Review Of Two Articles On Education Utilizing Quantitative, Qualitative, And Mixed Methods Studies

The Use of Mixed Methods in a Research Paper on School Improvement and the Role of Leadership

The assignment aims to execute a critical review of two research paper based on education using mixed and qualitative data methods respectively. The essay will critically analyse the research topic of each of the papers, the research methods used, appropriateness, a brief discussion on the possibility of using other methods and my personal opinion concerning the usage of these methods.

In the first journal, is a research paper on school improvement and the role of leadership, the usage mixed method for obtaining viable results is apparent (Sammons et al. 2014). The research paper has excavated in-depth and has put forward the appropriateness of using mixed methods, quantitative and qualitative approaches, in order to delve deeper into the improvement of schools. For undertaking the research, a vast amount of student data was required which will further validate the relationship between leadership and school improvement, therefore the usage of quantitative data was a necessary. The same was necessary to conduct a thorough investigation and collection of opinion from staff members and head teachers. As a result, the comprehensive set of questionnaire develop an understanding of strategies, leadership practices and skills that will act as a paradigm and influence an educational institute to aim for the better. In order to make such a complex topic comprehensible, the paper has segregated the schools into three groups based on their scale of improvement (Sammons et al. 2014). A hypothesis statement was developed around these schools which furthermore became a standard measure for exploring till what extend leadership can influence student’s performance. This once again proves the appropriateness of quantitative data which paved the way to form quick yet accurate patterns of these schools, their leadership quality and success rate (Fusch and Ness 2015). Initially, the data accumulated over three years was a pre-requisite to establish the key factors that would promote change within the peripheries of school, the student’s ideas and opinions on teaching and development of leadership skills, and strategies required for widespread improvement within the school. However, the study would have remained incomplete without issues pertaining to implementation of steps required to foster leadership skills and therefore development strategies, mediating and moderating factors detrimental to development in order to come to a feasible solution. The data thus gathered has been represented with the help of graphs and charts to illustrate the perceptions and view points of the teaching members that could generate success and positive changes within the school environment. Quantitative data helped in framing analytical case study representations. Quantitative data method is also responsible in this paper to accumulate strategies and determine the well equipped option to meet the desired outcome for improving the overall performance of schools. With the help of quantitative data the paper come to the viable conclusion of improving on the school’s atmosphere and culture in order to walk towards the direction of improvement and meeting new challenges with efficiency (Davies and Hughes 2014). Therefore, it can be easily concluded that in this research paper both quantitative and qualitative research methods were important to determine the key factors that would progress the school towards achievements and synthesise the findings to come to a definite conclusion (Hussein 2015). While qualitative research method gave the scope for interviews with different people related with the functioning of the school, students and staff members, quantitative research method helped to analyse data from question modules. The results collected from these two sets of research methods were used to link with better performance of schools, development of better curriculum and generating leadership skills. Qualitative research method created the opportunity to take into consideration the opinions and ideas of the young minds, the students, for identifying the key factors in improving the functioning of schools. A careful integration and application of both the research methods along with their data was helpful to derive conclusions and strategic step. The importance of both the methods lies on the construction of model to illustrate the influence of leadership skills and qualities on schools. The absence of either of these methods would have affected the progress of the paper in coming to a valid conclusion because of their emphasis on broader and narrowed down cases. Qualitative data and its methods include surveys and interviews from individuals who play a relevant role in developing school structure. In this research paper, the researcher has collected data with the usage of quantitative data instrument and thereafter the mode of qualitative research by conducting a series of interviews to gather feelings and notions of individuals to validate with the research question. There are other research papers as well when results were taken from one mode of research to extend with the further usage of another method quite similar to this research paper (Hussein 2015). Over here, the results derived from both the modes of data played a key role in answering the research question, if leadership role is a factor in influencing school performance and success.

The Importance of Both Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in This Research Paper

The second journal is a research paper on the confrontation of inequality by teachers in their workplace based on demographics of the school, an issue prevalent in most of the schools (Cobb 2017). The paper further investigates the possible relationship o such experiences by the teacher and their consequences and effects on classroom. For the successful completion of this paper and arrive at accurate findings, the paper has taken resort to qualitative data analysis, which involves interview and assessing the answers for an in-depth analysis. In this paper, over the span of one year, the researcher has conducted interviews of 60 teachers from three schools in California. The method is appropriate because to assess the extent of cultural racism, it becomes utmost important to include into the study opinions and concepts from three schools, separated according to two levels of income- high and low. The segregation was useful for determining how the teachers hailing from these three different schools and income structure interpret racial prejudices, dominant ideologies and the difference in perceptions about race and culture amongst different teachers. The application of qualitative method was apt for conducting such a research, because without conducting face to face interviews, it would be inadequate to assess the body language and frame of mind of these teachers (McCusker and Gunaydin 2015). Interviews and obtaining opinions is a fundamental part of the paper, which is dealing with an issue of social stigma within the premises of educational institutes. The author could have also implemented quantities data and graphical representation to show in an elaborate manner the inequality frames that persist within the relationship of a teacher and school, the factors influencing it and the percentage of students affected. However, with the help of the qualitative data and its findings, the paper enumerates the different factors acting as a catalyst for such blatant racism within the schools. Some of the major components that the research paper is able to identify the spaces in school and functioning that act as a breeding ground for inequality based on class and race, they are admission criteria, residential living and structure, and the individual political ideology of the students living together in the campus (Ostrander 2015.). Students face inequalities in several levels by the school authorities and it is proved after the completion of interviews, how schools are dispersed or located according to the income rate of the families whose children are pupils in the school (Cobb 2017). Students hailing from comparatively well-to-do families have wider access to materials than the schools who cannot afford. A number of teachers expressed their experiences and notions about the forms of workplace inequality that they face and which ultimately pose as a hindrance to students’ success. The paper puts forth how demographics and color therefore decide the social status and material availability of schools and individuals attached to the schools. The research method used in this study, opens for a narrative of personal experience. The interviews presented the author with different social contexts, background of the teachers and opinions on education. Of the many challenges of quantitative data is that it is time consuming, yet over here, the author has been able to come to the lucid conclusion that the notion of inequality seeps into each and every high schools from which the teachers were interviewed (Fusch and Ness 2015). The research method also brings forth the individual experiences of teachers who have witnessed color based inequality within the walls of elite schools and administration. In this research paper, qualitative data and the research process helped the author to determine the working conditions of the teachers, their opinions and perspectives on matters of social importance and pertinent to the growth of students. It helped the paper in formulating comprehensive abstractions and theories from the details gathered from interviews (Fusch and Ness 2015). There are other research paper where author of the paper shows appreciable skills in the framing of questions and the quantity of data required answering the issues intricate to such racial prejudices and injustices that are bred in schools, affecting large sections of students (Smith 2015).

For each of the above studies I would have used mixed methods for deriving inferences as it gives results in a swift manner. It helps in exploring complex issues and broader spectrum maintaining a systematic approach, within a short frame of time (Mayoh and Onwuegbuzie 2015).

Reference List:

Cobb, J.S., 2017. Inequality Frames: How Teachers Inhabit Color-blind Ideology. Sociology of Education, 90(4), pp.315-332.

Davies, M.B. and Hughes, N., 2014. Doing a successful research project: Using qualitative or quantitative methods. Palgrave Macmillan.

Fusch, P.I. and Ness, L.R., 2015. Are we there yet? Data saturation in qualitative research. The qualitative report, 20(9), p.1408.

Guerra-Santin, O. and Tweed, C.A., 2015. In-use monitoring of buildings: An overview of data collection methods. Energy and Buildings, 93, pp.189-207.

Hussein, A., 2015. The use of Triangulation in Social Sciences Research: Can qualitative and quantitative methods be combined?. Journal of comparative social work, 4(1).

Lewis, S., 2015. Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Health promotion practice, 16(4), pp.473-475.

Mayoh, J. and Onwuegbuzie, A.J., 2015. Toward a conceptualization of mixed methods phenomenological research. Journal of mixed methods research, 9(1), pp.91-107.

McCusker, K. and Gunaydin, S., 2015. Research using qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods and choice based on the research. Perfusion, 30(7), pp.537-542.

Ostrander, R.R., 2015. School funding: Inequality in district funding and the disparate impact on urban and migrant school children. BYU Educ. & LJ, p.271.

Sammons, P., Davis, S., Day, C. and Gu, Q., 2014. Using mixed methods to investigate school improvement and the role of leadership: An example of a longitudinal study in England. Journal of Educational Administration, 52(5), pp.565-589.

Skiba, R.J., Mediratta, K. and Rausch, M.K. eds., 2016. Inequality in school discipline: Research and practice to reduce disparities. Springer.

Smith, J.A. ed., 2015. Qualitative psychology: A practical guide to research methods. Sage.

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