The Beauty of Research

In this discussion post, I would like to share my opinion about the importance and relevance of different research approaches and designs. There are two general approaches to data collection process – quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative research explores the issue in breadth while qualitative research seeks depth in personal perceptions and experiences. As for the question which approach serves the researcher best, I believe that both approaches are significant and the value of each is dependent on the research question and purpose. The choice is primarily defined by the interest that those who are affected take in it. Though, practitioners may take greater interest in exploring the depth of a particular case whereas administrators  gain more benefit from numerical data in order to set forward recommendations.

As for the educational context in Kazakhstan, I think that the best way to appeal to the policy makers and administrators is to use solid numerical data in order to set positive changes in motion. People tend to believe numbers because, as many believe, they do not lie. However, as Mark Twain, a well-known American writer once wisely noted “Figures do not lie, but liars do figure”. There is no doubt that any form of research is embedded into highly ethical intentions and rigorous procedures to reveal the true state of things.

The choice of my research methodology has been defined by the research aim to explore teachers’ perceptions and experiences of differentiated instruction in a secondary school in Kazakhstan. In order to reveal teachers’ attitudes towards diversity of learning needs in their classrooms and the practices that they employ to meet those needs, the case study research design was selected. I will triangulate the research data by interviewing teachers, observing their lessons, and analyzing the subject documents. The triangulation approach will help me to understand the reasons of their professional choices and show how their understandings shape their teaching practices overall.

I believe that the selected research design will be beneficial for my school community as differentiated instruction has become one of the prioritized directions of teachers’ professional development at school. Teachers talk a lot about differentiated instruction and their practices are usually restricted by mere retrofitting practices. However, according to the vast body of knowledge and research, differentiated instruction is not about having a set of strategies up in one’s sleeve which come handy whenever an unexpected classroom situation occurs, but it is a teaching philosophy deeply grounded into personal and professional values.

In conclusion, I would like to say that the beauty of research lies in the truth that it seeks. It helps to formally articulate the truth so that things eventually change for good. Another fascination about research for me is that it allows to reconsider the mundane issues from quite different perspectives, thus gaining deeper understanding. As Albert Szent Gyorgyi, a Hungarian Nobel Prize winner once said “Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought”.

4 thoughts on “The Beauty of Research

  1. Ainur, this is a very interesting post about the choice of research methods. Relating your arguments to your thesis writing process as well as evaluation of its practical application are very beneficial to the reader. I appreciate how well-thought and structured your post is making it easy to follow. However, I think the last sentence of the opening paragraph is a bit wordy. It appears quite long due to expressing different ideas using the same words and sentence structure. I suggest breaking this sentence into two small ones and slightly changing the word choice. For example:
    Practitioners might be more interested in exploring the depth of a particular case to gain a profound understanding. Administrators benefit more from the numerical data in promoting recommendations for the majority of stakeholders.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Natalya,

      Thank you very much for the suggested improvements. I will take them into account and update the post to make the introductory part clearer.

      Like

  2. Dear Ainur,

    I have noticed that our research topics resonate much, since I am intending to explore teachers’ experiences and perceptions of Universal Design for Learning. Differentiated instructions and UDL share the same ideas and principles.
    I agree that the choice of the type of research may vary depending on the scale and nature. The research design that you chose clearly indicates what you are going to do. I believe the utcomes will be benefitial to improve teaching practices and make them more inclusive.

    Like

  3. Super post, Ainur. You really captured the depth and breadth of the topic. You have a nice way speaking to the audience on a personal level, incorporating good examples (like a quote from Twain) to discuss the role of research in society. Great job. 5/5->late->4.5/5

    Like

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