Chapter One: Becoming an Effective Classroom Teacher

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University of Massachusetts Amherst
Psychology & Brain Sciences
Warren Bluemfeld

Lecture on September 5 th Chapter One RESEARCH METHODS A research design is the plan or structure of an investigation. A hypothesis is a suggested explanation derive from theory that can be tested and hopefully proved. Qualitative Research, Uses naturalistic settings and observations. May use interviews with open-ended questions, focus groups, etc. Subjective perspective of observer impacts results and conclusions. Useful for exploring a new topic and beginnings to formulate possible theories. Example, study looking at trauma survivors through interviews. A case study is an in-depth investigation of one person or a small group of individuals. Pro: provides detailed information about one person; may be a starting place for future studies. Con: may reflect observer bias: may not generalize. Quantitative Research, Uses data that can be quantified. Attempts to be objective and generalizable Often relies on highly… When an experimental design is used… Example, study looking at SAT scores and the relationship with socioeconomic status. Quantitative vs. Qualitative Research Type of Measurement Tool: Self-Reports, young people can report on their own behavior, their parents and teachers behavior. Type of Measurement Tool: Rating Scale Data, rating activities on “never,” “sometimes,” or “frequently,” scales. Type of Measurement Tool: Performance assessments, seeks to measure children’s abilities to perform specific tasks correctly. Descriptive Research, Goal is to describe a situation without altering such situation. Can be basic statistic. May be qualitative or quantitative. Use interviews, questionnaires, interviews, observations. Correlational studies tell us what factors influence or are associated in a positive or negative way and are perhaps the most widely used design in developmental research. Pros: Can be used with large samples for testing. Cons: Does not establish… In a longitudinal study, the development of one group of children is tracked over several years.
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