Education as an Advanced Field of Study
Focuses on the critical evaluation, interpretation, and uses of published research in education as a field of study. Offers students an opportunity to explore the relationship between theory and practice and the changing nature of knowledge, to examine peer-reviewed research articles, to learn the â€œrulesâ€ and methods through which these scholarly works are developed, and to begin to apply research findings to real problems and issues in education. As part of this course, students use an ePortfolio as they begin to document their development as scholars, practitioners, and leaders in the field of education.
Most components of human achievement, such as cars, planes, communication technology, medical breakthroughs, and our extensive astronomical and cosmological knowledge, can be attributed to scientific research. Before beginning this course, my curiosity lead me to review research literature to learn about the questions that appear in my mind from time to time, but I lacked the important skills acquired in this course to extensively learn from and conduct research. As evidenced in my Signature Assignments, this course has taught me to understand and analyze the different types of research, use multiple sources of research to draw relevant conclusions, and conduct my own research to improve my workplace.
To explore any topic, researchers can choose to conduct any of three research approaches: quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method. To complete my assignments for this course, I had to analyze literature of all three varieties. Each approach has a substantially different layout, and my work in this course forced me to scan through many articles and extract pertinent information to enhance my understanding. Reading all types of research about mental health in education has helped me progress in the M.Ed. program with a concentration in Teaching and Learning in that, as a teacher, I can now easily find revelant material to extensively educate my students about any topic that has had research conducted.
In the beginning, I narrowed down my topic to explore. After settling on a topic, I read many research studies and autonomously learned learned about my topic, in depth, to focus on an area in education that needs more attention: mental health. By using different sources, I learned many different ways to view my topic and minimized forming a bias that may be present in a single piece of literature. Learning to use relevant research literature to draw separate, valid conclusions, has helped me progress in the M.Ed. program with a concentration in Teaching and Learning in that, as a teacher, I can now present conclusions to my students and back up the conclusions with research.
Action research enables educators to put research theory into practice as we use our knowledge to conduct our own research to improve a problem that we have observed in our workplaces. According to Sagor (2000), “Whatever the scenario, action research always involves the same seven-step process. These seven steps, which become an endless cycle for the inquiring teacher, are the following: Selecting a focus, clarifying theories, identifying research questions, collecting data, analyzing data, reporting results, and taking informed action” (ch. 1, p. 1). By conducting my own research, my options for further investigation and learning are unlimited and is something I wish to practice to continue to develop as an educator. This material will be great help as I continue in the M.Ed. program.
Sagor, R. (2002, May). Guiding School Improvement with Action Research. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/100047/chapters/What-Is-Action-Research%C2%A2.aspx
The following is my current educational narrative:
My current perspective on education includes several controversies: