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The Quality of K-12 Education – Research Guider

The paper "The Quality of K-12 Education" is a wonderful example of an education research paper. 
One of the prominent roles, which education plays, is to organize students for life. In the 21st century, technology is considered as a vital source for the development of the country, wherein, its extensive influence on the education sector, has led to a massive change in the way knowledge is delivered today through a varied set of channels (Hew & Brush, 2007). Undoubtedly, such changes have attracted analysts and experts from various dimensions. One of the key studies available based on this subject area is the article titled “Empowering Educators through teacher research: promoting qualitative inquiry among K-12 Educators” by Clarke (2012). In the discussion henceforth, the article will be analyzed, based on its research topic in alignment with its purposes and data collection as well as the analytical methodology used.   

The Research Topic and Its Purpose

The research topic in Clarke (2012) signifies the quality of K-12 education that can be explored through technology. The purpose of this research correspondingly deals with the adaptation of technology in the educational ground. Notably, the inclusion of technology in the K-12 education system has made significant changes in various aspects, wherein the educators and students are expecting the same within the education development paradigm. It has been accordingly observed that changing society demands the same development within the education system. Such intentions have further shaped or accelerated the use of different technology-aided accessories to mitigate the problems faced by students, wherein it has been argued that such interventions can provide an outstanding result and can meet the expectations of both the faculties and students. Accordingly, the purpose of the article was to investigate the use of technology to influence the teaching styles of the faculty and subsequently, add and improve the performance of the students. To be noted in this regard, both favoring and opposing perspectives have been considered in the referred article by Clarke (2012), which adds clarity to its overall purpose. 

The Related Literature Presented In the Article

The study in Clarke (2012) has been based on a qualitative approach, with significance to both primary and secondary sources. While primary sources of this article included survey mechanisms, secondary sources exhibited the use of literature. Literature used in this study can be observed as relevant to the decided topic, elaborating on many useful aspects of technology and its importance in education. The literature used was also credible, all being peer-reviewed and published through reliable sources. The literature was also updated, providing an advanced and modern understanding of the subject area in concern. However, concerning the frequency of the literatures referred in this study, it can be argued that the research could have been supported by greater number of secondary sources, offering more criticality and reliability to the findings suggested through the study. In addition, as most of this literature was based on qualitative appraisals, the absence of the statistical data made it difficult to draw precise and specific conclusions supporting the arguments in the research.

 The Participant Selection Methodology

In Clarke (2012), the sampling methodology used in the study can be categorized as somewhat similar to non-probability snowball samples, where stress was rendered on a self-selected group of 24 teachers, associated with the Digital Learning Collaborative (DLC) in the Colorado school district. Correspondingly, the study involved 200 participants, divided into 37 teams from 20 district schools. It was observed that in order to motivate the participants for their self-selected inclusion in the program, Clarke (2012) offered special stipends and developmental credits to the teachers, which further added to the efficiency of the entire sampling method. As argued by Wainer (2013), conducting a self-selected sampling method to establish research is subjected to various odds including its reliability and success potentials. It is in this context that effective measures are required to be undertaken in order to ensure complete validity and success of the designed sampling technique. To be mentioned in this regard, the utilization of motivations to encourage the participation of the respondents proved beneficial in Clarke (2012). 

The Data Gathering and Analysis

The required data in Clarke (2012) was gathered through various means, including both primary and secondary sources. Notably, the qualitative data, as required in this study was gathered through observations, surveys, interviews, and documents. As mentioned in Clarke, observations were performed for a period of one year. Although this method supports critical evaluation of the research issue through an extensive range of data, it also increases the risks of irrelevant data along with out-dated information. In a similar context, Clarke (2012) used the open-ended questioning method to gather data from the participants directly. Again, even though this mechanism supports the diversity of the data gathered, it also increases vagueness in the interpretation method used. Nevertheless, the researcher provided due significance to the ethical standards of the study maintaining anonymity and keeping in continuous contact with the participants. 

The results of the study and the Implications for educators

The results obtained in Clarke (2012) replicates that today, technology plays a very important role. To be precise, the study reveals the importance of the technology has advocated its contribution to teachers and the students to enrich the value of education as per the requirement of the modern society and has also helped them to identify the implications of technology in the life of the individuals. It has helped the students and teachers to explore their thinking to a broader paradigm, abolishing the barriers observed in the traditional way of learning. Observably, the study has made it easier for both groups to analyze the data and to draw a meaningful result. Clarke (2012) herein implies the way the technology has helped the students to interact globally. It is worth mentioning in this context that the DLC program has managed to create awareness regarding the benefits of technology intervention in K-12 education and that too, within a wider context (Clarke, 2012). The program has also dragged the attention of the participants to extensively carry out the research and draw their own conclusion that may further enrich the potentials of their study. This further helped the program grow bigger, simultaneously increasing the awareness of technology within the K-12 district schools. The program has further assisted the educators as well as the students to take interest in knowing the technology and the way it has made significant changes in the world.

Your reflections on the validity and reliability of the research study

From the article, by Clarke (2012), I was able to obtain substantial understanding regarding the essentials of educational programs. However, from a critical point of view, I was able to identify both positives and negatives related to the validity and reliability of the research study. For instance, considering the analysis undertaken in this research, it can be accounted that the mechanism does not exactly support the evidence of technology to support advanced needs for K-12 education, inhibiting the chances of precision and raising risks of error or vagueness. Notably, an experimental study design was taken into consideration in this study with the succinct elaboration of the data collection method used. However, with vagueness in the description of data analysis, I was able to observe a certain degree of a dilemma concerning the transparency of the research findings. In addition, the study also failed to provide equal significance to both the supporting and opposing data, which again raises a question regarding its reliability features. Furthermore, the absence of the statistically coded data based on the findings of the observation made it difficult to draw precise conclusions on the importance of technology in the institution, inhibiting the reliability of the study, to a greater extent. 

Conclusion

Technology today is a very influential tool for both educators and students. As the subject area has attracted researchers from various paradigms, it has resulted in a multidimensional and wider context, wherein maintain precision and relevancy becomes a challenge for interpreters. The article referred in this context, i.e. Clarke (2012) can be regarded as a reliable and credible source of information regarding the subject matter in concern. However, this research study was also not without its limitations in terms of vagueness in the data analysis procedure used to generate precise findings on the research issue.



References

Clarke, E. J. (2012). Empowering educators through teacher research. Promoting Qualitative Inquiry among K-12 Educator 7, pp. 64-79.

Hew, K. F. & Brush, T. (2007). Integrating technology into K-12 teaching and learning: current knowledge gaps and recommendations for future research. Education Tech Research Dev 55, pp. 223–252.

Wainer, H. (2013). Drawing Inferences from Self-selected Samples. London: Routledge.

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