Researchers pick out the type of research method they want to use for a sole purpose. Each method serves its own uniqueness, purpose, and outcome. From the proper use of research, teachers and administrators are then able to reflect and use these reflections to best increase classroom practices. According to McMillan, “There are steps and ways in conducting educational research and it’s imperative that researchers go in stages. Researchers first begin with framing the initial question or problem. Researchers then determine what previous research says about the question or problem. Next, researchers frame a specific research question, problem, or hypothesis. After that, researchers will design and implement a plan for collecting or obtaining data which then allows researchers to analyze and interpret the results of gathered data. Finally, researchers generate conclusions from the study. By implementing research, teachers can then promote distinguished classroom practices that enhances students’ learning” (McMillan et. al., 2010, pg 3).
In the research that I implemented, I conducted Mixed-methods research on my students to gain a fuller understanding and comprehensive study through the use of both qualitative and quantitative analysis student as a whole. I feel I achieved this through the raw stories and numerical data I collected during the study with my students. My interpretation of the findings was that there’s a distinguished correlation between the results from the qualitative and quantitative studies and that the data line up systematically.
Through the proper use of mixed-methods research, I have learned that developing a concise and purposeful question as well as choosing from one of two frameworks of design enhances the overall interpretation of the data. I have learned that Mixed-methods research is beneficial when wanting to look at both numbers and stories and in my situation, it worked best for me because I wanted numerical data as well as stories to enhance my findings and interpretation. Through my findings, I am able to evaluate my own teacher effectiveness and promote distinguished classroom practices that will allow for student achievement gains. First, I would start with looking at my instructional strategies in the classroom and it varies from small group, whole group, and cooperative learning.
A plan that I could implement immediately is to get in contact with each student’s family and arrange a formal meeting to talk about the research and goals that I have for their child as well as the instructional strategies I plan on using. Through this formal meeting, I would then be able to get the parents thoughts and input to better meet the needs of the child. I believe that teamwork with parents/guardians is an essential piece to student success. Together with the family, we will create an at-home action plan for their child that’ll be examined every Monday morning.
Goal for my ELL students: Students will read grade level text with 90% fluency and accuracy by the end of the school year.
At-Home Action Plan: Students will read 4 days/week for 45 minutes each day. Teacher will need validation by having parent signature next to each logged reading time. Parents are encouraged to listen and read with the child, while providing support and mentorship for the child. Students are encouraged to circle the words in the book that they want to find more meaning about and discuss with the teacher before or after school hours.
For my students that are at standard but do not receive additional support at home because their parents rely on the formal education of teachers to teach, I have altered my instructional strategies with these students. These students need even higher expectations to reach and constantly stimulate their knowledge through new concepts and materials. I believe providing enrichment materials for these students will keep these actively engaged in their learning especially in math and science.
For my students that have parents who live busy lives and are rarely present in their child’s learning, I have altered my classroom practices with these students. These students are given enrichment materials as well as they are highly capable.
Goal for at standard students: Excelling in grade level standards in math and science and exposure to 2nd grade level standards in math, science and reading before the end of the school year.
At Home Action Plan: Provide families with fundamental resources for 2nd grade level expectations in math, science and reading to go over. Every Monday, families will receive new resources of ideas on books and educational math websites that target 2nd grade level expectations. The parent and child will work on a new math skill every week. The skill learned will be logged weekly and returned to the teacher. Given grade level science ideas, the students and their families will try fun at-home experiments and log experiments weekly. This log will be checked off by the teacher every Monday.
To provide additional support, I am going to set up a 30 minute intervention period before school and a 1 hour intervention period after school. Students are encouraged to attend as intervention period provides valuable 1-on-1 teaching and guidance.
As a teacher, student and learner, I am and will continually be on a learning path in Educational research. In future research studies, I plan on using the my questions that connect to current research to open up new territory of study. A goal that I have for myself is to regularly attend public research presentations to continually improve the quality of student learning. Another goal for myself is to USE mixed-methods research with my new set of students next year to better understand my students’ needs, target their needs and continually improve on instructional strategies to enhance the learning of my students.
McMillan, J. H., & Wergin, J. F. (2010). Introduction to reading educational research (pp. 1- 13). In Understanding and evaluating educational research (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.