Friday, March 18, 2016

Introduction to research in education (Week 17)

Researched and Community Informed Practice (R&C) - Introduction to research in education
And with this the first week of the formal (8 weeks) online course starts... through readings I am reminded that research plays an important role in education.  

Learning Objectives for this week from the portal:
  • Understand what education research is
  • Recognise the various roles that research plays in education
  • Understand what is meant by research-informed/evidence-based practice and what this means for your practice.
  • Understand the principles of Kaupapa Māori how they relate to research

The three key areas education is divided into are: research, policy and practice. Unfortunately research and practice are not always connected. This diagram shows how research, policy and practice can informed each other in an ideal world.
What is research?
  • Research is systematic, critical and self-critical enquiry which aims to contribute towards the advancement of knowledge and wisdom. … Discipline research in education aims critically to inform understandings of phenomena pertinent to the discipline in educational settings. … Critical enquiry [is] aimed at informing educational judgements and decisions in order to improve educational action. This is the kind of value-laden research that should have immediate relevance to teachers and policy makers, and is itself educational because of its stated intention to ‘inform’. It is the kind of research in education that is carried out by educationists. (Bassey, 1999, 38-39) 
  • Educational research is not just a way to come up with new ideas about teaching and learning, but most often it is a way to convince us that the ideas we already have are worth exploring—that they are worth buying into (Morrell and Carroll, 2010, 2).

There are 3 steps to follow in research:
1. Pose a question.
2. Collect data to answer the question.
3. Present an answer to the question.
(Creswell, 2011, 3)

For more information look at the first chapter of Creswell's Educational ResearchMain things from this reading:
  • What research is and the roles that it can play
  • The basic steps in the research process
  • The nature of quantitative and qualitative research
  • Different types of research design in education

Reflecting on the principles of Kaupapa Māori with the following questions:

1. How can Kaupapa Māori inform research?
The Treaty of Waitangi is interwoven into our New Zealand Education system, through the NZC and PTC. “A seminal study in this area is Huygens’ (2007) research into how collective Pākehā consciousness can change in response to learning about the Treaty of Waitangi.” Engage with the community and involve them in the research to bring change in the educational experience for Māori. Consider tikanga that underpins the ethics and nurture culture and needs by relating to the principles of kaupapa. The researcher should look that what they intend to research benefits Maori and will be making a positive difference. It also creates a sense of accountability for the researcher within the context of end goals. (Alex Barnes, 2013. Pg 12 & 23).
All this includes a wide range of research methods.

2. How can the principles of Kaupapa Māori relate to my own practice?
It helps me to think about what I want to do within another cultural context and to have active relationships with stakeholders. Teaching and learning is one with Māori and does not stand alone. Here I remember what an e hoa once said to me: "If it works for Māori, it will work for others."

The aim for the following 8 weeks will be to become a critical consumer of research relevant to practice/field and following a deep understanding. It will be about formulating key research questions in a field of study relevant to the community.

~ "Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose." 
- Zora Neale Hurston

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