” The quest before you – the quest to find articles that fit one of three main research genres – will prove to be a difficult one… ” The search to find three articles on a particular theme, that fit each of the particular criteria, did indeed prove to be a difficult one; however, it also served as an interesting and eye-opening experience. Many, many hours later – after much questioning, scrutiny and debate – the following represents an analysis of three published works, designed to give a basic understanding of the characteristics of the three approaches to research.
The three hoses selections have been identified as examples of a realist/scientific (quantitative) approach, a subjective/interpretive (qualitative) approach and a critical/ transformation approach to research. Firstly, Leighton, Geekier, Cord, and Heifer’s ” Teacher beliefs about the cognitive diagnostic information of classroom – versus large-scale tests: implications for assessment literacy’ (2010) is a ” cut and dry’ model of quantitative research. As the title implies, this paper presents a substantial literature review, citing upwards of forty studies to Justify the research problem.
They then go on to present the ” hard facts” – the statistical data – collected via a very thorough survey: ” the survey consisted of closed-form items developed to probe teachers’ beliefs about classroom and large-scale tests across three categories of cognitive diagnosis” (p. 13). The large-scale survey was sent to ” six hundred urban and suburban Junior-high and high schools in a mid-size metropolitan area in Canada” (p. 10). The survey was completed anonymously to control for demand characteristics and the researchers then go on to provide a thorough statistical analysis of the responses of the artisans in this study.
The researchers have provided a theory based cause and effect approach to the findings. The fact that the authors of this research are the Designers and Researchers, charged with the task of classification and codification and the detached participants serve only as ” the subjects of observation” is further support to conclude that this is indeed a pure realist-scientific research study. The research is concluded with the ” hard” findings in the Discussion and conclusion section of the paper which identifies the need for assessment literates to understand not only classroom assessments but, also, large-scale tests” (p. 9). Robin Haskell Emcee’s 2007 study, ” What It Meaner to Care: How Educators Conceptualize and Actuality Caring,” in her own words provides through her research “… An opportunity to teach and model this qualitative approach to research” (p. 36). Haskell begins by posing a very important question: ” Why Is Caring Important? ” This is the origin of her research. She goes on to show through shared experiences that ” Caring in the educational context is most often addressed in the literature in three distinctly different yet connected strands of thought.
The data in this research is represented by thick qualitative description in the form of ” surveys of 144 teacher candidates, classroom teachers, and college faculty associated with a mid-Atlantic university’s teacher education program” (abstract). The approach to this ” open-ended” survey was interactive and relative and indicated ” that educators at all levels define and actuality educational ” care” in terms of help they offer to learners, their efforts to get to know and show interest in learners, and listening to learners” (abstract).
Logic and inductive reasoning had to be employed ring this research on authentic teacher caring in schools because as the author puts it ” Caring is one of those elusive notions that is difficult to give shape through tangible measured study’ (p. 33). The author takes on the role of recorder and observer for the purposes of her research. It is also evident that this research project fits the characteristics of a qualitative study because the survey was open- ended, thus allowing teachers to express their own opinions on the subject.
Haskell Emcee refers to herself ” as the principal investigator [and] … The primary survey transcriber and coder” (p. 6). Many ideas came forward in the conclusion of this research such as importance of teachers listening, really listening, to their students and taking the time to get to know them. Finally, Robin H. Bolt in ” What we want: Boys and girls talk about reading” offers up a politically charged piece of critical/transformation research that uncovers inequities in the education system that are leading “… School-age boys [to] score lower than girls at every level on standardized tests of reading comprehension, in almost every country where tested” (ONCE 2002, CTD. In Bolt, p. 1). Bolt’s mission leads the searcher to questioning the types of books we require students to read, where and when students get an opportunity to read (are we allowing them time to read at school), and whether or not schools/learning resource centers are offering up the types of texts boys and girls are interested in.
The data representation that is brought forth by the explication of theory and related research, as well as the researcher’s own ” small empirical study provides further insight into motivations for reading and non-reading by both boys and girls” (abstract) and has for the most part a qualitative, process not product focus. This eye-opening, ” shame on me,” piece of literature brings forth a challenge: this research forces us to pose questions to ourselves and, if brought to a school PL meeting would serve as a stimulus of ideas and dialog.
The origin of knowledge in this work is socially/culturally constructed; a claim can be made that it is not ” mere coincidence” that boys who are not, historically, interested in classroom reading choices are scoring lower on standardized tests and are being turned off from reading. There is a trend, but also there is a reason and possible solution. As Bolt mints out ” interest in the material is key, as is self-selection of materials” (p. 14). The author’s goal with this research is for us to Join him in making a call to action.
The evidence provided along with the dialectal method of reasoning should make us all realize we all need to be concerned. The hidden meaning in this research is that we have a duty, as educators, to ensure that the questions/issues that have been brought to the forefront need to be taken seriously. The author challenges the dominant ideology: that teacher knows best. Bolt states that ” traditional reading instruction, with its reliance on narrative fiction and the aesthetics of reading may not be serving these students best” (p. 14).
Teachers are called to action to do something to ensure that boys are turned onto reading, even if that meaner, as professionals, admitting that we do not know everything. Thus, the search that began with me trying to distinguish which of the search indexes would serve me best – a search whereby all three Journals were accessed via Memorial University’s Library Search site and are all, I am proud to say, examples of peer-reviewed Journals. Throughout the search process I explored several of the reach indexes indicated and all three articles were found using a different search index.
Much of the search time was spent re-familiarizing myself with Moon’s e- journal database. Overall, though I had success with both ERIC and Willow’s Web, I really appreciated the opportunity that ERIC offers to refine your search. One of the most frustrating aspects about the ” search” in general was when I found an abstract that sounded great only to realize that I did not have rights to view the full article. However, I quickly learned to maneuver my way through these obstacles, heading to another search index, in what would often seem to equate to finding a ” needle in the haystack. For example, The Leighton et. AY, (2010) study, ” Teacher beliefs about the cognitive diagnostic information of classroom – versus large-scale tests: Implications for assessment literacy,” from the international Journal Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice was accessed via Taylor & Francis. The quarterly Journal, published out of Abandon, Exosphere, focuses on assessment, ” explore[inning] both commonalities and differences in policy and practice” on international assessment issues.
Emcee’s 2007 qualitative study ” What It Meaner to Care: How Educators Conceptualize and Actuality Caring” printed in the Journal Action in Teacher Education, however, was accessed using Wilson Web. Action in Teacher Education, also a quarterly Journal, is published by Association of Teacher Educators out of Manama’s, Virginia; conversely, its focus is not on one particular area of education, but seems to be open to any submissions that affect the practices and pedagogy involved with teacher education.
And, finally, Bolt’s study (2007), ” What we want: Boys and girls talk about reading,” printed in the American Association of School Librarian’s School Library Media Research Journal and is also peer-reviewed, was accessed via ERIC. The Journal, produced out of Chicago, Illinois, advocates the importance of quality library programs to increasing literacy skills amongst students. This was the last article that I found and, for me, as an English teacher, the most poignant.
As the Department Head of English at my school I have been a big advocate for re-instating the learning resource centre as the heart of our school: a safe and caring place where students can come and immerse themselves in a wide array of literature that ” speaks” to them. So, although there were frustrating moments, I believe that my quest has been a successful one. Having maneuvered my way around some minor frustrations, I have gained a deeper understanding of the three traditions of inquiry and the importance of exploring a variety of scholarly Journals.
I have no doubt that the proficiency I have gained here will benefit me in my future studies. References Bolt, R. (2007). What we want: Boys and girls talk about reading. School Library Media Research, 10. Retrieved from http://www. Eric. De. Gawped/EJ851693. PDF. Abstract Most school-age boys score lower than girls at every level on standardized tests of reading-comprehension in almost every country where tested. The amount of reading that a child does is directly related to reading fluency; the more one reads, the more proficient one becomes.
After reviewing theories and research studies investigating why boys perform less well than girls, a consensus emerges that one reason boys read less is because the kind of reading they are given to do in school does not connect to their interests. A small empirical study in one rural elementary School provides further insight into motivations for reading and non-reading by both boys and girls. The evidence is incontrovertible that as a group, school-age boys score lower than girls at every level on standardized tests, most notably in the United States (ONCE 2002), Canada, England, and Australia, where students are continuously tested.
Therefore, the obvious conclusion from this data is that we are failing to make readers of our sons. Analyses of statistics are many and controversial, especially as the latest round of ” educational reform” fueled by the Education Act of 001 has generated more high-stakes testing of students and measurable accountability on the part of teachers, schools, and school districts. Additionally, computers have made gathering, storing, and analyzing statistics simpler than ever before, and the Internet has made it easier to publish and retrieve them.
But how do the children themselves feel about reading? Teachers and school library media specialists (Slams), trained in reading, in books, and in best practices, often assume that they know what is best for students. At what Juncture should the students’ viewpoints be taken into consideration? Leighton, J. P. , R. J. Geekier, M. K. Cord, C. Hoffmann (2010). Teacher beliefs about the cognitive diagnostic information of classroom -versus large-scale tests: Implications for assessment literacy, Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice, 17(1), 7-21.
Retrieved from http:// PDF Classroom teachers are in the front line of introducing students to formal learning, including assessments, which can be assumed to continue for students should they extend their schooling past the expected mandatory 12 years. The purpose of the present investigation was to survey secondary teachers’ beliefs of classroom and argue-scale tests for (a) providing information about students’ learning processes, (b) influencing meaningful student learning, and (c) eliciting learning or test-taking strategies for successful test performance.
Secondary teachers were surveyed because a majority of large-scale tests are developed for secondary students (e. G. , PISA, TIMES). Results suggested that in comparison to large-scale tests teachers believe classroom tests provide more information about student learning processes, are more likely to influence meaningful student learning, and are more likely to require learning over test-taking strategies. The implications of these results for assessment literacy are explored. Emcee, R. H. (2007).
What It Meaner to Care: How Educators Conceptualize and Actuality Caring. Action in Teacher Education, 29(3) p. 33-42. Retrieved from http://venue. Hollowness. Com. Sea-proxy. Mum. Ca/www/ DARES=/www/results/ results_common. Jhtml. 43 Abstract Seeking to put a face on educators’ conceptualizations of caring, this study examines findings from open-ended surveys of 144 teacher candidates, classroom teachers, and college faculty associated with a mid-Atlantic university’s teacher education aerogram.
Reflecting theoretical constructs described in the literature on resilience, multiculturalism, and the care ethic, findings indicate that educators at all levels define and actuality educational care in terms of help they offer to learners, their efforts to get to know and show interest in learners, and listening to learners. Being compassionate, caring about the individual, and giving their time are also qualities identified, particularly by candidates who are still receiving care from their own teachers. This study also suggests a host of applications in teacher education.