I will describe the Oral Presentation in class and give you time to begin designing it with your team.
|Facilitation Team 9 Topic:|
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You will research with a group of your peers and then individually write a quality piece of in-depth research analysis which closely scrutinizes a current education issue. With your group, you will examine the research related to the issue, analyze it for validity and reliability, make recommendations to the general public regarding a suggested course of action, and then design an experiment which will further knowledge in the field regarding the target issue.
While the group works as a unit, you are writing independently, creating your own unique paper. The group can give you feedback but they may not write for you. The writing of the paper is all yours.
In this kind of writing your opinion regarding the issue is not to be stated as it is not relevant to the task of coming to the truth regarding the issue. Your task is to find the best research out there, analyze it to determine its validity and reliability, and summarize what can be learned from it.
Education is a very politicized issue and everyone has an opinion regarding Education issues. However, these articles which are common in just about every media outlet are of little use to you and your team as they are largely anecdotal and have no experimental evidence upon which to base their claims. Common anecdotal statements you will find:
- American schools are among the worst in the world;
- American schools are among the best in the world;
- students in U.S. schools are failing;
- students in U.S. schools are succeeding;
- schools in the U.S. are poor compared to other nations;
- American teachers are poorly prepared for their careers;
are but a few among the host of topics intended to incite and excite. These types of articles are of no merit to the serious researcher (you) and should be avoided. They prove only that this type of writing sells.
You are looking for work done by Education researchers who have carefully designed experiments to examine your issue of interest. Look for validity. Look for reliability. These will help you move towards veracity.
Your format for the paper will be APA (American Psychological Association).
Each section must accomplish a certain set of stated Writing Tasks. I have outlined these tasks for each part of your paper. Do not use these tasks as subheadings in your paper but, rather, to guide what you are writing about. The accomplishment of these tasks within your writing takes as long as it takes and there is no prescribed length for any section. Length is immaterial but task-accomplishment is crucial. The writing needs to do what it must do. When you have accomplished all the tasks, stop writing. If you finish writing without satisfactorily accomplishing all of the writing tasks, you've stopped too soon.
You'll create your paper slowly: intro, lit review, recommendations. I will only grade the final paper but I want you to get feedback regarding your writing from your peers and from me. If you look on the schedule, I have set aside many of our class meetings to encourage such interaction.
It is crucial that you and I talk about your writing as you create each section. If you do not get my verbal feedback or the feedback of group members on each section of the paper, your score will be far below what it could have been. I'm not being unnecessarily dogmatic about this; it's just not any fun at all to read raw writing that hasn't been scrutinized by your peers or by me. Entire class meetings are set aside to allow this feedback but it will take discipline from you to write early and then revise based on feedback.
The topics below are opinionated statements that may or may not be true. One of the team tasks will be to discover, based on related experimental research, to what degree each statement is true.
|a. One of the problems with schooling in the U.S. is that all decisions: curriculum, pedagogy, student discipline, schedules, class groupings, budget allocation, and allocation of teacher time are all made by an administrative lead, a school principal. If schools would change this paradigm of school leadership to allow a small group of experienced teachers from the school to fill the role, the educational results of the school would dramatically improve.|
|b. One of the problems with schooling in the U.S. is that children are educated in coed classrooms. These dual-gender groups negatively affect the achievement of both boys and girls. If children are allowed to learn in same-sex groupings throughout their schooling years, student performance would significantly increase.|
|c. One of the problems with schooling in the U.S. is that we have tried to institutionalize and standardize the education of our children. The responsibility of educating one’s children should reside within the family unit and not with others. All education would be controlled and financed by the parents or guardians of the children and all educational decisions would be made by them. Colleges and employers would be responsible for determining academic level before admitting or hiring applicants.|
|d. Schooling in the U.S. could be dramatically improved if we reduced class size. The size of most classes is too large to allow effective teaching and optimal learning. Decrease class size to an appropriate number of students and student performance would significantly improve.|
|e. The assignment of grades is negatively impacting student performance and achievement in our schools. Students should be evaluated in light of specific performance-based objectives and either have competency or do not yet have competency regarding those objectives. Students work at their own pace through the curriculum and grade level is a function of achievement rather than age.|
|f. The ancient division of the school year, with two 90 day semesters and a 10 week summer break, is negatively impacting student performance. If schools better utilized their time with students and abandoned the old agrarian-based calendar, student performance would significantly improve.|
|g. Currently the lockstep nature of most classes is not working well for students in the U.S. Rather than follow a set curriculum at a pre-defined pace, students should be free to learn what they wish when they wish. Students should be free to choose the topic of study and the pace at which they move through the material.|
|h. Much of the poor performance in our schools is directly related to the poverty of many of the students. For our schools to function effectively for all, these students must receive financial support in ways which ensure their readiness to perform in school. Current levels of support are insufficient to address the needs of poor students.|
|i. Schools in the U.S. currently try to academically prepare all children to participate in higher education. This policy has had negative effects on the total educational system and needs to change. Schools should serve as funnel systems which allow the top percentage of academically talented students to move forward while channeling less talented students into work preparatory programs better suited to prepare them to earn a living in jobs requiring technical training.|
|j. Schools are failing in the U.S. because they allow students with discipline problems to disrupt and degrade the learning environment. Teachers spend so much time trying to control undisciplined children, or using methods of teaching which keep students calm and unchallenged, that they fail to teach students at their potential. While making sure that no child is left behind few students move ahead.|
|k. Much of the poor performance in our schools is due directly to poorly prepared, poor quality teachers. Most practicing teachers have neither the preparation in effective pedagogical practice nor the necessary content mastery to teach effectively in today’s schools.|
|l. Parents are not held accountable for the behavior or the academic effort of their children in school. Without this support at home students do not perform well. Successful schools must necessarily insure that parents are held accountable in real ways for the performance of their children.|
|m. Is there another topic that your group would like to research? If you can get me to agree with you regarding the focus, this is a viable option.|
The introduction is to be written in standard prose style below (no file uploads), properly formatted using the Digication tools, and should accomplish the Writng Tasks listed below. Remember that you are an objective writer and you have no opinion on the topic under scrutiny; not yet anyway. You are simply interested in analyzing the issue, making it clear to readers, and helping them understand the many facets of the issue which your team is examining. Write using the first person singular, "I".
Do NOT use the Writing Tasks as headings in your Introduction but, rather, let it guide your writing as you consider what your readers need to know. Accomplish each task in the order they appear below.
Introduce and describe the specific education problem to be examined.
What exactly is the issue and what are you planning on doing with this issue? How did it get here? What is its history? Clearly state your purpose and clearly define the issue under examination.
Provide evidence that your topic is a real problem for educators.
How do you know this is a real problem? Who says? Why should we believe them? Even if this is a real problem, why is it important? What happens if we do nothing? Why do we need the truth about this issue?
Separate the problem into key components of interest.
Exactly what is involved in understanding this problem? Are there any subcomponents that we need to understand? What kind of nuances or complexity are involved in addressing this issue? What might be involved in solving the problem, if it does exist?
Define special terms used to discuss the issue.
What constructs, concepts, and vocabulary are special to this issue that you will be using that we need to understand up front?
Provide a blueprint for the reader.
Explain to the reader what they will encounter if they keep reading. Explain to them the organization of the rest of the paper.
While your paper needs citations within the text, remember to include your full references in your References section (see it at the bottom?). The References page will grow as you grow the paper.
Write your Introduction below the green bar (not a file upload but the actual text). Check for completeness.
In the Introduction you established yourself as an objective reviewer of the topic under scrutiny. You are a dispassionate observer, you take no sides in the matter, and will analyze the evidence to determine, as accurately as possible, reality.
In the Literature Review, written in standard prose style, you will examine the most foundational and powerful studies that have been done regarding your topic, one by one. For each study you should describe as completely as possible:
Clearly state the research question for the study.
What question or questions were the researchers trying to answer? Make sure to provide adequate detail for the reader.
Describe how the participants were chosen.
This is an area fraught with peril for education researchers as it is often so difficult to find people willing to participate in the study that the researchers confound their study results by the way they chose the participants. Don't comment on possible errors in this section; just make sure the reader knows the details of how the participants were selected.
Describe the procedures followed in the study.
Again, with as much detail as is possible, describe how the study was conducted from beginning to end.
Describe the data that was collected.
Tell the reader what specifically was collected and how the data were analyzed. Notice, data are always plural. Datum is the singular of this noun.
Explain the conclusions of the study.
Explain what the researchers concluded and the rationale they gave for their conclusions. Don't assess error here, just make sure the reader knows what is being claimed. Often, researchers will have a hard time admitting that their study provided no clear conclusions.
Discuss threats to validity or reliability.
Now you can explain to the reader why the study may have threats to validity or reliability. Remember, validity is a synonym for "true" while reliable is a synonym for "repeatable".
You should use at least four studies. Do not use the research article titles as headings in your Literature Review (the only heading is "Literature Review").
Remember, as in the Introduction, the tasks listed above merely guide your writing. They are not to be used as headings in the paper or answered like a worksheet. Move study by study through the research until the reader has a good understanding of the relevant research and the relative quality of each study.
Put your Literature Review below the green bar! Check for completeness, save and publish everything.
This last section performs two main functions; it makes recommendations to the education community at large based on your detailed analyses of the research in your literature review and it describes an experiment which you design to further knowledge in the field. Your experiment will, of course, avoid all the mistakes you found in the research of others.
The recommendations you make to the education community are based on those conclusions from the research you reviewed which were both valid and reliable. You are not giving your opinion but are, rather, making recommendations based on the revealed facts from the research. So, you aren't making recommendations which reflect your passionate beliefs but you are making recommendations based on valid and reliable research findings. A recommendation might look like this:
Therefore, as both Brunell and Smith's research found that lollipop consumption before test-taking increased average fifth-grade students' scores by 27%, it is clear that lollipops and cognitive performance may be closely correlated. While causality is hard to establish, the relationship between these two variables is so strong that we recommend that all school systems give lollipos to their fifth-grade students before each test to maximize student achievement.
The experiment you suggest must have the following sections:
Purpose- Clearly state the purpose of the experiment.
Sample- Clearly state how you will choose your participants in the study.
Procedures- Clearly describe the steps you will follow to accomplish the experiment.
Results- Explain what data you will collect and how you will store it.
Data Analysis- Explain what statistical measures you will use to describe your data.
Create your paper below the green bar adding references in the Reference section as you create (here's a reference generator). When finished, at the end of the course, you will copy and paste the entire paper into a Word document, format it according to APA, and insert the .docx file here. Name the file "yourlastnameINQ300WhittS19".
INQ 300- Dr. Whitt