Connelly, Dukacz, & Quinlan, 1980). As shown in Figure 1.1, a teacher first decides what needs to be implemented in the classroom, then examines alternative lines of research, and finally decides which line of research might help accomplish what needs to be done. For example, a reading teacher decides to incorporate more information about cultural perspectives into the classroom. Research suggests that this may be done with classroom interactions by inviting speakers to the room (line A) or by having the children consider and think (cognitively) about different cultural perspectives by talking with individuals at a local cultural center (line B). It may also be accomplished by having the children inquire into cultural messages embedded within advertisements (line C) or identify the cultural subject matter of speeches of famous Americans (line D). A line of research is then chosen that helps the teacher to accomplish classroom goals. This teacher might be Maria, our teacher conducting research on weapon possession in schools and its potential for violence. Maria hopes to present options for dealing with this issue to her committee and needs to identify useful research lines and consider approaches taken by other schools. 5 6 PART I An Introduction to Educational Research FIGURE 1.1 Lines of Research and Your Decision Making St ep 1. Dec ide what yo u w a n t t o d o i n y o u r c l a s s r o o m ( e . g . , i n c o r p o r a t e m o r e inf or m at ion about c ult u r a l p e r s p e c t i v e s i n t h e c l a s s r o o m ) . St ep 2. Find out what r e s e a r c h h a s t o s a y . Research Lines A Adv ant ages of inv it ed s peak er s B Immersion in cultural settings C Sensitivity to cultural messages D Study specific cultural words, as found in speeches Findings A Findings B Findings C Findings D St ep 3. Dec ide whic h o f t h e l i n e s o f r e s e a r c h m i g h t h e l p y o u d o t h e t h i n g s y ou want t o do in y our c l a s s r o o m . Source: Adapted from Connelly, Dukacz, & Quinian, 1980. At a broader level, research helps the practicing educator build connections with other educators who are trying out similar ideas in different locations. Special education teachers, for example, may establish connections at research conferences where individuals report on topics of mutual interest, such as using small-group strategies for discipline management in classrooms. Research Informs Policy Debates In addition to helping educators become better practitioners, research also provides information to policy makers when they research and debate educational topics. Policy makers may range from federal government employees and state workers to local school board members and administrators, and they discuss and take positions on educational issues important to constituencies. For these individuals, research offers results that can help them weigh various perspectives. When policy makers read research on issues, they are informed about current debates and stances taken by other public officials. To be useful, research needs to have clear results, be summarized in a concise fashion, and include data-based evidence. For example, research useful to policy makers might summarize the alternatives on: ◆ Welfare and its effect on children’s schooling among lower income families ◆ School choice and the arguments proposed by opponents and proponents Several Problems with Research Today Despite the importance of research, we need to realistically evaluate its contributions. Sometimes the results show contradictory or vague findings. An education aide to the CHAPTER 1 The Process of Conducting Research Using Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches Education and Labor Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives for 27 years expressed this confusion: “I read through every single evaluation . . . looking for a hard sentence—a declarative sentence—something that I could put into the legislation, and there were very few” (Viadero, 1999, p. 36). Not only are policy makers looking for a clear “declarative sentence,” many readers of educational research search for some evidence that makes a direct statement about an educational issue. On balance, however, research accumulates slowly, and what may seem contradictory comes together to make sense in time. Based on the information known, for example, it took more than 4 years to identify the most rudimentary factors about how chairpersons help faculty become better researchers (Creswell, Wheeler, Seagren, Egly, & Beyer, 1990). Another problem with research is the issue of questionable data. The author of a particular research report may not have gathered information from people who are able to understand and address the problem. The number of participants may also be dismally low, which can cause problems in drawing appropriate statistical conclusions. The survey used in a study may contain questions that are ambiguous and vague. At a technical level, the researcher may have chosen an inappropriate statistic for analyzing the data. Just because research is published in a well-known journal does not automatically make it “good” research. To these issues we could add unclear statements about the intent of the study, the lack of full disclosure of data collection procedures, or inarticulate statements of the research problem that drives the inquiry. Research has limits, and you need to know how to decipher research studies because researchers may not write them as clearly and accurately as you would like. We cannot erase all “poor” research reported in the educational field. We can, however, as responsible inquirers, seek to reconcile different findings and employ sound procedures to collect and analyze data and to provide clear direction for our own research. THE SIX STEPS IN THE PROCESS OF RESEARCH When researchers conduct a study, they proceed through a distinct set of steps. Years ago these steps were identified as the “scientific method” of inquiry (Kerlinger, 1972; Leedy & Ormrod, 2001). Using a “scientific method,” researchers: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ Identify a problem that defines the goal of research Make a prediction that, if confirmed, resolves the problem Gather data relevant to this prediction Analyze and interpret the data to see if it supports the prediction and resolves the question that initiated the research Applied today, these steps provide the foundation for educational research. Although not all studies include predictions, you engage in these steps whenever you undertake a research study. As shown in Figure 1.2, the process of research consists of six steps: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Identifying a research problem Reviewing the literature Specifying a purpose for research Collecting data Analyzing and interpreting the data Reporting and evaluating research 7 8 PART I An Introduction to Educational Research FIGURE 1.2 The Research Process Cycle Reporting and Evaluating Research • Deciding on audiences • Structuring the report • Writing the report sensitively Analyzing and Interpreting Data • Breaking down the data • Representing the data • Explaining the data Identifying a Research Problem • Specifying a problem • Justifying it • Suggesting the need to study it for audiences Reviewing the Literature • Locating resources • Selecting resources • Summarizing resources Collecting Data Specifying a Purpose for Research • Identifying the purpose statement • Narrowing the purpose statement to research questions or hypotheses • Selecting individuals to study • Obtaining permissions • Gathering information Identifying a Research Problem You begin a research study by identifying a topic to study—typically an issue or problem in education that needs to be resolved. Identifying a research problem consists of specifying an issue to study, developing a justification for studying it, and suggesting the importance of the study for select audiences that will read the report. By specifying a “problem,” you limit the subject matter and focus attention on a specific aspect of study. Consider the following “problems,” each of which merits research: ◆ Teens are not learning how to connect to others in their communities ◆ Teenage smoking will lead to many premature deaths These needs, issues, or controversies arise out of an educational need expressed by teachers, schools, policy makers, or researchers, and we refer to them as research problems. You will state them in introductory sections of a research report and provide a rationale for their importance. In a formal sense, these problems are part of a larger written section called the “statement of the problem,” and this section includes the topic, the problem, a justification for the problem, and the importance of studying it for specific audiences such as teachers, administrators, or researchers. Let’s examine Maria’s research to see how she will specify her study’s research problem. Maria plans to study school violence and weapon possession in schools. She starts with a problem: escalating weapon possession among students in high schools. She needs to justify the problem by providing evidence about the importance of this problem and documenting how her study will provide new insight into the problem. In her research, Marie will need to identify and justify the research problem that she is studying. Reviewing the Literature It is important to know who has studied the research problem you plan to examine. You may fear that you will initiate and conduct a study that merely replicates prior research. CHAPTER 1 The Process of Conducting Research Using Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches However, faculty and advisors often fear that you will plan a study that does not build on existing knowledge and does not add to the accumulation of findings on a topic. Because of these concerns, reviewing the literature is an important step in the research process. Reviewing the literature means locating summaries, books, journals, and indexed publications on a topic; selectively choosing which literature to include in your review; and then summarizing the literature in a written report. The skills required for reviewing the literature develop over time and with practice. You can learn how to locate journal articles and books in an academic library, access computerized databases, choose and evaluate the quality of research on your topic, and summarize it in a review. Library resources can be overwhelming, so having a strategy for searching the literature and writing the review is important. Let’s examine Maria’s approach to reviewing the literature. To inform her committee about the latest literature on school violence and to plan her own research, Maria needs to conduct a literature review. This process will involve becoming familiar with the university library holdings, spending time reviewing resources and making decisions about what literature to use, and writing a formal summary of the literature on school violence. She consults the library catalog at her university and plans to search the computerized databases. In order to review the literature, Maria will need to become familiar with the literature and visit her university library. Specifying a Purpose for Research If your research problem covers a broad topic of concern, you need to focus it so that you can study it. A focused restatement of the problem is the purpose statement. This statement conveys the overall objective or intent of your research. As such, it is the most important statement in your research study. It introduces the entire study, signals the procedures you will use to collect data, and indicates the types of results you hope to find. The purpose for research consists of identifying the major intent or objective for a study and narrowing it into specific research questions or hypotheses. The purpose statement contains the major focus of the study, the participants in the study, and the location or site of the inquiry. This purpose statement is then narrowed to research questions or predictions that you plan to answer in your research study. Let’s check again with Maria to see how she will write a purpose statement and research questions. Maria now needs to write down the purpose of her study and formulate the questions she will ask of the individuals selected for her study. In draft after draft, she sketches this purpose statement, recognizing that it will provide major direction for her study and help keep her focused on the primary aim of her study. From this broad purpose, Maria now needs to narrow her study to specific questions or statements that she would like her participants to answer. Maria will need to write a good purpose statement and the research questions for her study. Collecting Data Evidence helps provide answers to your research questions and hypotheses. To get these answers, you engage in the step of collecting or gathering data. Collecting data means identifying and selecting individuals for a study, obtaining their permission to study them, and gathering information by asking people questions or observing their behaviors. Of paramount concern in this process is the need to obtain accurate data from individuals 9 10 PART I An Introduction to Educational Research and places. This step will produce a collection of numbers (test scores, frequency of behaviors) or words (responses, opinions, quotes). Once you identify these individuals and places, you write method or procedure sections into your research studies. These sections offer detailed, technical discussions about the mechanics and administration of data collection. Many decisions, however, go into creating a good data collection procedure. Let’s see how Maria will address data collection. At this point in the research process, Maria needs to think about where she will conduct her study of school violence and weapon possession, who will participate in the study, how she will obtain permission to study them, what data she will collect, and how she will gather the data. She needs to decide whether she will have students fill out forms or talk to them directly to gather data to answer her research questions. Whichever course she chooses, she will need permission from the high school students and, because the students are minors, from their parents. Maria will engage in the steps of data collection to gather the data she needs to address her research questions. Analyzing and Interpreting the Data During or immediately after data collection, you need to make sense of the information supplied by individuals in the study. Analysis consists of “taking the data apart” to determine individual responses and then “putting it together” to summarize it. Analyzing and interpreting the data involves drawing conclusions about it; representing it in tables, figures, and pictures to summarize it; and explaining the conclusions in words to provide answers to your research questions. You report analysis and interpretation in sections of a research report usually titled Results, Findings, or Discussions. How will Maria analyze and interpret the data in her research? If Maria collects information on a written questionnaire from students across the school district, she will need to enter the questionnaire responses into a computer program, choose a statistical procedure, conduct the analyses, report the results in tables, and draw conclusions about (or interpret) whether the data confirm or disconfirm her expected trends or predictions. If she conducts face-to-face interviews, she will collect audiotapes of students talking about weapon possession at school and transcribe these tapes to obtain a written record. With her transcriptions, she will engage in making sense of student comments by selecting specific sentences and paragraphs and by identifying themes of information. From these themes, she will interpret the meaning of student comments in light of her own personal stance and the suggestions found in past studies. For help in the data analysis and interpretation phase of her study, Maria will need to analyze her data and make an interpretation to answer her research questions. Reporting and Evaluating Research After conducting your research, you will develop a written report and distribute it to select audiences (such as fellow teachers, administrators, parents, students) that can use your information. Reporting research involves deciding on audiences, structuring the report in a format acceptable to these audiences, and then writing the report in a manner that is sensitive to all readers. The audiences for research will vary from academic researchers who contribute and read journal articles, to faculty advisors and committees that review master’s theses and dissertations, to personnel in educational agencies and CHAPTER 1 The Process of Conducting Research Using Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches school districts who look for reports of research on timely topics. Your structure for the research report will vary for each audience, from a formal format for theses and dissertations to a more informal document for in-house school reports. In all types of reports, however, researchers need to be respectful and to avoid language that discriminates on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, or ethnic group. The audience for your report will have its own standards for judging the quality and utility of the research. Evaluating research involves assessing the quality of a study using standards advanced by individuals in education. Unfortunately, there are no ironclad standards for evaluating educational research in the academic research community; in school districts; or in local, state, or federal agencies. Still, we need some means of determining the quality of studies, especially published research or reports presented to practitioner audiences. Let’s look at how Maria thinks about organizing her research report. Maria thinks about how she will organize her final report to her school committee and to her university graduate committee. Her graduate committee likely has a structure in mind for her graduate research study, and she needs to consult her faculty advisor about the format that students typically use. She should have a general idea about what the major sections of the study will be, but the contents of the specific paragraphs and ideas will take shape as her data analysis and interpretation progress. Her school report will likely be different from her research report. The school report will be informative and concise, will offer recommendations, and will include minimal discussions about methods and procedures. Whatever the audience and structure for her report, it must be respectful of the audience and be devoid of discriminatory language. Maria will need to organize and report her research in ways suitable for different audiences. THE CHARACTERISTICS OF QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN EACH OF THE SIX STEPS Conducting educational research is more than engaging in the major steps in the process of research. It also includes designing and writing the research in one of the two major tracks: quantitative research or qualitative research. The way that this unfolds is illustrated in the flow of the research process as shown in Figure 1.3. Based on the nature of the research problem and the questions that will be asked to address the problem (and accompanying review of the literature that establishes the importance of the problem), the researcher chooses either the quantitative or qualitative research track. The problem, the questions, and the literature reviews help to steer the researcher toward either the quantitative or qualitative track. These, in turn, inform the specific research design to be used and the procedures involved in them, such as sampling, data collection instruments or protocols, the procedures, the data analysis, and the final interpretation of results. What are the characteristics of quantitative and qualitative research tracks at each step in this research process? As each characteristic is discussed, it is helpful to first examine two sample journal articles at the end of this chapter because these articles will be cited with illustrations for each characteristic. Marginal notes have been inserted into the articles to identify the specific passage containing the quantitative and qualitative 11 12 PART I An Introduction to Educational Research FIGURE 1.3 Flow of the Research Process through Quantitative and Qualitative Research RESEARCH PROCESS Research Problem Literature Review Research Questions Quantitative Research Qualitative Research Research Designs Quantitative Designs • Experimental • Correlational • Survey Sampling Combined Designs Qualitative Designs • Mixed methods • Action research • Grounded theory • Ethnography • Narrative Instruments/ Protocols Data Analysis Interpretation Discussion, Conclusions, Limitations, Future Research characteristics. The first article is quantitative research while the second is qualitative research. These two articles were chosen because they are good representatives of both tracks of research and they illustrate within them good procedures of research. They will become a frame of reference for each step in the process of research for the quantitative and qualitative tracks. The two articles are: ◆ Quantitative: Deslandes, R., & Bertrand, R. (2005). Motivation of parent involvement in secondary-level schooling. Journal of Educational Research, 98 (3), 164–175. ◆ Qualitative: Shelden, D. L., Angell, M. E., Stoner, J. B., & Roseland, B. D. (2010). School principals’ influence on trust: Perspectives of mothers of children with disabilities. Journal of Educational Research, 103, 159–170. CHAPTER 1 The Process of Conducting Research Using Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches Quantitative Research Characteristics In quantitative research the major characteristics are: ◆ Describing a research problem through a description of trends or a need for an explanation of the relationship among variables ◆ Providing a major role for the literature through suggesting the research questions to be asked and justifying the research problem and creating a need for the direction (purpose statement and research questions or hypotheses) of the study ◆ Creating purpose statements, research questions, and hypotheses that are specific, narrow, measurable, and observable ◆ Collecting numeric data from a large number of people using instruments with preset questions and responses ◆ Analyzing trends, comparing groups, or relating variables using statistical analysis, and interpreting results by comparing them with prior predictions and past research ◆ Writing the research report using standard, fixed structures and evaluation criteria, and taking an objective, unbiased approach In quantitative research, the investigator identifies a research problem based on trends in the field or on the need to explain why something occurs. Describing a trend means that the research problem can be answered best by a study in which the researcher seeks to establish the overall tendency of responses from individuals and to note how this tendency varies among people. For example, you might seek to learn how voters describe their attitudes toward a bond issue. Results from this study can inform how a large population views an issue and the diversity of these views. However, some quantitative research problems require that you explain how one variable affects another. Variables are an attribute (e.g., attitude toward the school bond issue) or characteristic of individuals (e.g., gender) that researchers study. By explaining a relation among variables, you are interested in determining whether one or more variables might influence another variable. For example, quantitative researchers may seek to know why certain voters voted against the school bond issue. The variables, gender and attitude toward the quality of the schools, may influence individuals’ vote on the bond issue. For example, examine the sample quantitative article—the parent involvement study—at the end of this chapter. The authors in the parent involvement study (Deslandes & Bertrand, 2005) are less interested in describing the level of parent involvement in secondary-level schooling and more interested in examining the relationship between four factors—parents’ role construction, self-efficacy, perceptions of teacher invitations, and perceptions of adolescent invitations—as predictors of parent involvement at home and at school. To examine this relation, they collect survey data from 770 parents of children in Grades 7, 8, and 9 (American system equivalents to Canadian schools). Thus, the problem being addressed is that we know little about what factors relate to parental involvement in secondary-level schooling. Assessing whether certain factors predict an outcome is best suited to quantitative research. In reviewing the literature in quantitative research, you will typically see a substantial literature review at the beginning of the study. Thus, the literature plays a major role in two ways: justifying the need for the research problem and suggesting potential purposes and research questions for the study. Justifying the research problem means that you use the literature to document the importance of the issue examined in the study. To accomplish this, you search the literature, locate studies that identify the problem as important to examine, and then cite this literature in the opening sections of a research report. The literature also creates a need for the study, as expressed specifically in the purpose statement and the research questions or hypotheses. You identify in the literature 13 14 PART I An Introduction to Educational Research key variables, relations, and trends, and use these to provide direction for your research questions and hypotheses. A literature review on college students, for example, may show that we know little about the problem of binge drinking. Existing literature, however, may identify the importance of peer groups and styles of interacting among student peer groups. Thus, important research questions might address how peers and their interaction styles influence binge drinking on college campuses. In this way, the literature in a quantitative study both documents the need to study the problem and provides direction for the research questions. In the quantitative parent involvement study (Deslandes & Bertrand, 2005), the authors cite extensive literature at the beginning of the article. In these paragraphs, the authors rely on the model of the parent involvement process, and they discuss the literature surrounding each of the four major factors that are expected to influence parental involvement. They begin by reviewing the literature about the demographic or personal factors such as family size and educational level, then they proceed to review the literature about the major factors in the study that they predict will influence parental involvement—parents’ role construction, parents’ self-efficacy, parents’ perceptions of teacher invitations, and parents’ perceptions of student invitations. In this way, the introduction establishes the research that has been reported in the literature on each of the four factors in the study and foreshadows the research questions that will be addressed in the study. In quantitative research questions, you ask specific, narrow questions to obtain measurable and observable data on variables. The major statements and questions of direction in a study—the purpose statement, the research questions, and the hypotheses—are specific and narrow because you identify only a few variables to study. From a study of these variables, you obtain measures or assessments on an instrument or record scores on a scale from observations. For example, in a study of adolescent career choices, the variable, the role of the school counselor, narrows the study to a specific variable from among many variables that might be studied (e.g., role of parents, personal investment by student). To examine the impact of the school counselor on adolescent career choices, data must be obtained from the students. In the quantitative parent involvement study (Deslandes & Bertrand, 2005), the authors narrow and select a few factors that they predict will explain parental involvement. They state their purpose of the study and the major research questions. They say that they will examine four factors that influence parental involvement at home and at school, and then they identify the four factors that they predict will influence this involvement. Thus, their research questions are specific to four factors, and later in the method section, they explain how they will measure these factors. In quantitative data collection, you use an instrument to measure the variables in the study. An instrument is a tool for measuring, observing, or documenting quantitative data. It contains specific questions and response possibilities that you establish or develop in advance of the study. Examples of instruments are survey questionnaires, standardized tests, and checklists that you might use to observe a student’s or teacher’s behaviors. You administer this instrument to participants and collect data in the form of numbers. For instance, you might collect responses based on students checking boxes on a form, or from checklists you complete as you watch a student perform a task in the classroom. The intent of this process is to apply the results (called generalizing the results) from a small number of people to a large number. The larger the number of individuals studied, the stronger the case for applying the results to a large number of people. For example, on a survey sent to 500 parents in a school district, the researcher seeks information about parents’ attitudes toward the educational needs of pregnant teenagers in the schools. The researcher selects an instrument, “Attitudes toward Education of Pregnant CHAPTER 1 The Process of Conducting Research Using Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches Teenagers,” found through a search of library resources. The 500 parents who receive this instrument represent a cross section of people from all socioeconomic levels in the school district. After collecting and analyzing this data, the investigator will draw conclusions about all parents in this school district based on the representative sample studied. Data collection is also an integral part of the quantitative parent involvement study (Deslandes & Bertrand, 2005). The authors study a large number of parents (i.e., 770) of children in Grades 7, 8, and 9. They survey parents using an adaptation of the instrument, “Sharing the Dream! Parent Questionnaire,” as well as items on a questionnaire designed by other researchers to assess parents’ perceptions of student invitations. The survey items are translated into French to fit the Quebec context, and they gather quantifiable data (scores) on the survey. They discuss the scales used to collect the data and how they are scored (i.e., from 1 = disagree very strongly to 6 = agree very strongly). In quantitative data analysis, you analyze the data using mathematical procedures, called statistics. These analyses consist of breaking down the data into parts to answer the research questions. Statistical procedures such as comparing groups or relating scores for individuals provide information to address the research questions or hypotheses. You then interpret the results of this analysis in light of initial predictions or prior studies. This interpretation is an explanation as to why the results turned out the way they did, and often you will explain how the results either support or refute the expected predictions in the study. For example, in the parent involvement study (Deslandes & Bertrand, 2005), the authors collect responses from the parents of secondary-level students who provide scores on the survey instrument. The survey has questions relating to each of the eight factors (or constructs) and the outcome measures as shown in Table 2. To examine the relation of factors to parental involvement, the researchers do not use all of the items on the survey because some were not good measures of the factors. They use a statistical program (i.e., factor analysis) to help them identify the most important questions for each of the four scales composed of items (or factors) in the study. With this reduced set of questions for each of the four factors in the study, they then conduct descriptive analysis (i.e., means and standard deviations as shown in Table 3), and use the statistical program of regression statistical analysis to predict whether the control or personal items or four predictors best explain the variation in scores for parent involvement. From Tables 4 and 5, we see what variables best explain the variation for each grade level (7, 8, 9) and for the two outcome measures of parent involvement at home and parent involvement at school. In short, the authors use statistical analysis consisting of three phases: factor analysis, descriptive analysis, and regression analysis. The ultimate goal was to relate variables to see what predictors (demographics or the four factors) best explain parental involvement. Then, in the implication section of the article, the authors discuss the main results of the study and compare their results with those found in other studies in the literature. In reporting and evaluating quantitative research, the overall format for a study follows a predictable pattern: introduction, review of the literature, methods, results, and discussion. This form creates a standardized structure for quantitative studies. In addition, it also leads to specific criteria that you might use to judge the quality of a quantitative research report. For example, you examine a quantitative study to see if it has an extensive literature review; tests good research questions and hypotheses; uses rigorous, impartial data collection procedures; applies appropriate statistical procedures; and forms interpretations that naturally follow from the data. In quantitative research, you also use procedures to ensure that your own personal biases and values do not influence the results. You use instruments that have proven value and that have reliable and valid scores from past uses. You design studies to control 15 16 PART I An Introduction to Educational Research for all variables that might introduce bias into a study. Finally, you report research without referring to yourself or your personal reaction. In the quantitative parent involvement study (Deslandes & Bertrand, 2005), the authors subdivide the research into standard sections typically found in quantitative studies. The study begins with an introduction that includes the literature review, purpose statement, and research questions; the methods; the results; the discussion; and, finally, the implications and limitations. The entire study conveys an impersonal, objective tone, and they do not bring either their biases or their personal opinions into the study. They use proven instruments to measure variables, and they employ multiple statistical procedures to build objectivity into the study. Qualitative Research Characteristics In qualitative research, we see different major characteristics at each stage of the research process: ◆ Exploring a problem and developing a detailed understanding of a central phenomenon ◆ Having the literature review play a minor role but justify the problem ◆ Stating the purpose and research questions in a general and broad way so as to the participants’ experiences ◆ Collecting data based on words from a small number of individuals so that the participants’ views are obtained ◆ Analyzing the data for description and themes using text analysis and interpreting the larger meaning of the findings ◆ Writing the report using flexible, emerging structures and evaluative criteria, and including the researchers’ subjective reflexivity and bias Qualitative research is best suited to address a research problem in which you do not know the variables and need to explore. The literature might yield little information about the phenomenon of study, and you need to learn more from participants through exploration. For example, the literature may not adequately address the use of sign language in distance education courses. A qualitative research study is needed to explore this phenomenon from the perspective of distance education students. Unquestionably, using sign language in such courses is complex and may not have been examined in the prior literature. A central phenomenon is the key concept, idea, or process studied in qualitative research. Thus, the research problem of the difficulty in teaching children who are deaf requires both an exploration (because we need to better know how to teach these children) and an understanding (because of its complexity) of the process of teaching and learning. The authors in the sample article on mothers’ trust in school principals (Shelden et al., 2010) build a case for the importance of trust in the opening passages of the article. They suggest that it is an important issue, and that it has a positive effect on student outcomes. They then narrow the discussion to trust of school leaders and then to parents of children with disabilities, and then finally to the relationships between home and school partnerships for students with disabilities. They point out the problem of possible discrepant viewpoints between parents and schools—a potential problem that needs to be addressed. They then discuss the need for exploring further the critical role of principals in establishing trust in the relationships between families of children with disabilities and education professionals. In sum, they open the article by discussing the important central phenomenon of trust and exploring the potential discrepant viewpoints between CHAPTER 1 The Process of Conducting Research Using Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches mothers of individuals with disabilities and principals. They say that they view trust as the “central phenomenon requiring exploration and understanding” (p. 161). In qualitative research, the literature review plays a less substantial role at the beginning of the study than in quantitative research. In qualitative research, although you may review the literature to justify the need to study the research problem, the literature does not provide major direction for the research questions. The reason for this is that qualitative research relies more on the views of participants in the study and less on the direction identified in the literature by the researcher. Thus, to use the literature to foreshadow or specify the direction for the study is inconsistent with the qualitative approach of learning from participants. For example, one qualitative researcher who studied bullying in the schools cited several studies at the beginning of the research to provide evidence for the problem but did not use the literature to specify the research questions. Instead, this researcher attempted to answer in the research the most general, open question possible, “What is bullying?,” and to learn how students constructed their view of this experience. In the illustrative sample qualitative study by Shelden et al. (2010), the authors begin the article by citing numerous studies from the literature. This literature review is not to identify specific questions that need to be answered; instead, the literature review establishes the meaning and importance of the central phenomenon of trust—why it is important and the relationships needed in schools that involve parents and educational teams, including principals. In this article, there is no separate literature review section, and the literature is used to justify the imp...
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Explanation & Answer


Running head: RESEARCH


Understanding Research


Question 1. Defining Terms
For any project paper or semester paper, the research topic is the broader issue or subject
matter a researcher covers in a study, and it can be based on observable facts or phenomena.
However, a research problem is essentially the statement about the matter of concern, a troubling
question, a difficulty, or a situation to be addressed that exists in scholarly literature. Also, the
purpose helps in defining the main objective or intent that a study addresses, after which the
research questions are defined (Creswell, 2019). These are answerable inquiries that help in
reducing study objectives into precise questions.
Research Draft;
Problem Statement
There are remarkable differences in children’s ability to achieve. Some children have
persistence and determination in accomplishing tasks due to internal motivation for learning and
research, whereas others are the opposite. As such, academic resilience explains this difference
where, according to research, some children will feel more competent while handling complex
tasks than others. Resilience can manifest in behavior while at school and when not in school. I
intend to research on both setups, as there are issues like poverty, unique educational needs, or
parental involvement that affect academic resilience.
Purpose of the Study
The study intends to show the importance of parental involvement in enhancing academic
resilience in affected children. Children transiting from home-based teaching to school-based


teaching need to have academic resilience nurtured through parental involvement to overcome
academic challenges.
Research Questions
How can resilience be enhanced for children between the ages of four and six years?
How can kids build resilience in both school and non-school setups? How can kids be taught
such a skill?
Question 2. Justifying a Study
There should be enough justifications for researching a problem. Research should not be
conducted just because a researcher can access research sites, participants, or resources
(Creswell, 2019). A study’s m...

Goes above and beyond expectations!


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