It's about to get serious ........
6a is all about finding the most effective research tools for carrying out my inquiry. I will pilot the various strategies suggested in Reader 6, analyse my findings and select those methods which I find most suitable.
The research tools will need to be valid, reliable and representative. My aim is to provide "good quality" primary data.
My approach will be "the view from within" – Phenomenology approach as I do not believe a Positivist approach would give me the insight I need to fully explore my inquiry. I believe I need to 'get inside' the mind set of the teacher and the student, I also want to be able to ask direct, pertinent questions.
I plan to observe a dance class.
I will look at the learning strategies used.
I will listen closely to how the tasks are introduced and how the instructions are delivered.
I will make notes on what the pupils are expected to do.
I will observe whether the pupils are working independently or in groups.
See how the teacher measures the success of their learning strategies.
Observe how pupils understand the tasks given to them.
Observe how well they engage with the task and their progress in the wider context of the lesson.
Observe how well the students engage in the tasks.
I will be particularly observing the behaviour of boys to see which tasks they enjoy and which task they show an aptitude for.
I will hold a debriefing session with the teacher after the lesson.
I have a survey on survey monkey, this is still active and I have had some great results to date. I feel confident in using this tool and I am interested in comparing the findings from my other research tools. These are the questions I asked in my survey:
1. Do you set class rules?
2. Do you involve students in setting class rules?
3. Do you explain the importance of rules to your students and let them know the consequences of breaking them?
4. Do you encourage your students to get to know each other?
5. Do you think it is important to set students tasks that are achievable or tasks that challenge?
6. Do you reward students when they succeed?
7. Do you give immediate feedback to your students?
8. Do you encourage students to set specific learning objectives for themselves?
9. How do you create a supportive environment, so students feel able to take risks?
10. Do you make yourself available after class to discuss issues with students?
I intend to interview individual teachers.
I will use the questions I presented in my survey to form the basis of the interview. My rationale being that I will be able to compare data collection tools and thereafter compare the findings. I will also focus some of my questions on their methods of motivating boys as this will aid my inquiry.
Pilot Focus Group
I plan to conduct a small focus group of teachers. I am again going to use the questions I originally asked in my survey on survey monkey.
However, I am also going to devise a selection of questions specifically related to motivating male students to ask alongside these questions. I will post these to my blog and also share with my SIG community.