Today I’d like to share my thoughts on research. Personally, I think I haven’t discovered the phenomenon of the research to a full extent yet. For me it is still a big unfound treasure. Why treasure? Needless to say, how many benefits resesrch can bring to the society. Researchers need to conduct them for the sake of the science. What is the most valuable form of the research? Well, there are two of them: quantitative and qualitative. The first form explores the issue using numerical data, while the latter explores the issue from the perspective of personal experiences and perceptions that give a researcher a deep comprehension of the central phenomenon. Both forms are crucial and their value is relevant according to the purpose and questions of the research. It depends on what and how we should answer to the questions.
The topic of my thesis is “Preparedness of teachers for inclusive education in private supplementary tutoring center in Kazakhstan”. In order to answer the research questions, a qualitative interview-based design will be used. The primary reasons for choosing exactly this approach lie in the fact that a qualitative interview-based research design enables the researcher to hear the participants’ voice, see their emotional state, reaction, mime and gestures that in turns leads to a better understanding of the teachers’ answers. Listening to the participants’ thoughts and opinions from them personally and being confident in their transparency and sincerity increases the quality of the data which will give real outcomes afterwards.
In terms of other educators in Kazakhstan, I think for practinioners qualitative research influences more than the quantitative since they wish to see the process, emotions, reactions, attitudes. On the contrary, administrators need to see numbers in order to monitor the dynamics.
I’d like to say that I can observe some changes in my attitude towards research since the beginning of the courses in this program. I used to think that only results and other formalities matter most, but now I realize it is not so. Bearing my current knowledge and experience on research, I can say that research is a story, a journey, an adventure. It is not an end or final destination. Everytime I learn something new, tell it in more details, and face some obstacles on the way to make my “story” better. For example, my methodology section is one that I like most because it is a heart of my work. Here, I try to justify every idea, every step so that my readers could have no questions why I am doing so. For instance :”Since the study is of a qualitative descriptive character, a purposeful sampling technique will be used. It means that the researcher chooses the participants and the site him/herself and beforehand since they can provide us with valuable necessary information and thus, increase the effectiveness and validity. Creswell (2012) claims that in purposeful sampling “Researchers intentionally select individuals and sites to learn or understand the central phenomenon” (p.206). To this regard, it becomes significant to choose the participants according to certain criteria. That is why maximum variation sampling is relevant in the context of this study, as it allows “researchers to explore the common and unique manifestations of a target phenomenon across a broad range of phenomenally and/or demographically varied cases” (Sandelowski, 2000, p. 338)”. As you see, there are references and citations to support my actions.
I hope that my study will contribute to the knowledge in the field of inclusive education, particularly to the community in the selected site where I am going to conduct research.