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Influence of Behavioral and Cognitive Engagement in Academic Achievement of Students with EBD
Chapter 3: Methodology
Students with EBD are often characterized by the inability; to maintain social relationships, and learn which leads to these group of students to have the lowest rates of graduation even amongst other groups of students with disability. Education scholars have cited the need for further study on the influence of cognitive and behavioral engagement in the academic achievements of students identified with EBD, more sore Elementary students because it is at this stage when students join learning institutions and build their foundation (Gestwicki,2016; Hannover Research, 2013; Krull, Wilbert & Hennemann, 2014).
This dissertation documents a study to investigate the influence of cognitive and behavioral engagement on the academic achievement of students identified with EBD from their teacher’s perspective. The study was conducted by administering questionnaires and conducting in-depth interviews with the teachers of seven self-contained classrooms in the Washington State, their responses was then assessed by reviewing the literature and the findings of similar researchers for patterns and differences. The research methodology is vividly described to provide an outline for similar future researches.
Statement of the problem
There is very limited knowledge about the influence of behavioral and cognitive engagement, and the degree of inquisitiveness, passion and attention of students with EBD has on their performance. Studies and statistics show that students with EBD have challenges in their adult life, their academic performance is below that of their peers, and the group of students with the highest rates of dropout (Gestwicki, 2016; Hannover Research, 2013; Krull, Wilbert & Hennemann, 2014). A report by the United States department of education (2014) revealed that when EBD students exit from special education programs their chances of dropping out of school decreases by about 17.9%. This finding is an indicator of how limited the knowledge scholars have on EBD students, and the need to understand how cognitive and behavioral engagement influences academic achievements.
Research Question(s) and Hypotheses
Phenomenon: This research will explore how behavioral and cognitive engagement influences student achievement among elementary students identified with EBD, from the perspective of the teacher.
R1: How does behavioral and cognitive engagement influence student achievement among elementary students with EBD?
R2: How does behavioral engagement influence student achievement among elementary students with EBD?
R3: How does cognitive engagement influence student achievement among elementary students with EBD?
R4: Why does behavioral and cognitive engagement influence student achievement among elementary students with EBD?
The data required to answer the research questions and understand the research phenomenon was collected through the use of questionnaires, in-depth interviews and review of relevant academic literature. The interviews and questionnaires were administered to teachers of seven self-contained classrooms in the Washington state, their responses were then assessed by reviewing the literature and the findings of similar researches for patterns and differences. The literature review also gave the study a perspective of other scholars on the topic of study (Yin, 2013).
The questionnaires were open ended so as not to limit the response of the respondent, allow the respondent to justify and explain their response which allows the study to discover anticipated findings (Willis, 2015). The interviews were in-depth to enable the study collect affective data, prevent respondents’ perceived bias, and open up the interview to allow in-depth discussion between interviewer and respondent to unearth underlying factors (Crow & Edwards, 2013). The literature review ensured the study was on track by providing; an outline for the study, theoretical perspective, and a tool for assessing the response of the questionnaires and interviews (Merriam & Tisdell, 2016).
The study was qualitative in nature, and the research topic was exploratory to gain an understanding of the influence of behavioral and cognitive engagement in the academic achievements of elementary students identified with EBD. The research relied primarily on the perspectives of teachers of students identified with EBD in seven self-contained classrooms in Washington state. The research relied on semis-structured techniques; open-ended questionnaire and in-depth interviews to gather information from the teachers on their perspective on the research topic due to their active involvement in teaching students with EBD, and their close interactions with the identified students.
In this particular scenario a qualitative study was preferred because there is limited knowledge and information on the research topic, a qualitative study would enable the research to; explore new areas of research and build new theories to supplement the knowledge that already exist. A qualitative study also allowed the researcher to examine complex questions which would not be possible in a quantitative study. The information required to answer the research questions was subjective in nature. Therefore, the most efficient technique of gathering the data was through a qualitative study. Also, through a qualitative research the researcher accomplished; an in-depth examination of the research phenomenon, and deal with value-laden questions while not limited with rigidly defined variables (Yin, 2015; Merriam & Tisdell, 2016; Crow & Edwards, 2013).
A qualitative study was selected over a quantitative study because unlike a quantitative study a qualitative study can: change the research framework as new information emerges in the course of the study. Interviews and questionnaires are flexible to suit the respondent’s environment and background, and the time context. Give room for in-depth analysis and explanation of the respondents’ response (Yin, 2015; Merriam & Tisdell, 2016; Crow & Edwards, 2013).
The study is qualitative in nature aiming to collect the perspectives of educators of students identified with EBD in seven self-contained classrooms in the Washington state. The educators’ perspective on how cognitive and behavioral engagement influences the academic achievements of students with EBD was sought and collected through questionnaires and in-depth interviews.
Case Study research design was favored in this study because: It allows more in-depth data to be collected compared to other experimental designs. It is appropriate for use in cases where there are no large sample sizes or participants, students with EBD are scarcely distributed in the population. It gives the researcher the opportunity to adapt new ideas and hypotheses for further testing. It gives room for further scientific experiments within the study (Remenyi, 2013; Yin, 2013).
Case studies are conducive for studies like this particular study which relies on qualitative data. The design also favors studies similar to this particular one because the number of students identified with EBD are scarcely distributed, and so it would be a logistic challenge and unethical to converge all the identified students at one place to conduct a quantitative study. Literature review was vital in this particular study because the research topic is relatively new so it was necessary to keep referring to the works of other scholars to build on the existing knowledge base, and to ensure the study’s findings are practical and applicable in real life scenarios (Remenyi, 2013; Yin, 2013).
Population and Sample Selection
According to Gestwicki (2016), every almost teacher in the United States has a student with an extent of EBD, due to the lack of clarity in identification procedure and placement under special education. These students tend to have problems in coping with the social and academic demands of school leading to antisocial behavior and poor academic performance (Hannover Research, 2013; Krull, Wilbert & Hennemann, 2014). This particular study targets students with EBD, who are in elementary school who typically are between the ages of 4-11. Elementary school is the first institution of learning for most students and it is at this stage where the worst cases of EBD are exhibited, also due to EBD students having the lowest rates of graduation and highest rates of school dropout targeting elementary school students with EBD is likely to bear much fruits than targeting high school or university students with EBD.
The case study sample consists of the educators of seven self-contained elementary classrooms in the Washington State. Since the classrooms are self-contained, and the students’ are of elementary age, the standard age group of the students involved in the study will be between the ages 4-13, the number of students per classroom is estimated to be around ten, and the number of educators per class estimated at 1-2 if the classes have para-educators to provide additional instructional support (Ponder, 2013).
The sample was scientifically sampled to ensure that the respondent educators had students with EBD in their classes, and the participating elementary schools were chosen on geographical location to ensure presentation of both urban and rural students, Washington State was chosen due to its ethnic diversity to ensure an imitation of the USA demographics. Before the study commenced the authorization of local authorities was sought, and personal information of the respondent was not collected to eliminate potential victimization.
Crow, G., & Edwards, R. (2013). What is Qualitative Interviewing?. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.
Gestwicki, C. (2016). Developmentally appropriate practice: Curriculum and development in early education. S.l.: Cengage Learning.
Hannover Research. (2013) Effective Programs for Emotional and Behavioral Disorders. Hannover Research. Retrieved January 31, 2016 from https://www.district287.org/uploaded/A_Better_Way/EffectiveProgramsforEmotionalandBehavioralDisordersHanover2013.pdf
Krull, J., Wilbert, J., & Hennemann, T. (2014). The Social and Emotional Situation Of First Graders with Classroom Behavior Problems and Classroom learning Difficulties in Inclusive Classes. Learning Disabilities: A Contemporary Journal 12(2), 169-190
Merriam, S. B., & Tisdell, E. J. (2016). Qualitative research: A guide to design and implementation.
Ponder, L. D. (2013). Elementary School Structures: The Effects Of Self-contained And Departmentalized Classrooms On Third And Fourth Grade Student Achievement. Saarbru?cken: LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing.
Remenyi, D. (2013). Case Study research.
Willis, G. B. (2015). Analysis of the cognitive interview in questionnaire design.
Yin, R. K. (2013). Case Study Research: Design and Methods.
Yin, R. K. (2015). Qualitative research from start to finish. Place of publication not identified: Guilford.
Influence of Behavioral and Cognitive Engagement in Academic Achievement of Students with EBD. (2022, Feb 09). Retrieved from https://essaylab.com/essays/influence-of-behavioral-and-cognitive-engagement-in-academic-achievement-of-students-with-ebd
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