Free Essay About Education Research
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Handout Master 2A
Changing General Topics into Research Questions
How does the size of a class affect student achievement?
Multicultural education at Thurgood Marshall Middle School?
What measures has Thurgood Marshall Middle Scholl put in place to promote multicultural education in its curriculum and everyday learning?
How can individuals effectively deal with and overcome the anxiety that is usually associated with tests?
Women college professors and tenure
How does tenure affect the choices and decision making of women both before and after its attainment?
Alcohol consumption on New Year’s Eve and Super Bowl Sunday
How does alcohol consumption on New Year’s Eve in America compare with alcohol consumption on Super Bowl Sunday?
Single parents and affordable child care
What are the challenges that single parents face in trying to find affordable childcare?
What are the principal factors that determine the counselling style that a counselor adopts or uses towards a certain patient?
Asian American students and positive stereotypes
What are the major positive stereotypes that are ascribed to Asian American students and to what extent do they help to diffuse the negative stereotypes?
The charter school movement in the 20th Century
What is the significance of the charter school movement in the 20th century to the status of education in America today?
Diet and exercise
What are main health benefits of proper dieting and regular exercise to the human body?
Problem Sheet 2: The Research Question
My (restated) research problem is:
The behavior of university professors and critical thinking among students
My research question(s) is/are:
Following are key terms in the problem or question that are not clear and thus need to be defined:
a. Critical thinking
Here are my constitutive definitions of these terms:
Critical thinking: the phrase critical thinking refers to a disciplined kind of thinking that is based on clarity, rationality, open mindedness and this informed by evidence. Critical thinking also involves independent and reflective thinking.
Here are my operational definitions of these terms:
Critical thinking is a thinking process analyzed by a group of independent experts that comprises of an evolving process of analyzing, evaluating and applying information to make a decision on what to do and what to believe. The critical thinking process as judged by the experts possess the following main characteristics
The ability to logically connect various ideas
Solve open ended problems systematically
Derive the importance and relevance of ideas
Identify and construct arguments and detect common mistakes and inconsistences in reasoning.
Make relevant reflections based on an individual own values and beliefs
My justification for investigating this question/problem (why I would argue that it is an important question to investigate) is as follows:
I have decided to investigate this research question because the lack of critical thinking skills is one of the problems that plague many university graduates. A college education is supposed to equip students with crucial critical thinking skills that they will use to survive in the world even when they graduate. Many college professors have often been accused of not promoting critical thinking skills in their students and not teaching them to think critically. It has been argued that many do not know the behaviors or activities that can encourage students to think critically. This is why I have decided to investigate this issue. We are currently living in a world where critical thinking skills are extremely important for one to navigate the world and through this research, I will be able to identify and perhaps show how university professors can teach and encourage their students to think critically.
Research Questions and Related Designs
Is there a relationship between students’ levels of social skills and successful transition into mainstream classes? – Correlational
Does a whole-language curriculum lead to higher student achievement than a phonics curriculum? -Causal comparative
What were the key events that led to the demise of affirmative action in state hiring and college admissions in California? -Case Study
Are the reasons Native American students give for dropping out of school different than those given by non-Native American Indian students? -Ethnography
Operational definitions for the phrase “motivated to learn in a research methods class” and why?
Is observed by the teacher asking questions about past and present reading assignments.
Enjoys reading journal articles on quasi-experimental studies.
Asks the instructor if s/he can prepare an extra-credit assignment on recent trends in the field of educational research.
The three are operational definition because in all of them, there is specification of the actions or operations that are required to measure or identify the term.
How many students in the sophomore class signed up for a course in driver training this semester?
Clarity- 5 –The question is very clear on what the research seeks to investigate
Significance- 1 - There is no information in the research to indicate why it is relevant
Why do so many students in the district say they dislike English
Clarity 3- The question is clear in what the research seeks to investigate although there is an element OF ambiguity due to the use of the word “so many”.
Significance- 1 The question’s significance is questionable since it only seeks an answer whose significance is not straight forward
Is inquiry or lecture more effective in teaching social studies?
Clarity 5- Every single element of the research is clear and from first look, it is clear what the research seeks to find out
Significance 5- The information that the research seeks to find out is highly significant and the results find wide applicability.
Humanistically Oriented Classroom
This is a classroom where by the classroom plan and the curriculum are established after comprehensive deliberations between the teacher and the student. In this classroom, the interests and opinions of students play an active role in curriculum and classroom plan and where the relationship between the teacher and the student is not strictly formal but adopts a friendly nature.
Some terms used frequently in education, such as motivation, achievement, and
Even learning, are very hard to define clearly. Why do you suppose this is so?
The reasons why some of these terms are hard to define is because the words are quite subjective in nature and can mean differently in different contexts and settings. The words are also quite ambiguous because of their descriptive nature and because the magnitude which they define is not clear.
How might the term excellence be defined operationally? Give an example.
Excellence can be defined operationally as extreme high quality
An example would be a student who gets an A grade of 97 points out of a possible 100.
“Even the clearest of definitions does not always guarantee meaningful communication.” Is this really true? Why or why not.
This is true because communication goes beyond mere definitions. Some people require further explanation, for example by the use of examples and samples in order to derive full meaning from a given concept.
We would argue that operational definitions should always be accompanied by constitutive definitions. Would you agree? Can you think of an instance when this might not be necessary?
Yes, an operational definition should always be accompanied by a constitutive definition. I do not think there is any instance when this is unnecessary especially when it comes to research
Most researchers do not believe that research efforts based primarily on personal interest alone warrant investigation. Do you agree in all cases? Can you think of a possible exception?
All educational research should have wide applicability. A research based on personal interests does not warrant an investigation because the results found are of no significance to others. This should apply in all cases and there should be no exception. In addition, a research based on personal interests is likely to be biased and not conclusively researched.
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