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ASSIGNMENT 1

JANUARY 2014 SEMESTER


SUBJECT CODE

ESM641

SUBJECT TITLE

RESEARCH METHODS IN EDUCATION

LEVEL

MASTER

STUDENTS NAME

MOHAMMAD MUSA MAULA BOHARIM

MATRIC NO.

E60101140218

PROGRAMME

MASTER OF EDUCATION

ACADEMIC
FACILITATOR

DR.JUPIKELY JAMES SILIP

LEARNING CENTRE

KINABATANGAN

Assignment 1 (20%)
This assignment is intended to develop your ability to read an academic article critically.
Read the article:
From Teachers to Teacher-Leaders: A Case Study by Augusto Riveros, Paul Newton and Jos
da Costa.
Write a critique of the article. Use the questions provided below to guide you in writing this
critique.
Use the headings below to structure your critique. Note that the questions provided are
merely a guide and are intended to provoke your thinking. You may, if necessary, discuss
issues not addressed in the questions.
Submission of Assignment.
Your critique will comprise an essay with these three headings:
1. Research Area and Research Questions.
2. Methodology.
3. Findings and Discussion.

a) Your paper should be between 4-5 pages.


b) Your paper will be examined based on the followings
- a complete working solution.
- ability of using methods available in the learning materials.
c) Format for the assignment:
- New Times Roman font
- 1 spacing on A-4 paper
d) Date of submission: Tutorial 2.

INTRODUCTION
This article is about a case study of 21 respondents in Alberta, Canada who had
undergone an initiative of teacher leader administered by the 2Learn.ca Society from 19972007. It empowered educators, through a cascade professional development model and online
tools and processes, to introduce innovation and technology infusion in K-12 curricula which
demonstrated how the creation of new processes for resource sharing and collaboration
among educators resulted in meaningful integration and diffusion of information technologies
skill sets. This initiative was intended to promote teacher leadership as it main objective. The
leadership processes that emerged during the 2Learn.ca/TLC initiative were essential to the
development of instructional practices in information technology at the local level within
many school districts in the province. In schools, the term teacher-leader is commonly
applied to teachers who have taken on leadership roles and additional professional
responsibilities. The teacher-leader concept is closely related to voice and shared leadership,
or the distribution of leadership roles and decision-making responsibilities beyond the
administrative team (http://edglossary.org/teacher-leader/).
Research Area and Research Questions.
A research question is the methodological point of departure of scholarly research in
both the natural and social sciences. The research will answer the question posed. At an
undergraduate level, the answer to the research question is the thesis statement
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page).

What is the focus and purpose of the research?


This study aims to focus attention on the teachers experiences of leadership. It demonstrated
how the creation of new processes for resource sharing and collaboration among educators
resulted in meaningful integration and diffusion of information technologies skill sets. Where
a semi-conducted interview were conducted to find the responses and opinion on the
initiative of teacher leader that they had attend throughout the years of implication to their
career development and to their lives generally.

What are the research questions(s) and / or hypotheses that guided the research?
This research aims to focus on teachers experience of leadership. There are several
research questions that needed to be answered an take count in order to fulfil this study.
Below are the research question or hypothesis extracted from the research :
(a) Teacher leaders generally emerge through informal processes of leadership in their
schools and school districts,
(b) Teacher leaders develop a broader understanding of educational leadership and policy
when they work across jurisdictions and school contexts,
(c) Teacher leaders can be recruited into broader leadership roles by attending to their
professional interests and passions, and
(d) Teacher leaders require flexible structures in the school that facilitate the development of
trust and collegiality with their peers.

What are the variables that are investigated?


Every study has variables as these are needed in order to understand explanations or
variables

need

to

be

addressed

for

the

results

of

research

to

be

valid.

(http://linguistics.byu.edu/faculty/henrichsenl/ResearchMethods/RM_2_14.html) explained, a
variable is a measurable characteristic that varies. It may change from group to group, person
to person, or even within one person over time. There are six common variable types,
dependent, independent, intervening, moderator, control, and extraneous variables. For this
study, there are dependent, independent and intervening variables that involves. The
independent variables of this study were the 2Learn.ca teacher leadership initiative. The
dependent variables for this study were the result of semi-conducted interviews conducted by
the researcher to the respondents selected. Another variable included is intervening variable
which is the results of formal and informal leadership experiences throughout the whole
process.

What is the theoretical perspective that underpins the study?


A theoretical perspective is a set of assumptions about reality that underlies the
questions we ask and the kinds of answers we arrive at as a result. Sociology is a theoretical
perspective based on the assumption that social systems such as society and the family
actually exist, that culture, social structure, statuses, and roles are real. Theoretical
perspectives are important because assumptions direct our attention and provide frameworks
for interpreting what we observe. Within sociology, there are several theoretical perspectives,
including the conflict perspective, integrationist perspective, functionalist perspective, and
ecological perspective. For this particular research, the setting backgrounds is in Canada
which the educations level in the Alberta province controlled by the culture, social status,
language, and the experiences of teacher-leader. These theoretical perspective underpin the
study results and finding toward the end of the research. It influences the validity and
fruitiness of the result itself. As we know the respondent comes from different social
background as well as educational background, but through the teacher-leader initiative and
theoretical perspective stated above, the respondents show positive impact in their career as
well as their lives. Especially we can see how their careers grow from a regular school
teacher to principal, consultant, coordinator, supervisor and more.

Methodology.
Methodology can be defined as; it is used to give a clear cut idea on what the
researcher is carrying out his or her research. In order to plan in a right point of time and to
advance the research work methodology makes the right platform to the researcher to
mapping out the research work in relevance to make solid plans. More over methodology
guides the researcher to involve and to be active in his or her particular field of enquiry. Most
of the situations the aim of the research and the research topic wont be same at all time it
varies from its objectives and flow of the research but by adopting a suitable methodology
this can be achieved. Right from selecting the topic and carrying out till recommendations
research methodology drives the researcher in the right track. The entire research plan is
based on the concept of right methodology.

More over through methodology the external environment constitutes the research
by giving a depth idea on setting the right research objective, followed by literature point of
view, based on that chosen analysis through interviews or questionnaires findings will be
obtained and finally concluded message by this research. On the other hand from the
methodology the internal environment constitutes by understanding and identifying the right
type of research, strategy, philosophy, time horizon, approaches, followed by right procedures
and techniques based on his or her research work. In other hand the research methodology
acts as the nerve centre because the entire research is bounded by it and to perform a good
research work, the internal and external environment has to follow the right methodology
process. From the article I can identify the methodology carried out from a Larger research
project of more than 250 teachers who had joined the teacher-leader initiative by 2learn.ca 21
participants were chosen. Then a semi-structed interviews were conducted to them to collect
data. The interviews were run in two mode, which are face to face mode and videoconferencing mode as there were distance barrier between the researcher and respondents.
Some of the respondent also provide samples of their work, such as curriculum-related
resources that they created as a product of their participation in the initiative. This
information helped the researchers describe the contexts within which participants worked.
The question in the interviews were refined over the time but emphasises the main attribute
to; i) Nature of current role; ii) Effect on career aspirations; iii) Effect on understanding of
leadership; iv) Description of involvement; and v) Career trajectory.

What is the research paradigm underpinning the study?


Rossman & Rollis, identify two primary paradigm;
Positivism associated with quantitative research. Involves hypothesis testing to obtain
objective truth. Also used to predict what may happen at a future date. Critical realism is a
subtype of positivism that incorporates some value assumptions on the part of the researcher.
It involves looking at power in society. Researchers primarily rely on quantitative data to do
this.

Interpretivism associated with qualitative research. It is used to obtain an understanding of


the word from an individual perspective. Critical Humanism is a subtype of the interpretive
paradigm. The critical humanism approach is one in which the researcher involves people
studied in the research process. Data is used for social change.
Sociologists today employ three primary theoretical perspectives: the symbolic
interactions perspective, the functionalist perspective, and the conflict perspective. These
perspectives offer sociologists theoretical paradigms for explaining how society influences
people, and vice versa. As for this research, the interpretivism paradigm which associates the
qualitative research is the 21 respondents semi-conducted interview data collected. Through
the data and information from the interview, researchers can be transcribed the interview into
test and coded (using NVivo software) for themes, and categorized by looking for conceptual
patterns (Stake, 2000). Every respondents interactions, gesture and body language could be
accounted as the finding of this research. One way to understand peoples interpretations of
their environment/experiences is to use content analysis to examine the way in which
meanings of social phenomena, as they are employed by people to make sense of their lives,
are constructed (Sarantakos, 2005, p. 310).

What is the sampling design used in the study?


There were over 250 teachers involved as teacher leaders through this initiative, and
over 20,000 pages of curriculum-related resources were created by participants (Kullman,
Clearly, & Bell, 2003).Participants, at the time of data collection, were working in all
geographic regions of the province. There were nine female and 12 male participants
involved in the interviews. The roles of the participants at the time of data collection ranged
from being classroom teachers to being district superintendents to working for government or
as private consultants. The researchers intention in this study was to investigate the
experiences of former participants in the 2Learn.ca/TLC initiative and document the factors
that contributed to their development as teacher leaders. Time and budgetary constraints
prevented them from interviewing all 250 previous participants.

What are the data collection instruments used in the study?


The study was using qualitative method research where semi-structed interviews the
interviews were transcribed in order to create a text reflecting conversations about the
participants experiences with the 2Learn.caTeacher Leadership initiative. Through content
analysis (Sarantakos, 2005), the transcripts of the interview data were coded (using NVivo
software) for themes, and categorized by looking for conceptual patterns (Stake, 2000).
Working within an interpretivist framework, researchers assigned categories from the
constructed meanings of the respondents within the context of the research (Sarantakos,
2005). By reading to identify and code recurrent patterns in the content of the text, it was
possible to identify similarities and differences of what was being said, linguistic repertoires
or clusters of terms, descriptions and figures of speech as the building blocks used to
make constructions or versions of cognitive processes, actions, policies and other
phenomena.The data collection took place primarily through semi-structured interviews.

Briefly describe the data collection procedure deployed in the study.


The interviews were semi-structured so that participants could talk about their
experience and perceptions while allowing for the researchers to probe for more detailed
responses to ideas that emerged during the interview. Each interview lasted approximately 60
to 90 minutes. Initial open-ended questions allowed for participants to express their own
opinions/understanding of their experiences with the 2Learn.ca teacher leadership initiative.
The structure was flexible, with the interview questions being used as an initial guide
(Sarantakos, 2005). Interviews were digitally audio-recorded and transcribed. We also
collected field notes and accessed documents provided to us by the participants. The field
notes were taken during the face-to-face interviews and were intended to highlight aspects of
the conversation that could not be recorded, such as emphasis and gestures. They also took
notes that aimed to register the themes and topics that appeared during their conversations
with the participants.

What, if anything relating to the methodology would you do differently and why?
If I would do the research differently, I think I could also apply survey paper as one
of the research instrument. The survey content should have several items that indicate the
case study. Respondents selected their responses on a 5-point Likers scale that best reflected
their agreement or disagreement with each of the statements (1 = strongly disagree; 2 =
disagree; 3 = neutral; 4 = agree; and 5 = strongly agree). The final part of the survey
consisted of open-ended questions which allowed the respondents to give their comments,
opinions, and suggestion. This will actually made the research to be more reliable and valid
as in my opinion. The interviewed made by the researchers were recorded, the file could only
be saved in softcopy and listen to, it could not be seen, touched or read. So, for future
research and documentation, I would suggest adding on survey sheets to the respondents
evaluation.
Findings and Discussion.
This section of the Research Gateway shows how to discuss the results that we have
found in relation to both the research questions and existing knowledge. At the end of this
discussion we should have discussed all of the results that we found and provided an
explanation for the findings. From this particular research, there are several finding that could
be carried out, firstly, leadership skill development that occurs directly and indirectly to the
respondents. Secondly, the collaboration between peers and networks that the teacher
develops throughout their career had improved. Thirdly, this research had built a broader
perspective for the teacher to improve their leadership skill in daily life and working
schedule. Fourthly, this study also manages to recruiting new leaders among the respondents
and giving them the opportunity to shine and show their true talent in leadership. Besides, it
help the teachers to be more confident and outspoken by emerging aspiration for them to
improved their living as matter of fact.

Are significance levels reported and appropriate conclusions drawn?


The teacher leadership processes that emerged through this program not only
transformed the provincial curriculum on technology, they also contributed to the

advancement of the participants professional careers. The respondents identified their


participation in the teacher leadership program as a contributing factor to their career
development. They suggested that the skills and dispositions generated through their
experiences with the Teacher-Leader Model resulted in aspirations toward more formal
leadership positions. The appropriate conclusion had been drawn out in many part at the end
of this research paper by the researcher.

What are the conclusions drawn by the researcher? Are they supported by the data?
One of the conclusion that made by the researcher was that the teachers develop
significant changes and development in their career. This can be shown and proved by the
participants demographic where they were all had gone through transition in their career
maybe from regular teachers to principle, superintendent, Educational Technology
Consultant/Coordinator/ Supervisor and etc. Refer,
Table 1 (Participant Demographics)
Role

Teacher

Vice Principal/Assistant Principal

Principal

Superintendent

Educational Technology Consultant/Coordinator/ Supervisor

11

Alberta Education

Retired/Private Consulting

All but one of the participants indicated that they had moved one or two levels higher in the
organizational structure since the time they first became involved in the 2Learn.ca leadership
program. In what follows I can describe the themes that emerged in the interviews. I argue

that these themes are of central importance in the development of formal and informal teacher
leaders.
Is there congruence between the research questions, the methodology and the
findings of the study?
Respondents in this study indicated that moving out of their classroom gave them insights
into new and innovative ways of teaching. The mobility that they enjoyed during this
program gave them the opportunity to transfer these practices to other sites and to establish
professional relationships with their peers based on trust and collegiality. The capacity to
move between contexts also helped the teacher leaders to develop a deeper sense of
professionalism and further aspirations for more formal roles. From my observation, the
study had shown congruence between research questions, the methodology, and the findings
because the data that had been collected by the researcher through interview shows that most
of the participants are aware of their career development. The successful of the teacher-leader
initiative by 2learn.ca programme can be proved by the level of organizational hierarchy
achieved by each individual formally or informally.