Our Research Methods course instructors taught us that a literature review is the intention of a researcher to show his readers that he has investigated the topic under the research by reading the main published work regarding the question he is willing to investigate. Furthermore, it will provide the framework for your future work. It is of a great importance that you do not simply describe what other scholars published, but you develop a critical discussion in order to show the insight and awareness of differing arguments, points of view, different theories and approaches.
The main challenge that I faced was the fact that I changed the topic of my research. My new topic is “Teachers’ experiences and perceptions of Universal Design for Learning in one NIS school in Kazakhstan”. As a result, I had to search for a different topic in order to investigate about the issue more. Furthermore, it was difficult to find relevant sources that would suit the idea you wanted to develop.
Based on the body of literature that I found and their relevance to my research and the main research questions, I divided the literature review section into subsections. The first and the most general subsection, which explains the UDL as a big concept is ‘UDL as a framework section’. The other one is ‘Teachers’ understanding of UDL’ which is of a great importance as the research is aimed to explore teachers’ perception of it. The next two subsections are ‘Teachers’ practices of UDL’ and ‘Challenges of UDL’, which will help to identify teachers’ practices, and challenges they face when using the main UDL principles. The organization of my literature review part in such a way helped me to reveal my research sub questions and guided my interview questions.
Throughout the literature review part, I used two sources very often. They are “The three block model of Universal Design for learning (UDL): Engaging students in Inclusive Education” by Jennifer Katz and “Implementing a UDL framework: A study of current personnel preparation practices’ by Scott et al. Both papers contain important and necessary information for my research paper. As it can be seen from the titles of these papers, the first one helped to describe the UDL as a concept while the second one reveals teachers’ practices and their preparedness to implement this approach.
Overall, I found the writing process very challenging. It requires not only hard work but also the skills of analysing, synthesising, summarising and sorting out the necessary and unnecessary information.