When I Think About Research……..

As Albert Einstein once remarked: “If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?”

When I Think About Research…..

When I think about research and this class, I feel like a caterpillar. I have gone through many phases as I struggled through the research process. My insights are numerous. This class has broaden and increased my own discipline. Professionally, I feel grounded, prepared, and capable to share, demonstrate, and prove many unanswered research questions pertaining to early childhood education. I have an understanding that all research needs to be theoretically grounded, well designed, methodically analysed, feasible, ethically fair and just (Mac Naughton, Rolfe, & Siraj-Blatchford, 2010).

I did not have any preconceived jdeas concerning research. I wanted to grasp all new concepts, ideas, issues, questions, and draw as many valid conclusions possible though research to advance early childhood education. Research must go through a process and answer important questions about early childhood education to become valid. Researchers must be great planners and designers. The following list is essential to complete a research study:

  • select a topic
  • review literature
  • formulated a research issue/question
  • design research
  • collect data
  • sample population
  • explore validity
  • analyse data
  • draw research conclusion (Mac Naughton, Rolfe, & Siraj-Blatchford, 2010).

My greatest challenges were creating a hypothesis, distinguishing between a dependent and independent variables, and validity/biases in the research process. My professor was a great asset in critiquing my applications. I read her notes numerous times. I kept in mind the definition of a hypothesis and the following factors.

A hypothesis should always:

  • explain what you expect to happen
  • be clear and understandable
  • be testable
  • be measurable
  • contain an independent and dependent variable

Validity/Bias:

Bias is defined as “the combination of various design, data, analysis, and presentation factors that tend to produce research findings when they should not be produced.”  “Bias is a form of systematic error, and there are innumerable causes (Sica, (2010).  The causes of bias can be related to the manner in which study subjects are chosen, the method in which study variables are collected or measured, the attitudes or preferences of an investigator, and the lack of control of confounding variables… in epidemiologic terms bias can lead to incorrect estimates of association, or, more simply, the observed study results will tend to be in error and different from the true result (Ioannidis, (2010).   Some bias in research arises from experimental error; however, research biases tend to arise when researchers select subjects purposefully’

Professionally I must continue to enrich my knowledge and increase my sense of professionalism over the course of my career so as to implement current research based practices. Relative to early care and education, NAEYC emphasizes that through advance research, committed, and competent early childhood professionals that young children and their families experience the excellent curriculum, the appropriate teaching strategies, the thoughtful assessment practices, the supportive services, and the effective public policies only analyze data that is more likely to generate the results they desire. The need for advance research in early childhood education is universal. I will continue to research complex questions for educational advancement. I am at the end of the research course and the caterpillar at the beginning is now a butterfly, ready to spread my wings in numerous directions through advance research for special needs students. Wish me luck!

References:

Ioannidis, J. (2010).  “Why Most Published Research Findings are False.” PLoS Medicine. 2.8 (2005)

(Mac Naughton, Rolfe, & Siraj-Blatchford (2010). Doing early childhood research. McGraw Hill      Higher      Education, 2nd Edition.

Sica, G. (2010). “Bias in Research Studies.” Radiology. 238. (2006): 780-789

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “When I Think About Research……..

  1. Hi Birdie,

    It has been a pleasure reading your blog posts throughout our courses. This one in particular has prepared us to look at early childhood education from a research perspective. The challenges were many, understanding the research process from selecting a topic to drawing conclusions was difficult. I totally like the way you described the developmental phases of this course, beginning with the caterpillar and ending as a butterfly. I can see you will be a great asset to the educational system. Thank you! The best of luck in your future endeavors.

    Nydia

    Like

  2. Birdie,
    I enjoyed reading your final blog post for this course! It was very thorough. You clearly learned a lot the last few months and have a good grasp on what you’d like to learn moving forward. Thank you for your input in your blog posts as well as on the discussion board. Good luck in the future! and I hope to see you in upcoming courses!
    Brandi

    Like

  3. Hello Birdie,
    I have learned a great deal this semester about research. Many of the things that I learned, I had never before studied. I am grateful to have had a great instructor and colleagues, such as yourself, to guide me through this journey. Good luck in all your future endeavors and much success!!!!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s