Writing a Literature Review

As I missed the first blog post, let me start from short description of my thesis work. The area of my research is dedicated to study of alignment of national curriculum in Mathematics for students with special needs in Astana. In other words, I will try to analyze approaches of Math teachers in adopting core state standards for Mathematics for vulnerable students. Moreover, I will study in what ways objectives of the course are met and assessed.

One of the challenging parts of such uneasy thesis work is to find quality academic studies and articles. Since this is very time consuming process, I kept on just reading for the couple of months prior to this period. It helped me a lot to shape the idea of my thesis work and to figure out in what manner I should organize it. There are a lot of sources on alignment of national curriculum in context of other countries. Nevertheless, only number of them could be related to my topic.

After reading and synthesizing diverse sources I started to write one of the most crucial components in research work, which is writing a literature review. Basically, literature review discusses and summarizes previously published information in a clear manner, so that it could give a reader background information about the topic. In order to follow the general function of this part of thesis study, I decided to divide this section into several subtopics, which covers studies related to state curriculum for Mathematics and its limitations, the general understanding of alignment of national curriculum in diverse contexts, experience of Math teachers teaching students with special needs and assessment of students’ learning outcomes. Moreover, I will highlight similarities and differences of authors’ works related to the alignment. For instance, researchers, such as Kurz, Elliott and Wehby have done significant studies in this area, and I will constantly recall their works in my literature review section.

To add, throughout the whole process of writing my thesis work I will continue to adjust this part, as more and more valuable sources will be found.

4 thoughts on “Writing a Literature Review

  1. Dear Aikorkem,
    Thanks for sharing your work with us! I believe that your study will be very useful for all teachers, because, as I understand, it touches an issue of implementation of state curriculum standards in schools and its adaptation to the needs of vulnerable groups of students.
    It is crucial for teachers to be flexible and able to appropriately introduce curriculum in the classroom, in order to cater to the needs of every child. Educators should strive to assist every learner regardless of his/her abilities to succeed. Each child learns in a unique way, and that’s why, an outdated ‘one size fits all’ approach to teaching and learning, which is still used in our classrooms, does not work at all.
    So, in general, your post is clear to understand, but I would like to know more about the sequence of writing your subtopics.

    Like

  2. Dear Aikorkem,
    It is nice that your field of research is the subject that you teach. It will probably be helpful!
    Concerning your post, as Aisha mentioned I would also like to see how you organized you literature review part: how you divided it into paragraphs, and whether you used sub-headings or not. The next thing I am interested in is the sources that you use. You have already said that you have been reading a lot for a couple of months, so you probably have your favorite researchers/researches. Could you please mention them and also state the reasons for choosing them?
    Coming to the language of your post I find it ok. However, I think you and I should revise definite and indefinite articles. They are known to be one of the hardest topics in the grammar of English language. I am saying this because when reading your post I felt as if there are articles needed in some cases, for example:
    1. … let me start from short description of my thesis work. Do we need article “a” before short?
    2. … dedicated to study of alignment of national curriculum in Mathematics. I think we need professor Philip’s assistance in this sentence=)
    3. I will try to analyze approaches of Math teachers in adopting core state standards for Mathematics for vulnerable students. Do we need “the” before approaches?
    I have had this confusion with articles throughout your post, so articles is really what we need to revise!=))

    Good luck!

    Like

  3. Hi, Aikorkem.

    I’m glad you managed to join us on the blog (as they say, better late than never!). Your peers have already provided great feedback comments, so I’ll just jump the things they already pointed out:

    Articles:
    (Kymbat is right about examples 1 and 3 above)

    Wordiness:
    The area of my research is dedicated to study of alignment of national curriculum in Mathematics for students with special needs in Astana. (Try “My research is dedicated to understanding how the national mathematics curriculum aligns with special needs students in Astana.”)

    Basically, __ literature review discusses and summarizes previously published information in a clear manner, so that it could give a reader background information about the topic.
    (Basically, the literature review provides readers with a clear understanding of the topic by discussing and summarizing previous studies.)

    Commas:

    After reading and synthesizing diverse sources__ I started to write…

    4/5 (late) -> 3.5/5

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  4. Dear Aikorkem,
    I will be definitely looking forward to seeing the results of your study because I found the topic of your thesis very interesting, and at the same time challenging. What who requireMy only suggestion regarding your thesis topic would be to focus on a certain group or groups of children with special needs. Otherwise, there are so many vulnerable students with special educational needs who need different range of approaches in adapting core standards, which I think is very problematic to investigate in scope of one research.
    As for your literature review, I can see how your subtopics are relevant to your topic and have the potential to fully reveal the topic. I would also love to know more about some strategies that you use when developing your literature review section. How did you choose the headings of your subtopics? How do you organize big amount of literature?

    Like

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