The paper "Teacher Empowerment and Organizational Commitment at Schools within Honda Community" is a delightful example of an education research paper.
Education research defines a systematic and academic approach to knowledge development in the education field, through the collection, analysis, and interpretation of empirical data, and for generating solutions to problems in the field (Khan 2009, p. 3). It plays diversified important roles in education such as informing educators of effective learning strategies, facilitating the development of desired conditions for learning, and aiding the development of solutions facing stakeholders in the education sector (Khan 2009, p. 3; Johanningmeir & Richardson 2008, p. 61). Investing teacher empowerment and organizational commitment at schools are factors to objectives of education and therefore fall within the scope of educational research.
This section discusses the research methodology of the proposed study and includes sections on research design, population, and sampling, instrumentation, the validity of proposed instruments, data collection, ethical considerations, and anticipated challenges.
Research paradigm: Positivist or interpretivism
The study will major on the positivist approach that focuses on the validity and reliability of research and its procedures for reflecting natural sciences, a scope that is consistent with the study’s objective. Positivist’s approach to research also defines objectivity and requires a distinction between the researcher and “objects of research” (Lorain, Christina, & Malcolm 2010, p. 61). The authors further note the goals of positivism of developing knowledge that can help in controlling of forecasting a situation, which is consistent with the study’s objective of significance and effectiveness of forms of teacher empowerment and levels of organizational commitment on school outcomes (Lorain, Christina, & Malcolm 2010, p. 61). Sideridis and Patrikakis (2010, p. 80) explain this aspect of positivism through the paradigm’s ability to investigate causal relationships. Interpretivism, however, focuses on meaning development on observations instead of relationships among observations. It involves subjective approaches such as “hermeneutics, phenomenology, and symbolic interactionism” that may lack validity and reliability in associating empowerment and commitment forms with schools’ outcomes (Lorain, Christina, & Malcolm 2010, p. 61). Interpretivism also applies qualitative strategies that are subjective, and therefore relative (Kasi 2009, p. 96), and would consequently not be suitable for the scope of the objective study.
The study will use a quantitative method’s survey design, an approach that collects data on opinions or perceptions of research participants, and a contemporary issue. The design, according to Lodico, Spaulding, & Voegtle (2010, n.p.), is applicable in educational research and can be used in subjects such as performance testing, monitoring and evaluation of school performance for improvements, and learning practices, features that identify it with teacher empowerment and organizational commitments that are incident to performance and practices. In addition, longitudinal survey design is preferred because of its diversity that will allow for flexibility in implementing the study. Application of retrospective or observational approaches of the longitudinal survey design may be possible, based on the nature of available data (Pfefferman & Rao 2009, p. 317). The design will further focus on a cohort, made of schools from an identified district (Cottrell & McKenzie 2010, p. 197). Other advantages of a survey design such as cost and time effectiveness justify its selection for the study. Threats to the objectivity of the study, such as possible inaccuracies and bias, but these can be managed (Mitchell & Jolley 2012, p. 286). Phenomenology will ait qualitative approach.
Population and sampling
Teachers and students within the Honda community are the study’s population. These include subjects from different levels of education but student participants will be limited to intermediate r higher levels. The population is diversified with respect to age and gender and therefore promises reliable results for generalization to other populations. A sample size of 48 teachers, together with learners in the teachers’ respective classes will be used in the study, subject to verification using power analysis. Teacher empowerment by schools and other stakeholders such as government agencies and the community and derived organizational commitment will be the independent variables while student performance will measure outcomes of empowerment and organizational commitment.
Stratified random sampling is proposed for the study. The sampling approach involves the identification of a study’s population by distinguishable groups, which have similar traits, followed by sampling within each group (Congalton & Green 2008, p. 79, 80). One of the advantages of the sampling strategy, like Albright, Winston, & Zappe (2010, p. 360, 361) explain, and which is applicable to the proposed study, is its ability to increase the accuracy of collected data in a study. It also allows for the comparison of results across strata. In addition, stratified random sampling ensures a representative sample and therefore helps in managing sampling bias. This contributes to the reliability of a study (Gravetter & Forzano 2011, p. 148).
Questionnaires, interviews, and existing data will be the study’s data collection tools. Advantages of questionnaires such as economic use of time and money and a sense of anonymity that it offers to research participants informed its selection. Anonymity induces a sense of worth and therefore motivates response rate. Questionnaires also allow for scalability, towards reliability following the application of large samples. It also allows for the collection of comprehensive information. The ability of a researcher to observe respondents, in interviews, however, allows for verification of data through non-verbal communication and therefore promotes accuracy. An interviewer also has an opportunity to clarify prompts participants and to increase the response rate through persuasion (Wood & Ross-Kerr 2010, p. 182). Secondary data on teacher empowerment, organizational commitment, and outcome measurement through learners’ performance will also be used because of advantages such as reliability and adequacy (Kothari 2004, p. 111). Integrating the three data collection tools have the benefits of triangulation that include reduced bias and developed a wider base for analysis. It also helps in minimizing the effects of limitations of different data collection methods as each method remedies some of the weaknesses of other methods (Jamilson 2006, p. 3).
Data collection approach
Mixed research methods will be used in data collection with the aim of attaining a wide database for analysis of trends and relations between teacher empowerment and organizational commitment with learning outcomes. Quantitative methods, implemented through survey design and questionnaires and secondary data will aid analysis of data for investigating correlations while qualitative method, implemented through phenomenology design and interviews, will aid in-depth understanding of the role of teacher empowerment and organizational commitment in teaching outcomes. Like in the effects of triangulation in data collection tools, the application of a mixed research method expands the base for data collection and helps in countering the effects of limitations of each of the quantitative and qualitative research methods (Jamilson 2006, p. 3).
The school participant empowerment scale (SPES) and the organizational commitment questionnaire have been proposed for data collection through questionnaires. Features of the tools correspond to the study’s variables and reliance on the tools by researchers in the previous study establishes their tested reliability and validity (Short, Kenneth, Brinson, & Short R 2013, P. 35; Schoon 2008, p. 22- 24).
Data collection procedure
Twelve schools will be selected at random, from the Honda community, following ethical approval from the college. Four schools will be selected from elementary, high school, and college categories each. Approval will then be sought from the school's administrators and four teachers sampled from each school, following their informed consent. Secondary data will then be collected from the schools on their implementation of teacher empowerment and organizational commitment initiatives. The administration of questionnaires will then follow this. A random sample of 24 participants, of the original sample, will then interviewed on their experience from teacher empowerment and organizational commitment initiatives.
The study does not involve treatment and is, therefore, free from ethical and legal concerns. Measures will, however, be taken to ensure the autonomy of research participants during sampling and data collection, and anonymity during publication of the study’s results.
Participants’ bias is the potential problem for the study as teachers may try to convey ideas information on the effects of teacher empowerment and organizational commitment.
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