Education | Strategies for Educational Inquiry
Y520 | 5501 | Ginette Delandshere


This course is an introduction for beginning graduate students to the
purpose and means of the various practices of educational research.
The purpose of the course is to develop an understanding of the
language of social science inquiry, the aims and use of research, the
various ways of framing research questions and designing studies, and
procedures for generating, analyzing and interpreting both qualitative
and quantitative data.  Ethical and socio-political issues involved in
conducting and reporting research will also be discussed.  This course
is also designed to provide students with an opportunity to become
critical readers of research.

To develop further understanding of specific research methodologies
students need to consider other courses offered through the Inquiry
Methodology program area as well as specialty research courses offered
in respective departments.  Some of those courses are the following;

H510:Foundations of Educational Inquiry
H601:Historical Inquiry in Education
Y502:Intermediate Statistics Applied to Education
Y527:Educational Measurement
Y535:Evaluation Models and Techniques
Y603:Statistical Design and Educational Research
Y604:Multivariate Analysis in Educational Research
Y611:Qualitative Inquiry in education
Y617:Psychometric Theory
Y635:Methodology of Educational Evaluation
Y750:Topical Seminar in Educational Research

Required Readings

Krathwohl, D. R. (1998).  Methods of Educational and Social Science
Research.  Addison Wesley Longman: New York, NY.

Also a collection of readings (two copies) available on reserve at the
library.

Requirements and Grading

For this course, you are expected to prepare for discussion of
assigned readings, to write reading responses when required, to
participate in class discussions, and to complete all assignments and
examinations.  The course is also based on small group class work
organized around specific questions; for this reason you are also
expected to attend class regularly.

There will be three examinations--two administered in class and the
third will be a final project.  To prepare for the final project you
will need to keep a running commentary, notes or a reflective journal
on your understanding of research and how it evolves throughout the
course. Directions on how to proceed with this activity will be
provided.  Examination 1 is worth 30% of the final grade, Examination
2 is worth 25%, Examination 3 is worth 30%.  Details of these
examinations will be explained in class. Dates for the examinations
are shown in the class schedule.  Reading responses, other assigned
homework and class participation will also account for 15% of the
final grade.

Grading procedures are in accordance with the Bulletin for the
Graduate Program of the School of Education.  "Incomplete" will not be
granted except for extremely unusual circumstances.  Plagiarism will
result in a grade of "F" for the course.

Tentative Schedule and Topics

1/9Introduction - Review of syllabus
Locating the Course in the Research Process.

1/16Nature and Purpose of Research - Types of Research
Research Focus - Research Questions
[Krathwohl Chapters 1 & 2]
[Crotty, M. (1998).  The foundations of social research.  Sage
Publications:
Thousand Oaks, CA – Introduction]

What is research?  Why do we do research?  What are ways of doing
research?
Key concepts:-research problem, social phenomenon, social problem,
event
-description, interpretation, explanation, prediction, research
hypothesis,
-science - scientific method, experiment, cause-effect relationship
-validating/supporting hypotheses or explanations
-research orientation, objective reality, logic of inference
-methods, methodology, theory, epistemology
-verbal (qualitative) and numerical (quantitative) data
-dependent and independent variables

1/23General Methodological Issues – Chain of Inferences – Nature of
inferences
Connecting purpose, questions, theory, hypothesis, design and analysis
Research Strategies/Methodology
Subjectivity
[Krathwohl Chapter 4]
Peshkin, A. (2000).  The nature of interpretation in qualitative
research.
Educational Researcher, 29(9), --5-9.
http://www.aera.net/pubs/er/pdf/er2909-1.pdf
(print as image)

What is the role of theory in research?  What do we mean by validity
and
generalizability of research findings?
Key concepts:-explanation, interpretation,
-theory/concepts,
-logic of inference, generalization, generalizability,
-validity, trustworthiness, credibility,
-objectivity/subjectivity

1/30 Research Questions, Literature Review
[Krathwohl Chapters 5 & 6]
[other article TBA]
Key concepts:- argument, assumption
- theory/concepts, perspective
- interest, impact
- problem development

2/6 Designing Research Studies
I. Experimental (and quasi-experimental) Designs - Sampling
[Krathwohl Chapters 7, 8 & 20]
Gandara and Fish (1994). Year-round schooling as an avenue to major
structural reform.

How do we design a study? Who and what do we observe?
Key concepts:-Experimental manipulation, treatment condition
-Experimental group, control group, pre-test, post-test
-dependent and independent variables, operationalization
-randomization, random assignment
-external validity, generalizability
-population, sample, probability sample, purposeful (purposive)
sample,
convenience sample
-causality

2/13 Designing Research Studies (cont.)
II. Survey Research - Sampling
[Krathwohl Chapters 16]
Archbald & Porter, (1996).Curriculum control and Teachers' perceptions
of
autonomy and satisfaction.

How do we design a study? Who and what do we observe?
Key concepts:-sampling cases, cases (critical, extreme), purposeful
sampling
-conceptual framework, research question, analytic generalization

2/20 Designing Research Studies (cont.)
III. Qualitative Strategies

[Krathwohl Chapter 11]

O'Connor (1997).  Dispositions toward (collective) struggle and
educational
resilience in the inner city .
Cohen, R. M. (1998).  Class consciousness and its consequences:  The
impact of an
elite education on mature, working-class women.

2/27 Examination #1

2/6 Methods of Data Collection
Interview, Observation, Fieldwork, Questionnaire and Test Measurement,
Document Analysis
[Krathwohl Chapters 12, 13, 18]
Archbald & Porter, (1996).Curriculum control and Teachers' perceptions
of
autonomy and satisfaction.

How do we collect data?  How do we observe?
Key concepts: participant observation, structured observation
-observer role, effects, bias
-structured and unstructured interviews
-psychometric testing, score validity, score reliability
-inter-observer agreement consistency

3/13 Spring Break

3/20 Data Analysis
Analyzing Quantitative Data – Descriptive & Summary Statistics
[Krathwohl Chapter 17]
Archbald & Porter, (1996). (review)
Dykeman, et al. (1996).  Psychological predictors of school-based
violence …

How do we analyze, present and interpret quantitative data?
Key concepts:-frequency distribution, measures of central tendency
-measures of variability, normal distribution
-cross-tabulation, correlation - scatterplot

3/27 Data Analysis (cont.)
Analyzing Quantitative Data – Inferential Statistics
[Krathwohl Chapter 19] additional notes
Tomchin & Impara, (1992).Unraveling teachers' belief about grade
retention.

How do we analyze, and interpret quantitative data?
Key concepts:-probability and chance, null hypothesis, test of
statistical significance
-sampling distribution, statistical inferences, practical significance
-differences between groups (e.g., t-test, ANOVA)

4/3 Examination #2

4/10 Data Analysis (cont.)
Analyzing Qualitative Data
[Krathwohl Chapter 14]
Oakes and Guiton, (1995).Matchmaking: The dynamics of high school
tracking decisions.

How do we analyze, and interpret quantitative data?
Key concepts:-organization, description, interpretation
-coding categories, schemes, typology
-constant comparison, analytic induction
-theoretical propositions, empirical assertions
-narrative structuring

4/17 Reporting Research - Judging Quality
[Krathwohl Chapter 15]
What is good research?

ey concepts:-methods and procedures, triangulation, member checking
-internal and external validity, generalizability, transferability
-reliability, dependability,objectivity, confirmability, credibility

4/13 Ethics and Researcher's Role and Responsibility
[Krathwohl Chapter 10]
[AERA Ethical Standards]

What are the researcher's ethical responsibilities?
Key concepts:-informed consent, anonymity, confidentiality
-respect for participants, no harm, assessment of risk and benefits




Collection of Readings:

Archbald, D. A. & Porter, A. C.  (1994).  Curriculum Control and
Teachers' Perceptions of Autonomy and Satisfaction.  Educational
Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 16(1):  21-39.

Cohen, R. M. (1998).  Class consciousness and its consequences:  The
impact of an elite education on mature, working-class women.  American
Educational Research Journal, 35(3), 353-375.

Crotty, M. (1998).  The foundations of social research.  Sage
Publications: Thousand Oaks, CA.

Dykeman, C., Daehlin, W., Doyle, S. & Flamer, H. (1996).
Psychological predictors of school –based violence:  Implications for
school counselors.  The School Counselor, 44, 35-47.

Gandara, P. & Fish, J. (1994).  Year-Round Schooling as an Avenue to
Major Structural Reform.  Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis,
16(1):  67-85.

Grant, S. G., Peterson, P. & Shojgreen-Downer, A.  (1996).  Learning
to Teach Mathematics in the Context of Systemic Reform.  American
Educational Research Journal, 33(2):  509-541.

Oakes, J. & Guiton, G.  (1995).  Matchmaking:  The Dynamics of High
School Tracking Decisions. American Educational Research Journal,
32(1):  3-33.

O. Connor, C. (1997).  Dispositions toward (collective) struggle and
educational resilience in the inner city:  A case analysis of six
African-American high school students.  American Educational Research
Journal, 34(4), 593-629.

Peshkin, A. (2000).  The nature of interpretation in qualitative
research.  Educational Researcher, 29(9), --5-9.

Tomchin, E. M. & Impara, J. C. (1992).  Unraveling Teachers' Beliefs
About Grade Retention. American Educational Research Journal, 29(1):
199-223.

Additional References

Babbie, E. (2001).  The practice of social research.  Wadsworth,
Belmont, CA.

Becker, H. (1998).  Tricks of the trade : how to think about your
research while you're doing it.  Chicago, Ill. : University of Chicago
Press

Carspecken, F. (1996).  Critical ethnography in educational research:
a theoretical and practical guide.  New York : Routledge

Creswell, J. W. (1997).  Qualitative inquiry and research design:
Choosing among five
Traditions.  Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE publications.

Creswell, J. W. (1994).  Research design : Qualitative & quantitative
approaches.  Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE publications.

Denzin, N. and Lincoln, Y., Eds. (2000).  Handbook of qualitative
research.  Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE publications.

Frankel, J. R. and Wallen, N.E. (2000).  How to design and evaluate
research in education.  New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Gay, L. R. and Airasian, P. (2000). Educational Research: Competencies
for Analysis and Application. Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Ragin, C. and Becker, H., Eds.  (1992).  What is a case?: Exploring
the foundations of social inquiry.  New York, NY, USA : Cambridge
University Press

LeCompte, M. and Preissle, J. (1993). Ethnography and qualitative
design in educational research.  San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

Schwandt, T. (1997).  Qualitative inquiry:  A dictionary of terms.
Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE publications.

Stake, R. (1995).  The art of case study research.  Thousand Oaks, CA:
SAGE publications.

Yin, R. (1994). Case study research:  Design and methods.  Thousand
Oaks, CA: SAGE publications.