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Role Of Research In The Education

20 Feb 2017Government and Law Essays

INTRODUCTION

The educational section sector is dynamic and ever changing and calls for constant review of its contents so as to meet the market needs that are evolving with the lasted technologies. Educational researches thus come in to fill this gap by connecting the school with the market and placing different educational concepts at different learner’s levels according to the student’s abilities. The researcher’s main aim is to acquire dependable and useful information about the education process that is directed towards the development of an organized body of scientific knowledge about events with which education are concerned.

Researchers are interested in finding solutions and communicating their results, the process involves explaining anomalies or contradictions, or providing decision makers with information that assists them to resolve their problems. The argument focuses on providing an explanation that clarifies the situation, and that is supported by relevant evidence, and appropriate qualifications and should be substantive, contestable, and explicit so that the reader can assess their usefulness in resolving problems. It should be accurate, precise, representative, sufficient, reliable, logical and easily understood (Shkedi, A, 1998,).

Its goal is to develop a reflexive understanding of the context in which researcher find they are able to explain predict and even control events in educational situations and even make and justify claims. (Borg, Walter R. and Meredith 1989).

Educational research is a tool in making sound educational decisions, this point of view assumes that there should be an immediate and observable influence of research finding upon schooling and that the research work should assist in making teaching and learning more predictable, economic and effective (Hagerty, S., & Evans, P. 1985). This researches have become more perceive as policy makers search for the best way to certify teaches, implement master teaching programs and develop teaches evaluation schemes .

Educational research evaluations usually focus on needs analyses, cost-benefit analyses, and the formative or summative evaluation of educational products and programs, an educational evaluation consists of more than just the collection of research data. The evaluation can as well include analyzing the goals of a program or the needs of a system, assessing the resources available for the program and the contexts of the program, determining the criteria or standards according to which decisions will be made, and interpreting the results after data have been collected.

Any relevant research work contributes an important concept and provides a necessary piece of the argument that explains and justifies this study, or both, study is relevant if failing to discuss it would create a significant gap in this explanation or justification, leave unanswered an important question that a reader of the work might raise, or miss a potentially valuable contribution to the research.
Research has influenced education in three main ways: the main influence being on the development of that best suite individual students needs and expectations. Research has also provided conception of the nature of the human learner that has been incorporated into philosophies of education, and finally it has provided a way of solving persistent educational problems.

Teachers do research every day thus making their lives much easier without vitiating the concept of research, the important components of research are activities teachers can do while teaching through employing appropriate strategies of educational research.

Empirical educational research helps improve decision making and planning of education. Research is sometimes used to satisfy individual curiosity or to spell out rumors about the negative effects of a program or an institution .For example, a government that has introduced a new program in its education system may look for empirical research to establish the popularity or unpopularity of the program among parents, learners and teachers. Should the findings of the research find the program is unpopular, it can then be withdrawal for the education system altogether (Buchanan, N. K., & Feldhusen, J. F. 1991).

Much educational research is conducted to identify and analyze interventions to improve learning and students achievements in school and this assists the teachers effectively meet the student’s educational needs. The purpose of applied research is to solve an immediate practical problem in education, this implies that applied research is concerned with the improvement of actual practice .For example studying man failure in an educational system helps to identify the cause of the problem and how it can be solved .Curriculum developers, national examinations councils, teachers and even learners will be able to work towards the improvement of academic performance basing their action on the research findings (Fapka, J. G. 1982).

Research assigns highest priority in reviewing educational articles to rigorous original quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods studies on topics relating to applications of technology or instructional design in educational settings such as analytical papers that evaluate important research issues related to educational technology research and reviews of the literature on similar topics are also published. Teachers have always hoped that research would provide them with a repertoire of single techniques to enable them cope with daily problems yet no specific problem solving technique has emerged though research has provided broad general principles and aided curriculum developers to produce more useful materials(Hagerty, S., & Evans, P. 1985).

The teacher wants simple approaches for handling problems such as; what does one do if a child does not concentrate in classroom, how does one deal with a child who is hostile to the school and everything in it, what to do with a child who does not understand long divisions even though they have had several sessions trying to explain it?, it is for this reason that teaches expect educational research to explicitly provide answers to such problems and many others.

When specific answers are not forthcoming to their questions, teachers are likely to conclude that educational research is worthless, and the capability of research to provide such answers is now examined (Fapka, J. G. 1982).
The failure of students to concentrate on a task may be due to lack of interest in the task. A more unusual reason may be the child’s inability to focus on materials close to his or her eyes for a few minutes. Numerous other reasons may also exist for example the child may be hyperactive, the child may have strong social needs or prefer to relate to other children’s rather than to an individual task. Educational research thus should look for answers to the child’s problem but even if an answer is found, there is the matter of how to handle the child which educational research should provide.

Educators should make decisions with basing them on the findings of educational research, a teacher or instructional designer who believes in and employs one method for teaching remedial reading should not necessarily abandon that method when an article in a journal proclaims that another method better off.

Educational research helps in shaping teachers’ knowledge base and consequent actions by using their existing knowledge base linking it with the latest research findings to ensure effective teaching outcomes. This makes educational research and professional practice are mutually interdependent. The teacher extracts meaning from research and combines this with existing knowledge to affect practice; the effects of initial teacher education appear to remain influential well into a teacher’s career, “access to and active mediation of research and its interpretive forms “is seen as being a powerful source of knowledge and practical ideas and teachers should be include and involved in research and researchers in teaching (Shkedi, A, 1998,).

To a teacher educational research is generally a problem oriented activity that is aimed at improving conditions or solving problems in education .Good research should perform this function by providing knowledge about education .The new knowledge is then applied to the improvement of educational practices for example a mere description of how students are taught a subject can help to improve not only the teaching but also the curriculum design and student performance.

Although educational research is supposed to be seen as a diagnostic and evaluation process, serving to facilitate educational reforms and development, it is much more difficult to determine whether the numerous and varied research findings in a country or region have made any impact on the practice of education, this is because many factors influence educational practice.

The sad thing about educational research objectives in education is that many teachers and administrators know little about neither how the research is obtained nor how to read the results that are presented, there is even a prevailing attitude that educational research is not practical to real word teaching. Teaching methods and curriculum policies are now being scrutinized for evidence based research, though administrators and policy makers are currently appreciating the role and important of research( Wiersma, Williams.1994 ).

Teachers and administrators in the education field have realized that creating productive educational systems based on individual and group creativity is slowly starting to meet its potential. Data obtained from qualitative and quantitative research can benefit if its positive results are realized and applied in a real educational setting.

Qualitative research is useful to the educational research in several ways .It helps the educational researcher to obtain in-depth data both within a outside the school .Data from within the school can help discover the internal dynamics of the teaching learning process and the hidden curriculum that remains invisible in qualitative type research (Buchanan, N. K., & Feldhusen, J. F. (1991). The most beneficial contribution of this research to education has been drawing attention to the construction of school success and failure through daily classroom interaction between teachers and pupils.

In conclusion educational research is a systematic process that addresses educational issues and phenomena. The method researcher uses to investigate educational questions range from surveys to observations and the experimental methods depend upon the problem at hand and the purpose of the research to be conducted.

Educational research is not the only endeavor in which the professional educator must engage there are many problems that must be resolved through recourse to strategies other than research. Decisions made are likely to be concerned about such issues as the right to privacy, personal ethical convictions, the dangers of overpopulation and sexually transmitted diseases, political philosophies, and the nature of the social contract between the individual and the state as it applies to the educational setting.

Strengthening research capacity in education and the dissemination and utilization of research results at all levels and among policy makers is of crucial importance to the development of educational research which is an expensive exercise and needs total support from all education stake holders so as to arrive at the intended educational goals.

Reference:

  • Borg, Walter R. and Meredith (1989), Educational Research: An introduction .5th Edition, New York: Longman.
  • Majchrzack, Ann (1984), Methods for policy Research .Beverly Hills, Carifornia.
  • Wiersma, Williams. (1994).Research Methods in Education: An introduction .Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
  • Buchanan, N. K., & Feldhusen, J. F. (1991). Conducting research and evaluation in gifted education: A handbook of methods and applications. New York: Teachers College Press.
  • Hagerty, S., & Evans, P. (1985). Research and evaluation methods in special education: Quantitative and qualitative techniques in case study work. Philadelphia: NFER-Nelson.
  • Smith, M. L. (1987). Research and evaluation in education and the social sciences. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
  • Fapka, J. G. (1982). Research and evaluation in health education. Oakland, CA: Third Party Publishing Company.
  • Cohen and Marion 1989 Research Methods in Education.London; Routledge.
  • Flander, N.A.1985 Analyzing Teaching Behavior.Massachusettes: Addison.
  • Shkedi, A, 1998, Teachers’ attitudes towards research: A challenge for qualitative researchers, Qualitative Studies in Education. Australia.

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