When I think of Research…..

Before I started this class on Building Research competencies, I had a very vague idea of what research entails. This class has taught me a lot about research.  Research in early childhood is described by  Mac Naughton & Rolfe(2010) as “ a tool that helps us answer important questions about early childhood – questions that would remain unanswered were it not for the willingness of academics, practitioners and participants (children and adults) to engage with the research process”(p.3).  I learned that research is a tool that I needed to learn how to use.

This class taught me that doing research requires that one must use the right sources. I now know that not all websites are credible sources of knowledge; to ensure that the sources used are credible we have to use the five criteria for evaluating the web pages;  Accuracy,  Authority, Currency, Objectivity and Coverage. I learned that we must maintain ethical standards in research. This taught me the importance of, among others, ensuring that there is informed consent of the participants, confidentiality and privacy and to avoid deceiving the participants because then their consent is not informed.

I have studied how to design research based on the specific matter that is the focus of the investigation and gained a lot of knowledge. I now know that in order to design a research project  I would first have to find a topic , and make it a researchable question and then decide how that research will be undertaken. I also learned the different data collection methods and when to use them.

It has been a very interesting class because there are so many issues in research that I had never given thought to such the ethical issue of the risk/benefit equation and how research on children can include psychological risks and therefore decisions on whether to carry out a study involving the child must factor all these issues.

As an early childhood professional I have gained so much from this class. I am more knowledgeable in how to interact, how to get information from the children and parents in ways that are ethical and just and it has also strengthened my observation skills where my students are concerned.

I would like to thank all of my colleagues for all your wonderful and informative discussions and Dr. Parrish for her wonderful guidance and direction. Good luck in your future classes!

Reference

Mac Naughton, G., Rolfe, S.A, & Siraj- Blatchford, I., (2010). Doing early childhood research: International perspectives on theory and practice(2nd Ed.) New York, NY: McGraw- Hill

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5 thoughts on “When I think of Research…..

  1. Fidelis, I have enjoyed learning from you and sharing knowledge throughout our coursework. I share new insights in common with you because I wasn’t aware of risk/benefit equations and how applicable it is in EC research and I am more aware of the credibility of resources when reviewing existing literature. I hope to see you again in our next course 🙂

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  2. I agree with you about having little knowledge about conducting research. I feel that this class has taught us so much on the requirement of conducting research. I wish you the best of luck in your educational path.

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  3. Fidelis,
    To think what this field would be like without research as a tool. Without the work of research and those involved, we would be missing out on so many milestones we have achieved in this field. The use of different data collection methods was certainly an eye opening experience and continued to prove how complex researching is. Thank you for your input this class and all you have shared with us. I wish you the best in your educational journey.

    Nicole

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  4. Mary Preville says:

    Fidelis,
    Reading, learning and writing up a research stimulation that I may actually carry out is just amazing. This course has given me a new awareness of research and profound respect for those persons who do all the investigating and collection of data that is so important in our field. Now I do not simply glance over a research paper but will read it. Wishing you all the best in your future courses.

    mary

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  5. Neketha Polley says:

    Fidelis,
    I too agree that before taking this course that I had no clue of what research entailed. I guess it is true, “Knowing is half the battle”, and “Knowledge is Power”. I too learned that research is a powerful tool that I needed to know. This Course was a valuable building blog to future productivity in conducting and utilizing research in the future. I liked that you mentioned that it is important to utilize credible sources when conducting research. Learning the various collection methods were also helpful for guiding one on the type of collection method depending on the information needing to be obtained for the research study. Thank you for sharing a good luck on the remainder of you MECS courses and future endeavors.

    Neketha

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