The essay is a critical analysis of concepts and ideas of qualitative research design. The paper examines two research studies; “How Elementary Principals’ Beliefs and Actions Influence New Teachers’ Experiences”, a study by Peter Youngs carried out between 2000-2001 (Article 1), this was published in 2007 and “Facilitating Elementary Principals’ Support for Instructional Teacher Leadership” a study by Melinda M. Mangin between 2003 and 2004 and published in 2007 (Article 2) (Mangin, 2007 and Youngs,2007).
The paper brings forth design characteristics of both studies, a summary of the rationale of the studies, methods of data collection used by both authors, was used to display results. Lastly, the paper’s initial critique on the research question, validity process, measurement and instrumentation, ethical consideration, sampling procedure
It is worth mentioning that millions and millions of studies h been carried out on a number of topics, the problem that usually arises is how trustworthy or reliable the findings of such research are. It is thus advisable to critically evaluate a number of issues to be out of doubt as well as propose how it can be improved to yield better, reliable results.
The explanatory study has been used by the author who carried out the study in article 1; this suits the desire to give details on the various habits in which elementary principles impact new teachers when adapting to the system. (Mangin, 2007). The design’s main objective is to establish explain the link between principle leadership and the induction experience of a new teacher. The characteristic of the design includes explanatory, induction, teacher development and principle leadership. It is also worth noting that there are some elements of a case study in article 1
For article 2, the research design is exploratory. The design characteristic includes terms such as principal leadership, teacher leadership, instructional improvement and instructional leadership. Issues to do with data coding, analysis, result presentation and discussion are brought out clearly in both articles. It is worth noting that exploratory design was used in article 2 to investigate the conditions that lead elementary principles to support the work of the school-based instructional teacher.
The rationale of the designs
It is worth noting that for every research study, there are justifications for the choice of research design used in carrying out the study. For article 2, it is worth mentioning that what guided the researcher to choose exploratory research design is the nature of the study itself. It had a wider scope, needed some qualitative data. Similarly, the design is less complex and can be easily executed and the same results ay obtained or duplicated with ease by other researchers.
For article 1, one important rationale that guided the choice of explanatory design is the desire of the author to closely and critically examine how elementary principles’ beliefs and actions influence new teachers’ experiences. Although there are other designs, this one best suits the study as it is cheap to use and the data generated not need to be analyzed using complex statistics.
In both articles, interviews were the tools used o collect the desired data from which inferences and conclusions were drawn. In article 1 principles, beginning teachers, mentors, as well as other educators were interviewed. Additionally, observation was also used to collect data, the researcher observed when the principal met with new teachers, mentor-mentee meetings as well as other induction activities. For article 2, interviews carried out in five districts by interviewing 15 principles, 12 math teacher leaders and six supervisors solemnly provide data for the study (Youngs, 2007 and Youngs, 2007).
Results presentation and qualitative analysis techniques
Another important section in research studies includes data presented and analyzed. For article 2, results have been clearly brought forth by the use of descriptive statistics. There are several tables that summarize the findings of the study, for instance, Table 2 is the demographic characteristics of the participating district, 2001-2002. Additionally, there are instances of using frequencies in terms of percentages.
Similarly, in article 2 findings of the study have been presented clearly by using odd descriptive statistics for instance tables e.g. Table A1, student AND Teacher Demographic Information 2000-2001. The author did also employ other forms of descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentages to present his finding.
It is worth noting that both articles employed parametric as well as non-parametric data analysis techniques, this provided the authors with the opportunity to come up with insightful findings
Critique of the studies
In my opinion, both articles had their research questions clearly articulated and did contribute to the successful coverage of the objectives of the studies. However, to capture how elementary principles in Connecticut influence induction experiences of new teachers in article 1 more effectively, perceptions and attitudes of new teachers towards their principles could have been sorted for. Concerning research questions in article 2, they are well spelled out.
Although both articles used interviews as a source of collecting data only article 1 did supplement its data collection instrument with observation. These instruments have a variety of advantages for instance they give first-hand information, there are chances of clarifying issues during interviews (Youngs, 2007). The problem with especially interviews is that it takes a lot of time and data analysis of this instrument is abet difficult to analyze. Observation variables cannot be adequately recorded. To beat all these problems, the use of questionnaires together with interviews and observation could yield the best outcome.
In terms of sampling procedure, the use of random sampling procedures as well as following of the laid down criterion on the selection of the sample in article 1 were in no doubt a good depiction of how a social study should be carried (Lodico et al., 2010). However, the inclusion of volunteers into the sample is not professional in my opinion, this can lead to business.
On the other hand, article 2 did use purposely sampling. In my view, this was a good idea as the researcher was bound to meet what he desired prior to carrying out the study. Nonetheless, it could be much better if the author could have employed some use of convenient and careful biased random sampling.
In article 1 the author in his interview guide did not clearly stipulate ethical consideration. This is most cases is not allowed since it is unprofessionalism. In article 2, the author clearly addresses the issue relating to ethics while carrying out his studies. He assures his respondent of confidentially and the reason for his studies. He showed a high level of professionalism (Lodico et al., 2010).
From the review of the two articles, it is evident that the two authors clearly bring forward the research questions for their studies. Both used interviews but it could have been much better if the authors could have incorporated the use of a questionnaire. In representing the finding, both used descriptive statistics in form of tables and frequencies. Lastly, the issue of ethical consideration was not covered in article 1 but adequately addressed in article 2.
Lodico, M., Spaulding, D., & Voegle, K. (2010). Methods in Educational Research. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.
Mangin, M. (2007). “Facilitating Elementary Principals’ Support for Instructional Teacher Leadership”. Educational Administration Quarterly, Vol. 43(3): Pp. 319-357.
Youngs, P. (2007). “How Elementary Principals’ Beliefs and Actions Influence New Teachers’ Experiences”. Educational Administration Quarterly, 43 (1): Pp. 101-137.