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03/08/2012

THESIS CHAPTER 3 - THE EFFECTS OF AN AFTER-SCHOOL ACADEMIC INTERVENTION PROGRAM ON ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS TEST SCORES FOR EIGHTH GRADE AFRICAN AMERICAN MALES


CHAPTER 3

 

METHODS AND PROCEDURE

 

This chapter discussed the research methods available for the study and the applicability of it to use. Likewise, the chapter presented how the research will be implemented and how to come up with pertinent findings.

 

Method of Research to be Used

The descriptive research method uses observation and surveys. In this method, it is possible that the study would be cheap and quick. It could also suggest unanticipated hypotheses. Nonetheless, it would be very hard to rule out alternative explanations and especially infer causations. Thus, this study used the descriptive approach. This descriptive type of research utilized observations in the study.  To illustrate the descriptive type of research, Creswell (1994) guided the researcher when he stated: Descriptive method of research is to gather information about the present existing condition.  The purpose of employing this method is to describe the nature of a situation, as it exists at the time of the study and to explore the cause/s of particular phenomena. The researcher opted to use this kind of research considering the desire of the researcher to obtain first hand data from the respondents so as to formulate rational and sound conclusions and recommendations for the study.

The research described in this document is based fundamentally on qualitative and quantities research methods. This permits a flexible and iterative approach. During data gathering the choice and design of methods are constantly modified, based on ongoing analysis. This allows investigation of important new issues and questions as they arise, and allows the investigators to drop unproductive areas of research from the original research plan.

Qualitative models are more able than traditional models to express states of incomplete knowledge about continuous mechanisms (Benjamin, 1994). Qualitative simulation guarantees to find all possible behaviors consistent with the knowledge in the model. This expressive power and coverage are important in problem solving for diagnosis, design, monitoring, and explanation.

Qualitative evaluation data usually refers to raw, descriptive information about: programs/products and the people who participate in/use them or are affected by them and; programs/products and the people who develop or use them (Paton, 1987). Three data gathering strategies typically characterize qualitative methodology: in-depth, open-ended interviews; direct observation; and written documents (including program records, personal diaries, logs, etc.).

Paton (1987) illustrated the three data gathering strategies of qualitative data as: data from interviews, observations and document reviews are organized into major themes, categories, and case examples. The most common strategy for analyzing qualitative data is constant-comparison, but there are many other techniques from which to choose.

There are a variety of ways to report the results of qualitative research/evaluation; common among them is the sense of story – which includes: attention to detail, descriptive vocabulary, direct quotes from those observed or interviewed, and thematic organization.

Qualitative methods permit the evaluator to study selected issues, cases, or events in depth and detail. Data collection is not constrained by predetermined categories of analysis, allowing for a level of depth and detail that quantitative strategies can't provide.

Qualitative methods are particularly well-suited to exploration, discovery and inductive logic. An evaluation approach is inductive to the extent that the evaluator attempts to make sense of the situation without imposing pre-existing expectations on the setting. Inductive designs begin with specific observations and build toward general patterns.

Fieldwork is the central activity of qualitative data gathering. To be in the field means to have direct, personal contact with people in their own environments. It is the researcher's desire to contextualize program or product implementation that allows him/her to capture important "results" (effects, outcomes) that standardized measures cannot.

Quantitative approaches allow for large-scale measurement of ideas, beliefs, and attitudes. But generally, the set of questions is limited -- facilitating comparison and statistical aggregation of the data. This allows for development of a generalizable set of findings. By contrast, qualitative methods typically produce a wealth of detailed data about a defined number of people and cases – data that need not fit into predetermined response choices that characterize most surveys, questionnaires, or tests.

The main advantages of quantitative research include its objectivity. Unlike many qualitative researchers, quantitative researchers try to keep a 'distance' from their subjects. They use subjects unknown to them and they make no attempt to get to know their subjects other than to collect the required data from them.

Quantitative research methods, if explained in detail are generally very easy to replicate and hence have a high reliability. The results of quantitative research tend to be very simple in that they are generally reduced to a few numerical statistics and interpreted in a few short statements.

A mix of qualitative and quantitative data gathering enriches evaluation; the open-ended comments provide a way to elaborate and contextualize statistical "facts."

            This research seeks to investigate "The effects of an after-school academic intervention program on English Language Arts test scores for eight grade  African America males". This study illustrated the growth of program development/improvement in school industry. Furthermore, this study proposed an alternative plan in developing and implementing programs in school sector. Consequently, the strategy of providing effective program in school was evaluated.

The primary source of data came from a survey questionnaire and interviews that is conducted personally by the researcher. A survey questionnaire was given to the students, teachers, school administrators and other personalities related to school progress. The researcher integrated and discards replies that came from people outside US and those who are not related in school industry.

The secondary sources of data came from published articles in school development and information technology journals, articles, and books relating to the school stability with respect to the effects of an after-school academic intervention program on English Language Arts test scores for eight grade African America males. This served as the basis of the researchers’ assumptions and comparative data on the result of the survey and the interviews.

For this research design, the researcher gathered data, collate published studies from different local and foreign universities and articles from social science journals; and make a content analysis of the collected documentary and verbal material.  Afterwards, the researcher summarized all the information, make a conclusion based on the null hypotheses posited and provide insightful recommendations on the dealing with the development and implementation of programs in marine school industry of US. 

Respondents of the Study

The general population for this study are composed of US residents who are also related to school industry such as students, teachers, school administrators and other resource person related to school industry. The researcher used at survey and has the discretion to discard the responses that may be received. The total number of respondents is the first 60 who fitted the two criteria mentioned above. 

Instruments to be Used

To determine the effects of an after-school academic intervention program on English Language Arts test scores for eight grade African America males, the researcher prepared a questionnaire and a set of guide questions for the interview that is asked to the intended respondents. The respondents graded each statement in the survey-questionnaire using a Likert scale with a five-response scale wherein respondents are given five response choices. The equivalent weights for the answers are:

 

Range                                                 Interpretation

            4.50 – 5.00                                                      Strongly Agree

3.50 – 4.00                                                      Agree

2.50 – 3.49                                                      Uncertain

1.50 – 2.49                                                      Disagree           

0.00 – 1.49                                                      Strongly Disagree

 

Validation of the Instrument

For validation purposes, the researcher initially submitted a sample of the set of survey questionnaires and after approval; the survey is conducted to five respondents.  After the questions are answered, the researcher asked the respondents for any suggestions or any necessary corrections to ensure further improvement and validity of the instrument.  The researcher again examined the content of the interview questions to find out the reliability of the instrument.  The researchers excluded irrelevant questions and changed words that would be deemed difficult by the respondents, too much simpler terms.

Administration of the Instrument

 

The researcher excluded the five respondents who initially used for the validation of the instrument.  The researcher also tallies, score and tabulate all the responses in the provided interview questions. Moreover, the interview used is a structured interview. It is consisted of a list of specific questions and the interviewer does not deviate from the list or inject any extra remarks into the interview process. The interviewer may encourage the interviewee to clarify vague statements or to further elaborate on brief comments. Otherwise, the interviewer attempts to be objective and tries not to influence the interviewer's statements. The interviewer does not share his/her own beliefs and opinions. The structured interview is mostly a "question and answer" session. 

Statistical Treatment of the Data

When the entire survey questionnaire has collected, the researcher used statistics to analyse all the data.

The statistical formulae to be used in the survey questionnaire was the following:

1.        Percentage – to determine the magnitude of the responses to the questionnaire.

            n

% = -------- x 100         ;           n – number of responses

            N                                 N – total number of respondents

 

2.        Weighted Mean

 

            f1x1 + f2x2  + f3x3 + f4x4  + f5x5

x = ---------------------------------------------  ;

                        xt

 

where:             f – weight given to each response

                        x – number of responses

                        xt – total number of responses

           

            To evaluate the information gathered, the following analysis instruments are used: percentage analysis, mean and median analysis, chi-square, and SPSS for statistical analysis of information gathered from the questionnaire survey.

 

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