All posts by zhanelblog

Research

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.

My Literature review

We made a quite thoughtful description of our thesis topics last time, explaining reasons to choosing particular problems, identifying purpose, and making precise research questions.  Frankly speaking, the comments made me think a lot whether I am on the right path or not.  Certainly, I will keep revising and editing this part throughout the academic year. Another part, which is a foundation of the whole work is a literature review. The process of searching right sources of topic-related information is a very engaging and time-consuming one.  Though, I have some basic sources, I still try to find more and more valuable literature. I would like to refine the definition on inclusive education, not to deviate from it too much and make it more accurate, specific, to be exact.

I divided my thesis into three main themes: Inclusive Education, Inclusive Teachers’ Competences, and Supplementary Tutoring. Why have I chosen this trajectory? Mostly, because I have been involved in supplementary education sector for many years so far and I want to analyze the issue from this particular perspective.  In order to make reading the thesis smooth and easy –to – follow, I will start with general concepts and gradually specifying the sub-themes I will examine in the paper. For instance, “The latest demands of modernization of education system include integration of children with limited health opportunities in mass mainstream schools. …” is an introduction to the topic, while “Inclusive education is aimed at providing learners with special educational needs (SEN) and preferences with equal opportunities to access educational resources and services…” is a more specific notion. Each theme will have paragraphs, so that we could distinguish sub-themes. “The Background of Private Tutoring”, “Pros and Cons of Private Supplementary Tutoring” are examples of it.  The challenge here is to find enough relevant peer-reviewed literature to support ideas and arguments. Especially, in the Kazakhstani context. However, the topic I am analyzing is a very popular phenomenon abroad and has been started to be actively researched. So, I would like to refer to Bray & Kwo (2014) who identified in their studies that 87% of students chose supplementary tutoring before university exams in the Republic of Korea. According to Silova (2009), “of all the Central Asian countries reviewed, the scope of private tutoring was found to be highest in Kazakhstan (64.8%)” (p. 88). Therefore, we do need to conduct research on this phenomenon and identify any relationship of it with inclusive education, it is probable positive or negative impact, and see to what extent specialists are ready to practice inclusive education in their workplaces.

 

 

 

My thesis topic

Our schools will keep facing many challenges towards Inclusive education  until our society is not inclusive. The school is a mirror of the society  and it cannot be an example of Inclusion since children, parents, teachers are still not positive about this issue. The next thing is that IE is discussed mostly  in top-down way and in an official setting : ministries, scholars, principals, teachers in schools, universities. So, many citizens, even tutors working in private centers are ignorant about this problem or just left behind.  However, the number of private educational  centers in Kazakstan is rapidly growing  covering quite big population  of students,parents, and teachers. On top of that, many parents  who have children with extra needs seek quality education out of school since  most  public schools  cannot provide this opportunity. I believe it is wise to promote a notion about inclusive education  not only at schools  but everywhere  we work with children,where it is really relevant and, probably, we will succeed this way faster and more effectively. So, this situation made me want to examine preparedness of  teachers for inclusive education in private educational centers.  The main research question is  how are teachers morally and professionally prepared to apply  Inclusive pedagogy in private educational centers?

While working on my thesis , I would like to analyze in what ways and to what extent  teachers in educational centers can influence on students’, parents’  attitudes towards inclusive education.  My experience in working in such settings, will help me to make a thorough analysis. And I have seen how principals and teachers of the centers were looking for children from disadvantaged families in order to help them and organize new courses for them. Therefore, I hope that this research will bring a lot of benefits  for all stakeholders,especiallay for children  since it will help to understand the pros and cons, possibilities, and challenges weall  need to be aware of.