Saturday, March 30, 2019
Research Methodology in Education Research
Research methodological psychoanalysis in Education ResearchIntroductionThis chapter explains the methodological underpinnings of the occupy. I tender justifications for the investigative and analytical paths adopted. I discuss the aim of the little supposition paradigm and its philosophical positions on epistemology, ontology and methodology in a search enterprise. Also addressed argon the people involved, research instruments, data allurement procedure, and data analysis.Figure intentional by the researcher Figure 1Conceptualisation of Research conceptPhilosophical Underpinnings of exact systemThe field of operation centres on issues of business leader, class, privilege and the consequent social relationships. Being aligned with the anti-colonial suppositious account described in Chapter Two, the study is situated at heart the tradition of Critical Theory. Creswell (2014) puts Critical Theory under the umbrella of a trans mixtureative worldview. ToFay (1987), issues of em world-beaterment, ir jimmyive of gender, class, and race, be central to Critical Theory. Lincoln, Lynham, and Guba (2011) state that the research aim of Critical Theory is to critique, seek change and liberate. Per the theoretical framework, the study advocates for gold coastian H.E to ac acquaintance and respect Afri lot worldviews and perspectives. The study argues that the dominant Hesperian paradigms that shape gold coasts higher schooling do non adequately empower the gold coastian student. This consciousness is needful to run Ghanaian students a subject of the study hump to champion reorient higher education and make it emancipatory. defer 1 summarises the ontological, epistemological, and methodological beliefs shaped by Critical Theory.Table adapted from a defy sourceItem Critical TheoryOntologyHistorical realism man shaped by social, political, ethnical, economic, ethnic, and gender appraises crystallised all over cadenceEpistemologyTransactional/subje ctivist value-mediated findingMethodologyDialogic/dialecticalTable 1Basic Beliefs of Critical Theory (Lincoln, Lynham, and Guba, 2011)Research Approach Qualitative A soft go up was most appropriate for this research because it tornados a better luck to fork up in-depth understanding of the subject matter. It provided the best avenue to investigate the research questions.Design Critical StudiesIn line with the philosophical expected value of little theory, I employ McMillan and Schumachers (2010) vital studies framework because my research seeks to find come in how privilege, class, and power acquired through Ghanas H.E clear be translated to serve societal good. gibe to McMillan and Schumacher (2010), critical studies design emphasizes ideas like dignity, dominance, oppressed, authority, empowerment, inequality, and social justice (p. 347). Researchers employing a critical study design must advocate for and stimulate change.Methods of data Collection assiduousMcMillan and Schumacher (2010) note that manifestation and interviews are common methods employed in critical studies (p. 347). Denzin and Lincoln (2011a) also mention that qualitative research is inherently multimethod (p. 5), albeit in that location is an imperative to provide sound rationale. Accordingly, I employed autobiography to dilate my locatedness, a literature review, and face-to-face interviews as methods for this study.Action PlanTable designed by the researcherResearch interrogativesData NeededMethods digest Purpose1. What does it mean to be educated in Ghana?Lived experienceAutobiographyThe education environment, teaching, and learningHow an educated person is recognised in Ghana2. What are the main features of the historical development of H.E in Ghana?Secondary dataLiterature ReviewHistorical analysis of the conceptions in tralatitious Afri muckle and Western perspectivesTo present the different notions and purposes of H.E traditionally (African), during colonialism an d contemporarily.3. How elitist is H.E in Ghana?Primary dataFieldwork. Interviews through semi-structured interview guidemanually by presenting the themes in the responsesTo explore ways to mitigate the asymmetrical power relationships in H.E4. What are the alternative means of funding H.E in Ghana?Primary dataFieldwork. Interviews through semi-structured interview guideManually by presenting the themes in the responsesBorders on access and de-commercialisation of H.E5. What are the possible futures of H.E in Ghana?Primary dataFieldwork. Interviews through semi-structured interview guideManually by presenting the themes in the responsesRelevance of H.ETable 2Summary of How Research Questions were AnsweredQuestion 1 What does it mean to be educated in Ghana?To arrange this, I employed my experiences through egress school to illustrate the process of education and consequent characteristics that identify the highly schooled. Autobiography is a reflection on events of the past and a careful presentation of such accounts. Pictures and other artefacts jock to illustrate the accounts presented in narratives (see Ellis, Adams Bochner, 2011). While this method locates me in the study (McMillan Schumacher, 2010) and offers insights into the broader outlook of H.E in Ghana, it comes with its shortfalls. Autobiography is criticised as being too artful and not scientific, or too scientific and not sufficiently artful and egoistical (Ellis et al., 2011, p. 283). Delamont in Ellis et al. (2011) accuses autobiography (as part of autoethnography) as leave outing extensive fieldwork. Anderson, in Ellis et al. (2011), contends that the use of personal experience makes autobiography biased.I ac intimacy these inadequacies and the shortcomings of man memory, hence my concentration on events during my university education. Furthermore, for my experience not to appear isolated, I engaged with other autobiographical accounts and literature to support my accounts to provide rigour. As Ellis et al. (2011) suggest, the credibility of the writer offers reliability in autobiography and the realistic record of the account is the scale to measure validity. The strengths of autobiography are its ability to condense prejudice on a phenomenon, and encourage personal responsibility and style (Ellis et al., 2011, p. 280).Question 2 What are the main features of the historical development of H.E in Ghana?I employed secondary data (literature) in this regard. According to Neuman (cc6), an extended literature review as a method gives the opportunity to explore the vast materials on a study. Literature provides a seemly source of information collectible to the dynamism and diversities in humanity. It is the basis of edifice and enhancing admitledge, skills and attitudes the ensnareation of education. A literature review grants credibility to the study as a good review increases a averers confidence in the researchers professed(prenominal) confidence, abi lity and background. To Neuman, an extended literature review locates the study in a framework and demonstrates its relevance by making connections to a body of knowledge (p. 111). Further, a good review points out areas where prior studies agree, where they disagree, and where major questions remain. In addition, it identifies blind alleys and suggests hypotheses for replication (Neuman, 2006, p. 111).As part of my extensive literature review, I employ the works and speeches of prominent African prexys and scholars to make a fibre for the type of higher education that would be meaningful in Ghana. Similarly, I employ academic literature and views of a former Ghanaian President and other political leaders to argue how colonial relations save to survive in Ghana. Furthermore, I employ proverbs an embodiment of African viva voce traditions and culture as an example of an African knowledge base that can shape H.E. I utilise selected proverbs to argue that H.E in African perspectiv es promotes the prevalent purpose.Fieldwork Questions 3, 4, and 5Fieldwork is integral to some(prenominal) a(prenominal) forms of research qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods. It abets to squeeze and appreciate many social phenomena. Indeed, many academic disciplines are twain fields of theory and practice and fieldwork is also integral. Peake and Trotz (1999) acknowledge the significance of fieldwork it can strengthen our commitment to conduct good research based on building relations of mutual respect and recognition. It does, however, entail abandoning the search for objectiveness in favour of critical provisional analysis based on plurality of (temporally and spatially) situated voices and silences (p. 37).Research InstrumentI used a semi-structured interview guide as instrument to conduct the interviews. This was important to serve well pull little information on the subject. Interviews are useful to elicit thick descriptions (Geertz, 1973) of knowledge and insight into realities. Denzin (2001) describes thick description as deep, dense, detailed accounts (p. 98), which provide alternative perspectives to that of the researcher. McMillan and Schumacher (2010) also note that critical studies are multi-method and say, observation and interviewing are used most often. The key is to gather the right form of information that will support the advocacy desired (p. 347-348).People involved (Respondents)The retortings for this study were people who work or had worked within Ghanas universal universities. I had a proxy who helped identify and made initial contact with likely respondents. I interviewed a retired Professor who is the Chairman of a university council. He has been advocating over the decades for education in Ghana to reflect African culture and worldview. I accepted the recommendation from my proxy to interview him. He is vastly familiar simply inclined toward African worldviews. It was important to get such an various(pren ominal) at the apex of university decision-making to offer some insight on the versed dealings of universities. Another respondent was a former Pro-Vice Chancellor of a macrocosm university who is on a post-retirement contract. His past role in the university equips him to offer reason why the spatial relation quo remains and the difficulties that come with understandation. It is difficult to secernate his biases plainly he does not seem entrenched on particular proposition worldviews.A former Registrar of a national university who happens to hold a Ph.D was also interviewed because Registrars in Ghanaian universities are in charge of the day-after-day administration of the university, and hence have rich knowledge on the administrative setup of prevalent universities. His strengths lie in administration. There was a traditional ruler (paramount Chief) who happens to be a Professor in a public university. He is predisposed to favour African worldviews and share light on how difficult or easy it is to fuse African worldviews in the university structure. His knowledge and promotion of ancient African history and African American studies indicates his inclinations. The bordering respondent was a Christian Reverend Minister who is also a Senior Lecturer. His specialization is in Performing Arts and how theatre can be used to develop societies. His works indicate immense African cultural advocacy despite being a Christian priest.I interviewed a former director of an Institute in a public university (position equal to a Dean). He is a Senior Lecturer in the field of Education and his inclinations are quite difficult to tell. The next respondent is a playwright and Lecturer who prior to his academic life held a top position in an international development agency. He was selected due to his knowledge of Ghanaian developmental issues and his deep insight into African cultural worldviews. Furthermore, I interviewed a respondent with expertise in Development St udies. He is a senior research fellow at the social member of an institute in a public university. Lastly, there was also a linguist and who is interested in African liberation and consciousness. His works and views are very political against the West. He is very knowledgeable in African culture and ancient African history. Cumulatively, the respondents have accrued over 200 years of experience working in universities.Data Collection/ influenceI had a proxy in Ghana who agreed to help identify and make initial contact with potential respondents. Though he once held a high position in a public university, he had no power or control over the respondents. later on the respondents agree to participate, I liaised with the proxy to arrange a meeting and plan the interviews. Prior to the interview, I sent the interview guide to the respondents via e-mail so they could form their intellections on the issues therein.The respondents expressed interest in the study and offered a good deal of encouragement. Even though I desired to interview females, the proxy found it difficult to locate them they were either busy or out of the country. I scheduled the interviews for an hour notwithstanding most of them offered more than an hour cardinal hours in some cases and they were willing for follow-up communication. Some offered references and suggested books that would contribute to the research.It was intimidating and quite intimidating going to interview such high compose personalities. Voices like, Are the questions going to make sense to them, and do I know enough to engage an intellectual discussion with these people? kept emit in my mind. Despite these butterflies, I was assured that the questions were shaped by concerns and gaps in literature. I also had it in mind that I was on a mission to learn.Nevertheless, the process came with obstacles. There were several instances where we rescheduled meetings because the respondents were unavailable. In some instances, they had ad libitum engagements so they sacrificed our scheduled meeting. The classic experience was driving for about 150km from capital of Ghana to another region precisely to find the respondent chairing a influence that closed late. He informed me of his schedule but we both thought the programme would finish early. At the end, he was visibly exhausted and had to beget about 80km home (in another region). He asked me to sleep over and make the 80km to his house the next day for the interview. I made the journey but did not get to see him immediately as there were many people waiting to see him. Eventually, when I had the opportunity to meet him, my lack of traditional knowledge was severely exposed. His elders and members of his council would not entertain English/Western protocols, so I had to fall on the limited Palace protocols I know to navigate that space. He nevertheless was extremely helpful and introduced me to many other scholars. From a Western perspective, these issues border on power but the African in me acknowledged that these delays were not intentional, though frustrating and expensive. It was distinct they were busy besides, I saw their acceptance to participate as a favour as there were no payments or incentives. There is an African proverb that With patience, one can dissect the ant and see its intestines.Data AnalysisTo quote Patton (2002), qualitative analysis transforms data into findings. No convening exists for that transformation. Guidance, yes. But no recipe. Direction can and will be offered, but the final destination remains unique for each inquirer, known only when and if arrived at (p. 432). My data analysis began with the growth of the thesis. In the course of write the theoretical perspectives and the literature review, some thematic areas began to emerge. The major themes bordered on notions of elitism in Ghanaian/African H.E, a lack of community-oriented values in Ghanaian/African H.E, and the African renaissance and pride. I employed these as pre-determined themes on which I formulated research questions. Therefore the responses were to answer questions that came out of these themes.I analysed the field data manually by adopting an inductive nestle of qualitative data analysis. I tinned the interviews into text and separated it into practicable units (McMillan Schumacher, 2010, p. 369). I organised the responses and grouped them under the various research questions and read the transcripts thoroughly to identify comments pertinent to answer the research questions. I highlighted these comments and looked out for new observations and insights that could offer other understandings to the study. I examined the field transcripts to identify rising themes and patterns, made interpretations out of the themes, and considered them in regard to the literature and theoretical framework. I subsequently present the findings and discussions in anecdotes (McMillan Schumacher, 2010).CredibilityCredi bility in qualitative studies refers to the extent to which findings and analyses of the study are realistic (McMillan Schumacher, 2010). To ensure this, I designed the interview guide based on issues raised in literature. In addition, I endeavoured to interview different people with different expertise within the university structure. Though I could not get any respondent from administration institutions, the respondents offered worthy responses as some have occupied different positions in government institutions.A technique I employed to enhance credibility of the study was to send the transcribed interview to the respondents via e-mail for them to confirm the agreement appropriately captured their thoughts. I consequently provide detailed narratives from the respondents. Giving that the respondents did not object to the transcripts, the quotations offered in the analysis chapter of this study reflect the data collected. reflexivenessChilisa (2012) argues that the closeness bet ween the researcher and respondents may affect the lawfulness value of research as it becomes difficult to distinguish between their experiences. In this study, I acknowledge my biases, and clearly illustrate and justify them both in my theoretical and methodological perspectives. The nature of Critical Theory and critical studies makes the issue of reflexiveness quite tricky as the research is shaped and designed by biases that must be checked. Being conscious of my biases, I left the plectron of respondents in the hands of a third party. Besides, the respondents are established academics who I could barely influence especially regarding what to say. I also devoted evidentiary space to the voices of the respondents in the analysis chapter to clearly illustrate their thoughts and maintain the truth value of the study.Though triangulation helps in addressing trustworthiness of qualitative studies, the nature and status of my respondents made triangulation quite impossible. I cou ld not use independent auditors, as suggested by Lincoln and Guba (1985), due to ethical restrictions. However, by sending the transcribed interviews to the respondents to validate, I was able to enhance the credibility, transferability, dependability and confirmability of this study, ensuring trustworthy findings that a indorser could transfer and generalise in a similar space.ConclusionIn this chapter, I have outlined the research design used in the research. I have argued that adopting a qualitative approach is appropriate to answer the research questions. Employing a critical studies framework justifies the aim of helping transform social relations between the schooled and unschooled in Ghana. It offers empowerment to students of Ghanas H.E by offering alternative perspectives to help emancipate the schooled from dominant Western perspectives. by means of my proxy, I was able to interview knowledgeable people in Ghanaian universities who offered rich information on how H.E can serve a public purpose. I used the inductive method of qualitative data analysis by highlighting responses that answer the research questions. The emerging themes from responses were synthesised and presented as anecdotes.In the next chapter, I will describe, using my lived experiences, how the educated individual is constructed in Ghana. My autobiographical approach will indicate how the process of schooling divides gild and confers notions of superiority and difference to the highly schooled a phenomenon the study conceptualise as colonial.