Posted at 10.03.2018
Within research, there are two main paradigms, namely positivist and interpretive. The paradigm a researcher uses will depend on where they see themselves with regards to the earth around them as well as their views and thoughts. Mukherji and Albon (2010: 10) detail this in regard to education when they state, "Influencing the questions that we ask and underpinning the study approach we eventually take are our ideas and conceptions about youth and children. This understanding of children and years as a child ultimately influences the study paradigm that people use. "
Positivist analysts see themselves as outsiders looking 'in' on research. This position is used because the research believes they are really 'individual', not having relationships with the region they are researching. The main goal of research for a positivist is to create an explanation rather than a knowledge. The research completed is objective, without personal bias affecting the research results. The data collected in positivist research is measurable i. e. numerical data officially known as quantitative data. Bassey (no night out cited in Pollard 2002: 37) evidently defines the motive of positivist research when he declares, "For the positivist the goal of research is to spell it out and understand the phenomena of the world and also to promote this understanding with others. "
Bassey's explanation we can fully understand the theory that positivists consider themselves to be unbiased of their research, where they don't have an impression, and instead simply share what they have grasped.
Interpretive researchers see themselves "within the circle", interpreting the entire world around them. They have got an epistemological position of this of someone co-creating and showing knowledge, as well as creating connections furthering their understand of different things of view. The research carried out is subjective, where results can be influenced by the thoughts of the researcher. Data gathered in interpretive research is 'abundant' data, which is usually qualitative, although quantative data can be gathered as well. Bassey (no time frame cited in Pollard 2002: 38) defines once more this is of interpretive research when he mentions "Towards the interpretive researcher, the purpose of research is to describe and interpret the phenomena of the world in tries to get shared so this means with others. "
This reason, highlights the difference between interpretive and positivist research clear. Interpretive experts try to interpret their results and details the meaning to the people, rather then just understanding what they have researched.
Personally, I really believe myself to be within the Interpretive paradigm. My ontological position in education is that of someone sharing knowledge with others to comprehend the world around us. I believe it's important to own good human relationships with people, to enable the knowledge they have got and the data I have will come together for effective understanding how to take place. For the purpose of this research, it was made a decision that interpretivist research methods were to be used, although some positivist methods would also be utilized to collect numerical, measurable data. Through the use of interpretive research methods I was able to become area of the research and totally gauge and understand teachers opinions, on whether children with BESD should be educated in mainstream schools.
Within the interpretive paradigm there are a variety of research methods that might be used when collecting data including:
Action research is practitioner founded research, with the primary emphasis being the change of practice. Experts check out their own practice and try to improve it, and develop their understanding of it. Action research is personal to the researcher, however they do require assistance for others including students and acquaintances in order to implement the best possible changes with their practice. "Action research allows professors to study their own classrooms - for example, their own instructional methods, their own students, their own assessments - to be able to better understand them and also improve their quality or success. " (Mertler, 2006 :2)
Action research is very much indeed an interpretive research method, as the researcher is part of the research. The researcher talks about their own core principles within education, and then makes an attempt to boost their practice to be able to reside in out their ideals in the class room environment. Action research is seen as a circuit where the researcher observes their practice, reflects on what they have seen, plans how to boost it, and then acts on the plans made. (see appendix ?) The researcher may then start the whole process again if indeed they feel they further changes could be produced or these are unsatisfied with the results. In a nutshell, "It really is a powerful method of bridging the difference between your theory and practice of education; for here teachers should develop their own personal ideas of education using their company own class practice. " (McNiff, 1988: 1)
For the purposes of this research, teacher viewpoints and views of addition relating to their own practice were the concentrate, somewhat than adapting personal practice. Due to this, action research was not used as a data collection method. However, if personal attitudes towards addition of children with BESD were to be explored, then action research will be a quite effective research method.
In regard to education, observational research allows the researcher to gather data personally, watch individuals and interpret what they see. It gives the researcher the change to see somewhat than just find out how participant work and react in the classroom environment.
There are two main types of observations found in research which Kumar (2005: 120) details as:
Participant observations require the researcher positively becoming part of an organization for the purposes of research. For example: sitting with a group of children, taking the role of a child learning in the classroom for that lessons. This would permit the researcher to observe firsthand how the children behaved in the lesson, without worries of them performing differently because they recognized these were being viewed.
Non-participant observations entail the researcher not engaging, simply watching as an outsider, without the knowledge of these being observed. For instance: sitting at the back of the school room (with the professors' knowledge) watching the how the children react without their understanding of being witnessed.
Although observations enable actions to be observed rather than informed, one of the cons of this research method is "What counts as proof becomes cloudy immediately in observation, because whatever we observe is determined by when, where and for how much time we look. " (Cohen, Manion and Morrison: 2007: 396)
This alludes to the fact that observations, especially in the class room can be rather short with regards to time, with data therefore only representing part, rather than the whole history.
For the purposes of this research, observations weren't undertaken to assemble data. The main known reasons for this were the limited amount of data that could have been collected, the reliance on lots of factors including child behavior/attendance, and the distance that would have to have been travelled carry out the observations. It had been thought that to get professors ideas and views, observations would only provide a snapshot of their classroom practice instead of what they actually thought individually.
Questionnaires offer experts the possibility to gather huge amounts of data, due to the volume of questions that can be asked. They can contain open up and shut down questions as well as just available or just sealed questions. Questionnaires with shut questions gather quantitative data, that your researcher can evaluate during data analysis. This is because all members have clarified the same questions, selecting one of the options provided. Questionnaires with available and sealed questions accumulate qualitative and quantitative data, because although participants are responding to the same questions to give quantitative results, by requesting "why?" after each question, the researcher has opened up the questionnaire to explanations, hence having qualitative data to analyse as well.
There a wide range of benefits to using questionnaires as a study method. They may be economical to produce, both in expense and time, allowing a huge amount can be delivered thus increasing the opportunity of getting a variety of responses back. Participants also have anonymity, as their name will not appear on the questionnaire which means Kumar (2010: 148) identifies the good thing about this and expresses "As there is no face-to-face conversation between respondents and interviewer, this technique provides higher anonymity. In some situations where hypersensitive questions are asked it can help to boost the odds of obtaining accurate information. "
From this it is clear that if members know they will remain anonymous, they will answer truthfully, which is vital for the research to be appropriate.
There are also cons of using questionnaires, especially having less responses and the lack of explanation of questions. It is unavoidable that some members will not returning their questionnaires, maybe because they may have lost it, or that it was too time consuming to complete and post. Some participants may also not understand the questions, and for that reason leave them blank. Unlike interviews the researcher is not show describe if the participant gets mixed up.
For this research, the drawbacks were considered and alternatives created. With regards to having less reactions, digital questionnaires were designed and emailed to participants in order that they could load them out online, saving them time. There anonymity still remained, as their labels did not come in the replies. QUOTE
In respect to the likelihood of members not understanding questions, a pilot test was completed on the questionnaire to ensure the questions weren't biased, made sense, were understandable and were relevant to the study question. (see pilot test pg. . . . )
For the goal of this research, questionnaires were used as a data collection method. They were chosen because they allowed for a sizable amount of data to be gathered, gathering a variety of views and views from professors regarding the inclusion of children with BESD in mainstream classrooms. The questionnaire contained a number of wide open and closed down questions, which allowed teachers to provide further information relating to the questions. Six members were chosen to take part in filling in the questionnaire as these were identified as having children with BESD in their class.
Interviews are used in research to assemble data immediately from participants. Interviews enable an array of data to be accumulated as the interviewer has the capacity to follow up answers and delve deeper to get further details. "A skilful interviewer can follow up ideas, probe reactions and investigate motives and feelings which questionnaires can't ever do. " (Bell, 2010: 161)
Interviews are a qualitative form of data collection as their results are rich in data and bring meaning. There are a number of benefits and drawbacks of carrying out interviews. One main gain is the actual fact that the researcher is face to face with the participant, therefore can get a feel for the viewpoints and views, rather than simply interpreting them from answers on the questionnaire. One main disadvantage is enough time it takes to carry out the interview, transcribe it and then analyse the info that it has provided. The researcher should make sure that the questions are highly relevant to the study question so that they are not transcribing tons of information which is redundant.
There are two main types of interviews particularly:
Semi - structured
If a researcher selects to undertake a organized interview, they'll ask all members the same questions rather than deviate away from the questions established. A disadvantage of this type of interview is "there is absolutely no chance of additional probing or follow-up questioning based on participants' replies. " (McCrady, B. , Ladd, B. Vermont, L. and Steele, J. , 2010: 116)
If a researcher undertakes a semi-structured interview, they can probe the members further on the answers the give, by including extended questions in the interview. This allows for researchers to fully understand individuals' views and ideas, which might not have been possible from just asking set questions. Walsh (2001: 65) refers to this when he details, "In these situations, the researcher has fewer predetermined questions and is more likely to let the interview develop as a 'guided conversation', based on the interests and wants of the interviewee. "
For the purposes of the research, interviews were used as a way of collecting data. The research question required teachers viewpoints and views of addition of children with BESD, so by interviewing individuals using semi set up interviews, it allowed me to question them further to gain a greater knowledge of where they stood. It was deemed beneficial to use some of the questions from the questionnaire to ask in the interview. This was to allow for greater parity between the two research methods, and invite for clear results to be accumulated. The interview questions were pilot examined, to make sure that they made sense and weren't biased or leading in any way (see pilot analysis page) Two instructors were interviewed, one newly experienced, and one with 19 years experience. These two teachers were determined because they both had children with BESD in their school, and I thought it might be interesting to see if their views differed with experience. Two professors were chosen because this is a tiny scale piece of research, and interviewing more than two would be very time consuming and could have resulted in needless data being collected.
Pilot testing provides a researcher with the opportunity to test their data collection methods. It offers them a big change to test the set in place questions to be sure they are really: understandable, relevant rather than biased or leading. "After good questions have been developed using key points of question engineering, a researcher pilot tests the questions. This helps determine that the individuals in the test are capable of completing the survey and that they can understand the questions. (Cresswell, 2008: 402)
Pilot testing will go quite a distance to insuring that data gathered pays to and significant to the study involved.
For the purposes of the research, pilot evaluation was carried out on both questionnaire and interview. Two members were chosen to complete the questionnaire and offer feedback focusing on the design and amount of the questionnaire, as well as whether they thought the questions were leading, relevant and understandable. One participant was chosen to pilot the interview, and offer reviews on its relevance, span, possibilities of bias and structure. The data collected from pilot trials was not found in the research, but the feedback provided was taken into account, and relevant changes designed to the questionnaire and interview to insure valuable data, relevant to the study question was gathered.
To completely determine professionals' ideas of whether children with BESD should be trained in mainstream universities, it was essential to carry out a small-scale research. Having explored the books available it was then essential to explore educators own viewpoints and feelings, especially those educating children with various behavioural, psychological and social problems. Two interviews and six questionnaires were carried out, with these procedures of collection regarded the most appropriate in order to comprehend this alternatively opinionated region of education.
This chapter focuses on the moral issues considered before, after and during this research was completed.
When undertaking research, whether small or large level, it is essential to keep in mind the ethical implications that surround it. Johnson and Christensen (2010: 99) provide a clear meaning of ethics when they say, "Ethics are the ideas' and guidelines that help uphold the items we value. "
For research to be correct and successful, participant's ideas, opinions and thoughts need to be collected, interpreted and analysed. This cannot be carried out 'off the cuff'; instead certain steps must be taken to insure ethical implications have been considered and executed within the study. This research was carried out in conjunction with SMUC ethical rules. Throughout each stage of research, moral issues were well thought out and are complete under the following headings:
Permission from Participants
The headings were viewed as essential factors that needed to be in place in order for the research to be ethically sensible. Lodico, Spaulding and Voegtle (2010: 18) strengthen the value of making sure all ethical implications are believed when carrying out research, including getting agreement, preserving anonymity and enabling refusal, "For the most part, issues of ethics concentrate on establishing safeguards that will protect the protection under the law of participants. The traditional and often dominant conditions that emerge when considering research ethics entail obtaining up to date consent from participants, guarding them from damage, and ensuring confidentiality. "
Before any educational research occurs, it is paramount for the researcher to gain agreement from all members taking part in the research. By giving their permission, members are indicating they have understood the study being carried out and give their permission for their data to be utilized. The British Educational Research Connection (2004: 6) details "The Association takes voluntary informed consent to be the condition in which members understand and consent to their participation with no duress, before the research getting underway. "
For the goal of this research, permission was requested from the relevant participants before any research took place, and they were made aware of the research question and just why that they had been decided on. A notice was sent to the relevant universities detailing the study question, seeking authorization for participants of personnel to fill out questionnaires and be open to the possibility of being interviewed. (Appendix ?) If schools wished to give their authorization, they delivered the consent form located at the bottom of the original notice in the self-addressed envelope provided. The individuals who had been chosen to complete questionnaires were sent electronic digital questionnaires, which at the top gave a short explanation of the study. These were then asked to go through the check box to state they were giving their consent because of their data to be used as part of the research. The members who had been interviewed signed a declaration form (appendix ?) saying they understood the study being completed as well as presenting their consent. Participants can provide implied (verbal) or explicit consent (written) to take part in research. However, for the purposes of the research however, written permission was preferred as hard data in the event of any moral issues arose through the research process.
It is vital when undertaking research that the researcher remains professional all the time. Individuals must be cared for with respect and kept modified throughout the study process. Allowing individuals to access done research is effective as it gives them the chance to see how their data has been used. It is also important that participants are given the option of data refusal. This means that their data is not used in any way in the research and is also removed on immediate request. A romance of trust and admiration should be in place between the researcher and the participant, and even though the participant has given permission for their data to be used, refusal and access must be allowed throughout the whole process. Iltis (2006: 8) suggests that "it ought to be clarified to personal that by searching for a report they aren't committed to left over in the study plus they may terminate their participation at any time. "
Throughout this research, participants received the right of refusal as well as an possibility to view research once completed. Allowing individuals to view the done research will be extremely beneficial, as it'll allow them to give feedback and help develop any future research performed.
Researchers must do all they can to protect the anonymity of participants and keep any personal data private. Members give information in good trust, and it might be unethical for a researcher to say members within research or leave data in places where others could access it. Foreman-Peck and Winch (2010: 119) depth the value of anonymity when they state "Such promised receive to safeguard the identity of the members. This is necessary to protect them from any dangerous consequences of hypersensitive or negative findings, or indeed the stigmatisation of institutions or neighborhoods. "
Throughout this research, the anonymity of all members has been upheld, without personal information, including their name or college mentioned. Instead, participants have been given a selected number, e. g. tutor 1, which is described throughout the study. The data collected has been held in a private box, rather than left anywhere that would enable others to read it.
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