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Earth Science Education Research Paradigms

Instructional Environment

The instructional environment is an 8th grade science classroom. The classroom is attended by 10-12 students who are seated in a circle around an instructional board. The class contains various instructional posters representing various phenomena related to the Earth science discipline, e.g. natural phenomena, earth crust, etc.

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Quantitative Research Scenario

In the light of the constant progress in computer technologies, the present research scenario will aim measure the influence of implementing e-learning in earth science classes. E-learning in this context will imply the usage of multimedia equipped computers and a web-based environment that will aid in delivering the educational materials. The research hypothesis states that implementing e-learning in the classroom will have a positive impact on the academic performance of the students in the discipline of earth science and their motivation for study. The research question, derived from the hypothesis, is as follows: Does implementing e-learning in earth science class have a significant impact on the academic performance and the motivation of 8th grade students attending the class. The dependent variables are the academic performance of the students in the discipline and their motivation, obtained through tests and surveys. The independent variable, on the other hand, is the method of delivering the educational materials, i.e. traditional method, and e-learning.

The role of the researcher, in addition to specifying the research procedures, can be seen in collecting data, maintaining control of any confounding factors, and conducting the statistical analysis. The researcher will have little or no interaction with the participant, with the lessons being conducted by an independent person. The target population of the research is 8th grade students enrolled in science classes in United States Middle Schools. The participants of the research are all 8th grade students of a particular middle school.

A control group will be established to compare the influence of e-learning, where the students will be randomly assigned into two equal groups, each will be taught the same lesson by the same instructor, using different delivery methods; traditional method for a control group, and e-learning, i.e. using computers, multimedia, and a web-based environment, for the treatment group. Quantitative data will be collected through surveys, which will measure the satisfaction of and the motivation of students, through interval measures, and assessment tests, measuring the academic performance of the students related to the studied discipline. The correlation between the independent and the dependent variable will be analyzed using independent samples t-test, where the motivation and the academic performance of the two groups will be compared. The practical implications of the research, if the hypothesis was proven, can be seen in changing the delivery method in science classes, which are expected to improve their academic performance. Accordingly, there will be policy implications, which will affect the pace at which e-learning will integrate into schools.

Qualitative Research Scenario

Considering the tendency toward student-centered learning, it can be stated that the perception of students on the teaching methods might present valuable information for the teaching staff at schools. In that regard, the present scenario will aim to gain an insight into the perception of students on the teaching methods used in Earth science class. A qualitative study will be conducted for such purpose, in which the research question is: what are the methods or elements of the methods which students perceive as hindering/promoting better understanding of earth science classes. The role of the researcher in this study will be to develop a suitable method for gathering data, collecting the data, and categorizing and organizing the data obtained into meaningful data that can be interpreted into findings. The researcher will neither interfere nor alter the context and the setting of the study, extensively and intimately interacting with the participants in the study’s natural setting.

The target population of the research is 8th grade students enrolled in a science class in a middle school in the United State. The participants of the research are 5-6 8th grade students, who will be selected with the aim of providing a suitable differentiation in the sample, i.e. different academic performance, different learning styles, etc. The data will be collected through a series of interviews which will be held with the participants of the study in a week period. The interviews will be informal semi-structured interviews, in order for the participants not to be obliged to provide answer favorable to their teachers. The structured part will revolve around background and demographic information, while the semi structured part will revolve around opinion and feelings questions. The informality of the interview will be reflected through the casual nature of the interview, so that the participants will feel comfortable while interviewed.

The qualitative data which will be collected during the study is the narratives of students, obtained through the answers to the interview questions. The narratives will be collected through a transcript of the interviews. The collected data will be analyzed through coding the information gathered, after which it will be grouped and categorized. Accordingly, the patterns and the themes that will emerge during the organization will be identified and interpreted.

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The benefits expected form the study can be seen through improving the methodology of delivering the curriculum so as to enhance its comprehension by students. Accordingly, teachers might abandon the methods which are perceived by the students as ineffective or hindering understanding of the material. Finally, the teachers might consider individual approaches for students in order to match their learning in style.

Action Research Scenario

The importance of extracurricular activities was long seen as a complementary aspect to teaching curriculum in schools. There is no extracurricular activity connected to every discipline schools. Accordingly, data in other disciplines showed that there are some improvements. In such context, the present research scenario will aim at investigating how implementing extracurricular activities connected to science curriculum, e.g. regular museum visits, science groups, labs visits, etc, will affect the performance of students in such discipline and increase their motivation to attend classes.

The study will implement a mixed approach, in which both quantitative and qualitative data gathered. The hypothesis states that extracurricular activities will have a favorable impact on students attending science classes, in terms of academic performance and motivation. In that regard, the research question of the study can be formulated as follows: 1) What are the activities that students think will be beneficial to their study of science; 2) How implementing these science-related extracurricular activities will influence 8th graders attending science classes.

The target population are the students of a particular school, while the participants of the study are 8th grade students of a single class in the same school. The qualitative part of the study will imply collecting data through informal semi-structured interviews, in which the students will be asked on the types of activities which they think, will benefit their understanding of the scientific curriculum.

The quantitative part will imply collecting data through questionnaires and assessment tests, in which the dependent variables are the test scores of students and the average motivation to take science classes. The independent variables will be the extracurricular activity selected by students in interviews. A preliminary study will be conducted in order to assess the average performance of students and their motivation prior to conducting the study. The teacher might take the role of the researcher in this study, being a part of the research process, including such tasks as conducting the interviews, developing surveys, collecting data, analyzing it, and reporting results.

The qualitative data collected will be of textual and descriptive type, while the quantitative data collected will be represented through interval data for the motivation part, and ratio data for tests scores. The qualitative textual data will be analyzed through identifying common element and themes, which will be categorized into common themes from which an extracurricular activity will be identified. The results of the analysis will be consulted with the students in order to confirm the choice and the description of the activity in question. The quantitative data will be analyzed in order to identify a significant difference between the students’ motivation and test scores prior and after the extracurricular activities. The practical implications of the study are mainly related to the school conducting the research. The school might consider developing other extracurricular activities in other disciplines as well.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, January 4). Earth Science Education Research Paradigms. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/earth-science-education-research-paradigms/

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StudyCorgi. (2022, January 4). Earth Science Education Research Paradigms. https://studycorgi.com/earth-science-education-research-paradigms/

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"Earth Science Education Research Paradigms." StudyCorgi, 4 Jan. 2022, studycorgi.com/earth-science-education-research-paradigms/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Earth Science Education Research Paradigms." January 4, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/earth-science-education-research-paradigms/.


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StudyCorgi. "Earth Science Education Research Paradigms." January 4, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/earth-science-education-research-paradigms/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Earth Science Education Research Paradigms." January 4, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/earth-science-education-research-paradigms/.

References

StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Earth Science Education Research Paradigms'. 4 January.

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