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					       EDPSY 500

Remember on 9/11 we will meet
   in Zimmerman Library
    (2nd floor room 254).
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According to Stanovich, what
     Makes Research
        Scientific?
 How does the No Child Left
 Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB)
impact educational research?
     Who Cares? You should.
• The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 uses
  the phrase “scientifically-based research”
  (SBR) 111 times.
• This has spawned an industry of
  consultants.
• It has created a very volatile atmosphere.
   What Is Scientific Research?
      (According to NCLB)
• The application of rigorous, systematic, and objective
  procedures to obtain reliable and valid knowledge.
• Systematic, empirical methods that draw on observation
  or experiment.
• Involves rigorous data analyses that are adequate to test
  the hypotheses.
• Is evaluated using experimental or quasi-experimental
  designs.
• Is reported in sufficient detail to allow replication.
• Has been accepted by a peer-reviewed journal or
  approved by an independent panel of experts through
  rigorous, objective, and scientific review.
What Paradigm Appears to Be
     Influencing NCLB?

          Postivism?
        Post-positivism?
        Critical Theory?
        Constructivism?
    Between a Rock and a Hard Place
           The rock.                          The hard place.
• Calling for scientifically           • Defining SBR as
  based research is good and             randomized experimental
  needed.                                designs is over-restrictive.
• “The recent enactment of no          • “The requirement that
  child left behind, and its central     research methods be
  principle that federal funds           restricted to group design
  should support educational             with a preference for
  activities backed by                   randomized clinical trials will
  “scientifically-based research,”       significantly inhibit the
  offers an opportunity to bring         development and validation
  rapid, evidence-driven progress        of new scientific knowledge
  – for the first time – to U.S.         in education.” – American
  Elementary and secondary               association on mental
  education.” – Coalition for            retardation (AAMR) board of
  evidence-based policy.                 directors.
“Council recognizes randomized trials among
  the sound methodologies to be used in the
  conduct of educational research and
  commends increased attention to their use as
  is particularly appropriate to intervention and
  evaluation studies. However, the council of
  the association expresses dismay that the
  department of education through its public
  statements and programs of funding is
  devoting singular attention to this one tool of
  science, jeopardizing a broader range of
  problems best addressed through other
  scientific methods. The council urges the
  department of education to expand its current
  conception of scientifically-based research.” –
  AERA council
  What Is Scientific Research?
    (According to the NRC)
• Science poses significant questions that
  can be investigated empirically.
• Science links research to relevant theory.
• Science uses methods that permit direct
  investigation of the question.
• Science provides a coherent and explicit
  chain of reasoning.
  What Is Scientific Research?
    (According to the NRC)
• Scientific findings replicate and generalize
  across studies.
• Scientists disclose research and
  encourage professional scrutiny and
  critique.
            Mayer (2000)
• Let‟s take a few minutes and read Mayer.
• What makes research “scientific”?
• How important is it that educational
  research be respected in “academia and in
  society in general”?
• Should “science” and “research” mean the
  same things in different disciplines?
• What questions/ comments do you have?
Mayer
(2000)
            The Big Picture
• There are many different research
  processes
• Each has its own:
  – Philosophy of inquiry
  – Methods of inquiry
  – Purposes for doing research
  – Processes and “rules”
• Here is one process:
                 A Scientific Process

                        Research Question



                        Defining the Problem


 Review                     Articulate                  Define
Literature                   Theory                    Hypothesis




                       Testing the Hypothesis
   Subject sampling
                                         Collecting Data
    Instrumentation
                                         Choosing analyses
    Research design
   Piloting                              Conducting analyses




                         Results or Findings




                         Conclusions
  Scientific Thinking Vs. Everyday
               Thinking
• Everyday thinking
  – Biased questions
     • Do you really support the war?
  – Limited sampling
     • Your friends and family are different from my
       friends and family
  – Selective attention
     • Confirmation bias
  – Inaccurate generalization
     • Stereotypes
  Scientific Thinking Vs. Everyday
           Thinking (Cont.)
• Scientific thinking.
  – Empirical observations.
     • Empirical: capable of being confirmed, verified, or
       disproved by observation or experiment.
  – Systematic.
  – Objective.
     • Less dependent on emotion or personal
       prejudices.
  – Replicable.
                In groups
• One study indicates that television viewing
  may have a negative effect on academic
  achievement while another indicates no
  relationship.

Speculate on why researchers obtain
 differing results when studying the same
 problem.
Purposes of Scientific Research
• Exploratory
  – What is out there?
• Descriptive
  – What does this group look like?
• Explanatory
  – Why and how are these constructs related?
• Evaluation
  – Does this program work?
• Prediction
  – Who will become depressed?
Experimental vs. Nonexperimental
• Experiments
  – Treatment is administered
     • Students divided into two groups; one group receives new
       reading materials the other uses the traditional materials.
     • Cancer patients are divided into two groups; one group
       receives a new drug the other receives the current treatment
       of choice.
• Nonexperiments
  – No manipulation of treatment present
     • Individuals given a survey asking about television viewing
       habits.
     • Classrooms observed to see if teacher‟s expectations affect
       student performance.
  Causal-Comparative Studies.
• Causal-comparative (a.k.a. ex post facto)
  – Two characteristics
     • Observe and describe a current condition
     • Look to the past, or demographic characteristics,
       to identify a cause.
          Survey Research
• Used to describe
  – Attitudes
  – Opinions
  – Beliefs
  – Behaviors
• Usually include large numbers
             Longitudinal
• Repeated measures over a period of time
  – High School and Beyond
  – 1988 NELS Cohort
               Correlational
• Many of the aforementioned designs are
  correlational
  – Study Relationships
    • SAT and Achievement
    • Income and achievement
    • Age and Cholesterol level
              Case Studies
• Involve one unit
  – Individuals
  – Classes
  – Schools
  – Districts
               Content Analysis
• Technique that enables researchers to study
  human behavior in an indirect way, through an
  analysis of our communications.
• Types of communications are:
      •   Textbooks
      •   Essays
      •   Pictures
      •   Songs
• A person or group‟s conscious and unconscious
  beliefs, attitudes, or values are often revealed in
  their communication.
       Ethnographic Research
• A variety of approaches is used in an attempt to
  obtain as holistic a picture as possible of a
  particular society, group, setting, etc.
• The emphasis is on documenting the everyday
  experiences of individuals by observing and
  interviewing them and relevant others.
• The key tools are in-depth interviewing and
  continual, ongoing participant observation of a
  situation.
        Historical Research
• The systematic collection and evaluation
  of data to describe, explain, and
  understand actions or events that occurred
  sometime in the past..
• An attempt is made to reconstruct what
  happened during a certain period of time
  as completely and accurately as possible.
          Action Research
• Action Research is conducted by one or
  more individuals or groups for the purpose
  of solving a problem or obtaining
  information in order to inform local
  practice.
     Research Hypotheses and
            Questions
• Research hypotheses
• Directional
  – Is a prediction of a study outcome.
    • First grade girls will perform better on a reading
      comprehension test than first grade boys.
    • Children shown an adult interacting aggressively
      towards a doll will engage in more violent acts than
      children who observe an adult interact non-
      aggressively with the same doll.
     Research Hypotheses and
         Questions (cont.)
• Non-directional
  – Girls will score differently than boys on a
    measure of self esteem.
  – The reading achievement of students
    exposed to phonics instruction will differ from
    students exposed to whole language
    instruction.
     Research Hypotheses and
            Questions
• Research Question
  – Differ from hypotheses by the generality of the
    question.
    • How do students perceive the new curriculum?
    • How do students of minority groups interpret that
      way they are represented in the media?
Variables
                  Measurement
• Is the assignment of numerals to objects.
  – Nominal
     • Examples: Gender, party affiliation, and place of
       birth
     • Ordinal
        – Examples: SES, Student rank, and Place in race
     • Interval
        – Examples: Test scores, personality and attitude scales.
     • Ratio
        – Examples: Weight, length, reaction time, and number of
          responses
    Understanding Variables and
            Hypotheses
• Objects
  – Things that one does research on.
     • People, districts, nations, etc.
• Properties of objects
  – Give us a way to talk about how objects are
    alike and how they differ.
• Scores
  – Values on the property of interest
     • Must be at least two.
                        Values
• Exhaustive
  – Must be able to assign a value to all objects.
• Mutually Exclusive
  – Each object can only be assigned one of a set
    of values.
• A variable with only one value is not a
  variable.
  – It is a constant.
      How variables are used
• Two major piles
  – Descriptive and causal
• Descriptive
  – Describes a population in relation to one or more
    variables.
     • Sex bias in textbooks
     • Trends in dropout rates
• Causal
  – Does A cause B
  – Associations between A and B
     • Is the observed relationship greater than would be expected
       by chance?
                 Hypothesis
• A proposed explanation for a
  phenomenon.
  – Two types
    • Casual order - 'A causes B'
    • Empirical generalizations – „A is related to B‟
Sorting Out Variables in a Study
• Purpose of most empirical studies in behavioral
  research is to identify causal relationships.
  – Independent variables (IV)
     • Causes, determinants, predictors, factors.
  – Dependent variables (DV)
     • Consequences, outcomes, effects
  – Moderator variables
     • Variables that change the relationship between the IV and
       DV.
     • Aptitude by treatment interactions
       Dissecting Hypotheses
1. Identify the two variables and sort them
   into IV and DV.
2. Describe each variable.
  •   Object, property, mode of variation,
      elaborate on mode of variation.
3. Specify the relationship expected
   between the two variables.
4. Note the unit of analysis implied or
   actually used.
              Additional comments
• Simple Hypotheses have only two variables--bivariate
  relations.
   – H.1: Authoritarian principals are more effective than non-authoritarian principals
        • What are the names of the two variables?
        • How do they vary?

• Complex Hypotheses have more than two variables and
  sometimes contain a moderating variable.
   – H.1: Authoritarian principals are more effective than non-authoritarian principals
     when goals are clear, but non-authoritarian principals are more effective when
     goals are ambiguous.
        • What are the names of the three variables?
        • How do they vary?
                         Practice
• H.1: The greater the weight of a five-year old,
  the taller the child.

  –   What is the object?
  –   What are the variables?
  –   What are the names of the variables?
  –   How do they vary-categorical or continuous?
  –   What is the moderating variable?
  –   What is the independent variable?
  –   What is the dependent variable?
                          Practice
• H.2: Authoritarian principals command more loyalty than
  non-authoritarian ones when they have influence, but
  non-authoritarian principals command greater loyalty
  when principals lack influence.

   –   What is the object?
   –   What are the variables?
   –   What are the names of the variables?
   –   How do they vary-categorical or continuous?
   –   What is the moderating variable?
   –   What is the independent variable?
   –   What is the dependent variable?
• H.3. Secondary teachers are more custodial in pupil
  control ideology than elementary teachers.

   –   What is the object?
   –   What are the variables?
   –   What are the names of the variables?
   –   How do they vary-categorical or continuous?
   –   What is the moderating variable?
   –   What is the independent variable?
   –   What is the dependent variable?
H. 4. Academic achievement will be greater among students
   taught by autocratic teachers than those taught by permissive
   teachers.

   –   What is the object?
   –   What are the variables?
   –   What are the names of the variables?
   –   How do they vary-categorical or continuous?
   –   What is the moderating variable?
   –   What is the independent variable?
   –   What is the dependent variable?
• H. 5. The larger the size of a community college‟s
  instructional faculty the greater the degree of
  administrative centralization.

   –   What is the object?
   –   What are the variables?
   –   What are the names of the variables?
   –   How do they vary-categorical or continuous?
   –   What is the moderating variable?
   –   What is the independent variable?
   –   What is the dependent variable?
• H. 6. Democratic supervisors have teachers who
  demonstrate more creativity in teaching methods than
  autocratic supervisors.

   –   What is the object?
   –   What are the variables?
   –   What are the names of the variables?
   –   How do they vary-categorical or continuous?
   –   What is the moderating variable?
   –   What is the independent variable?
   –   What is the dependent variable?
• H. 7. When administrators have influence with their
  superiors, authoritarian administrators command more
  loyalty from subordinates than non-authoritarian ones,
  but when administrators have little influence, then non-
  authoritarian administrators command more loyalty than
  authoritarian ones .

   –   What is the object?
   –   What are the variables?
   –   What are the names of the variables?
   –   How do they vary-categorical or continuous?
   –   What is the moderating variable?
   –   What is the independent variable?
   –   What is the dependent variable?
• H. 8. The stronger the collective efficacy of a school, the
  higher the level of level of student achievement.

   –   What is the object?
   –   What are the variables?
   –   What are the names of the variables?
   –   How do they vary-categorical or continuous?
   –   What is the moderating variable?
   –   What is the independent variable?
   –   What is the dependent variable?

				
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posted:7/2/2011
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