The Purpose of Educational Research
The educational research focuses on studying teaching or learning situation with the intention of developing new knowledge aimed at improving educational practice. Locke, Silverman, and Spirduso (2009) have identified a number of variables that educational research seeks to address. They include learning, motivation, teaching, classroom management, and student development. Usually, this form of research involves collecting scientific data on such topics related to education with the main goal of determining the best practices that different stakeholders such as students, supervisors, counselors, and educators can apply to achieve the best learning outcomes.
Educational research, therefore, seeks to identify the best practices that can be applied in teaching. It can be conducted to answer a number of questions related to education including finding out whether positive encouragement helps to improve the learning of students. To answer such questions, scientific methods have to be employed. The use of scientific method in collecting scientific data givens educational research the capacity to provide definitive answers relating to best practices in the field of education.
- What Kind of Things Can We Find Out by Reading Research?The Purpose of Educational Research
Locke, Silverman, and Spirduso (2009, p. 10) note that the kind of information that can be obtained from reading research is influenced most by the perspective of the reader rather than that of the researcher. Different people read research reports for varying reasons depending on their circumstances, needs, and interests. Although the reader’s motivations can only be imagined or predicated, the authors indicate that reading research exposes people to a rich reserve of both facts and ideas. Therefore, reading research gives people research-based knowledge depending on individual personal perspective relating to what is read.
According to Locke, Silverman, and Spirduso (2009, p. 68), reading research helps to solve puzzles since it helps in understanding different reports. The authors, however, point out that this is a function of both reading and studying. They indicate that only a few people can begin a reading a research report continuously from its beginning to end and assimilate it. Understanding research report by reading it involves both reading and studying, where a person flips pages forward and back. Moreover, underlining, highlighting, making notes, and even taking some breaks to understand what has just been read.
- Why is Epistemology an Important Category for Educators and/or Educational Researchers?The Purpose of Educational Research
Epistemology refers to an area of philosophy that concerns itself with knowledge, its nature, and sources. Epistemology is relevant to research given that research involves the development or construction of new knowledge. In educational research, in particular, investigations conducted on students’ beliefs about knowledge form the basis of inquiry into their epistemological beliefs. Educational researchers that conduct investigations on personal epistemology of students develop a better understanding of the learning process.
Moreover, knowledge about student’s epistemology is important for educators since it helps in building a teacher-student and diverse school community. Educators that have a complete understanding of epistemic beliefs better comprehend their students ‘ability to think and reason. Moreover, epistemology helps teachers recognize any differences that may exist in their students in the manner in which the view knowledge. Teachers that recognize personal epistemology are better positioned to engage in reflective thinking.
- Different types of Research Methodology Appeal to Different People. Do you Feel more Comfortable with the Processes of Quantitative or Qualitative Research Methods? Why? What is it You Specifically like or Dislike About Each?The Purpose of Educational Research
Qualitative and quantitative research methods are the two major categories of research mythologies. Qualitative methods produce qualitative data that seeks to give an explanation to the cause of the behavior. On the other hand, quantitative research methods rely on numerical analysis as well as statistics and produce quantitative data. While some of the studies I have conducted warranted only one for of these research methods, others required the use of both quantitative and qualitative methods. However, I tend to feel more comfortable with the process of qualitative research since it helps me acquire in-depth knowledge about the topic at hand. Moreover, I find this qualitative research to be extremely fun and engaging primarily because of its data collection techniques that include interview, focus groups, and observation. I find interviews particularly interesting because they help me to gather precise and meaningful firsthand information. Moreover, a focus group is advantageous given that with the present technology, online surveys can be conducted with ease. I prefer qualitative research because it is less expensive and more flexible than quantities research. Usually, it does not involve extensive methods or a large number of participants. These factors contribute to its flexibility in time and location.
The major reason I dislike qualitative research is that it does not allow for generalization of findings. Usually, the observations made cannot be used as a basis for the general public. Moreover, I tend to become more prone to personal subjectivity as well as bias when using this method. The major advantage that I have found with quantitative research is its cost-effective nature and fast speed with which data can be collected. Unfortunately, this method of research may fail to provide specific details in some cases thereby requiring the use of other methods.
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Working on a Research Project in a Group?
There are several advantages that become evident when working in groups. Research projects don in groups involve extensive discussions, which in turn facilitate idea generation. Usually, choosing the right ideas results in the success of a project. On the other hand, groups projects tend to exhibit a high level of cooperation provided that all members develop a sense of belonging and ownership of the work. This cooperation is necessary for building encouragement and inspiration that help all members to work even harder, pushing themselves further ahead. Finally, group projects involve sharing responsibilities. Since each team member has his or her unique abilities, sharing of responsibilities makes group work easier.
Despite the above-named benefits, there are several challenges that invariably manifest themselves whenever working in a group. First, the availability of multiple opinions usually results in tensions especially in cases where each individual want his or her suggestion to be adopted by the whole group. In some cases, a group could have one or more lazy members that can inconvenience the whole team. They can also result in wastage of time since they require constant checking. A research project done in groups can be affected by relationship challenges where it takes a lot of time to establish human relationships. In other cases, group projects tend to be time-consuming especially where every person’s views have to be heard.The Purpose of Educational Research
Locke, L. F., Silverman, S. J., & Spirduso, W. W. (2009). Reading and understanding research. Sage Publications.