How to write Research Methodology in Thesis

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DrJohnRyder,United Kingdom,Researcher
Published Date:07-07-2017
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Chapter 1 Perception of Research Research has moved during this century from the periphery to the centre of our social and economic life. What is the nature of this force? Why it is getting momentum? Most of us recognize that the progress which has been made in our society has been largely the result of research, we do not have an exact definition of the term. Most of us have a vague idea of what is involved but our concept of research generally is too much oriented toward experimentation as conducted in the social sciences. MEANING OF RESEARCH Research simply seeks the answer of certain questions which have not been answered so far and the answers depend upon human efforts. It may be illustrated by taking an example of the moon. Some years ago man did not know what exactly the moon is? Was this problem which had no solution? Man could only make some assumptions about it but the man now this time by his efforts, he went to the moon brought the soil of the moon and studied it. The man is now able to give concrete answer of the problem what is the moon? But the question arises, “Is the answer of the question in examination also research”? The answer is ‘no’, because the answers of these questions are available. They are available in text-books, class-notes etc. Research answers only those questions of which the answers are not available in literature i.e., in human knowledge. Thus, we can say research seeks the answer only of those questions of which the answers can be given on the basis of available facilities. Actually research is simply the process of arriving as dependable solution to a problem through the planned and systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of data. Research is the most important process for advancing knowledge for promoting progress and to enable man to relate more effectively to his environment to accomplish his purpose and to resolve his conflicts. Although it is not the only way, it is one of the more effective ways of solving scientific problems. From the beginning of time man has noted certain irregularities among the phenomena and events of his experiences and has attempted to devise laws and principles which express these regularities. These laws and principles are of course not without expectation, any law is valid only under the conditions under which it was derived. Even though objects tend to fall, they have been known to rise when other forces are active, but this does not deny the general principle of gravity. Research is devoted to find the conditions under which a certain phenomenon occurs and the conditions under which it does not occur in what might appear to be similar circumstances. Our culture puts such a premium on science that the terms science and scientific are frequently misused. Research is also frequently in contexts where little research in the true sense of the world is actually done. A person no longer looks up a word in dictionary or a historical fact in the encyclopaedia he researches it. Many agencies claiming to do research are engaged in nothing more than fact-findings.2 Fundamental of Research Methodology TERM RESEARCH The term ‘Research’ consists of two words: Research = Re + Search ‘Re’ means again and again and ‘Search’ means to find out something, the following is the process: Observes Collection of data Phenomena Person Conclusions Analysis of data Again and again Therefore, research means to observe the phenomena again and again from different dimensions. For example there are many theories of learning due to the observation from different dimensions. The research is a process of which a person observes the phenomena again and again and collects the data and on the basis of data he draws some conclusions. Research is oriented towards the discovery of relationship that exists among phenomena of the world in which we live. The fundamental assumption is that invariant relationship exists between certain antecedents and certain consequents so that under a specific set of conditions a certain consequents can be expected to follow the introduction of a given antecedent. DEFINITIONS OF RESEARCH According to Rusk “Research is a point of view, an attitude of inquiry or a frame of mind. It asks questions which have hitherto not been asked, and it seeks to answer them by following a fairly definite procedure. It is not a mere theorising, but rather an attempt to elicit facts and to face them once they have been assembled. Research is likewise not an attempt to bolster up pre-conceived opinions, and it implies a readiness to accept the conclusions to which an inquiry leads, no matter how unwelcome they may prove. When successful, research adds to the scientific knowledge of the subject. According to George J. Mouly He defines research as, “The systematic and scholarly application of the scientific method interpreted in its broader sense, to the solution of social studiesal problems; conversely, any systematic study designed to promote the development of social studies as a science can be considered research.” According to Francis G. Cornell “To be sure the best research is that which is reliable verifiable and exhaustive, so that it provides information in which we have confidence. The main point here is that research is, literally speaking, a kind of human behaviour, an activity in which people engage. By this definition all intelligent human behaviour involves some research.” “In social studies, teachers, administrators, or others engage in ‘Research’ when they systematically and purposefully assemble information about schools, school children, the social matrix in which a school or school system is determined, the characteristic of the learner or the interaction between the school and pupil.”Perception of Research 3 According to Clifford Woody of the University of Michigan He writes that in an article in the Journal of Social Studies Research (1927), research is a carefully inquiry or examination in seeking facts or principles; a diligent investigation to ascertain something, according to Webster’s New International Dictionary. This definition makes clear the fact that research is not merely a search for truth, but a prolonged, intensive, purposeful search. In the last analysis, research constitutes a method for the discovery of truth which is really a method of critical thinking. It comprises defining and redefining problems; formulating hypotheses or suggested solutions; collecting, organising and evaluating data; making deductions and reaching conclusions; and at last, carefully testing the conclusions to determine whether they fit the formulating hypotheses. According to C.C. Crawford He writes that “Research is simply a systematic and refined technique of thinking, employing specialised tools, instruments, and procedures in order to obtain a more adequate solution of a problem than would be possible under ordinary means. It starts with a problem, collects data or facts, analysis these critically and reaches decisions based on the actual evidence. It evolves original work instead of mere exercise of personal. It evolves from a genuine desire to know rather than a desire to prove something. It is quantitative, seeking to know not only what but how much, and measurement is therefore, a central feature of it.” John W. Best thinks, “Research is considered to be the more formal, systematic, intensive process of carrying on the scientific methods of analysis. It involves a more systematic structure of investigation, usually resulting in some sort of formal record of procedures and a report of results or conclusions.” “Research is but diligent search which enjoys the high flavour or primitive hunting.” – James Harvey Robinson “Research is the manipulation of things concepts or symbols for the purpose of generalizing to extend, correct or verify knowledge, whether that knowledge aids in the practice of an art.” – Encyclopaedia of Social Science “Research is a systematized effort to gain new knowledge.” – V. Redman and A.V.H. Mory According to C. Francies Rummel “Research is an endeavour to discover, develop and verify knowledge. It is an intellectual process that has developed over hundreds of years, ever changing in purpose and form and always searching for truth.” P.M. Cook has given a very comprehensive and functional definition of the term research “Research is an honest exhaustive, intelligent searching for facts and their meanings or implications with reference to a given problem. The product or findings of a given piece of research should be an authentic, verifiable and contribution to knowledge in the field studied.” He has emphasised the following characteristics of research in his definition: 1. It is an honest and exhaustive process. 2. The facts are studied with understanding. 3. The facts are discovered in the light of problem. Research is problem-centred. 4. The findings are valid and verifiable. 5. Research work should contribute new knowledge in that field.4 Fundamental of Research Methodology According to W.S. Monroe Monroe, University of Illinois states, “Research may be defined as a method of studying problems whose solutions are to be derived partly or wholly from facts. The facts dealt with in research may be statements of opinion, historical facts, those contained in records and reports, the results of tests, answers to questionnaires, experimental data of any sort, and so forth. The final purpose of research is to ascertain principles and develop procedures for use in the field of social studies; therefore, it should conclude by formulating principles or procedures. The mere collection and tabulation of facts is not research, though it may be preliminary to it on eve a part thereof.” According to R.M. Hutchins R.M. Hutchins, Chancellor of the University of Chicago, in “The Higher Learning in America” says, “Research in the sense of the development, elaboration, and refinement of principles, together with the collection and use of empirical materials to aid in these processes, is one of the highest activities of a university and one in which all its professors should be engaged.” J.H. McGrath and D.E. Watson have defined the term ‘Research’ more comprehensively. “Research is a process which has utility to the extent that class of inquiry employed as the research activity vehicle is capable of adding knowledge, of stimulating progress and helping society and man relate more efficiently and effectively to the problems that society and man perpetuate and create.” GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF RESEARCH The following characteristics may be gathered from the definitions of ‘Research’ 1. It gathers new knowledge or data from primary or first-hand sources. 2. It places emphasis upon the discovery of general principles. 3. It is an exact systematic and accurate investigation. 4. It uses certain valid data gathering devices. 5. It is logical and objective. 6. The researcher resists the temptation to seek only the data that support his hypotheses. 7. The researcher eliminates personal feelings and preferences. 8. It endeavours to organise data in quantitative terms. 9. Research is patient and unhurried activity. 10. The researcher is willing to follow his procedures to the conclusions that may be unpopular and bring social disapproval. 11. Research is carefully recorded and reported. 12. Conclusions and generalisations are arrived at carefully and cautiously. THE FUNCTIONS OF RESEARCH The following are the main functions of research The main function of research is to improve research procedures through the refinement and extension of knowledge.Perception of Research 5 The refinement of existing knowledge or the acquisition of new knowledge is essentially an intermediate step toward the improvement of the social studiesal process. The social studiesal improvement is associated with various aspects of Social Studies: (a) The function of research is to aid to making a decision concerning the refinement or extension of knowledge in this particular area. (b) The function of research is to improve the students learning and classroom problem with which teacher is encountering with problems. The more effective techniques for teaching can be developed. (c) Another function of research is to aid social studiesal administrators to improve the Social Studiesal systems. The Researches should contribute to the theory and practice of study studies simultaneously. It should have the image of a helpful mechanism which can be used by researcher/researchsholar in one way or the other, for the improvement of the process. SPECIFIC CHARACTERISTICS OF RESEARCH The following are the main characteristics of research: 1. A sound philosophy of social studies as the basis of research Robert R. Rusk observes. “In the application of scientific procedure to social studies a sound philosophy- as well as a sound commonsense must be invoked to save the scientific procedure from itself.” 2. Research is based on insight and imagination The same writer feels, “Social studies by its reliance on research must never fail to realize that in addition to its practical practitioner and skilled investigators, it stands in need of men and women of imaginative insight, who look beyond, he present and behold the vision splendid. If the vision should fade into the light of common day, not only will the people perish, but research itself will become a sterile futility.” 3. Research requires an inter-disciplinary approach Research is not the mere description of elementary and isolated facts of nature. It must be related to the study of complex relationships of various facts. It requires an inter- disciplinary approach. 4. Research usually employs deductive reasoning process Eric Hylla writes in the ‘Nature and Functions of Research’, the science of mind commonly uses methods of description, explanation, interpretation, sympathetic or intuitive understanding methods which are mainly speculative and deductive in character and which rarely furnish results that can be subjected to measurement or mathematical procedures. 5. Research should come out of a desire to do things better Stephen M. Corey writes. “Better social studiesal means better development or formulation of instructional aims, better motivation of pupils, better teaching methods, better evaluation and better supervision and administration, these are ‘activities’ or ‘operations’.6 Fundamental of Research Methodology 6. Research is not as exact as research in physical science No two human beings have ever been found to be alike. No scientific investigations of human behaviour even those of socalled “identical twins” have resulted in the findings of individuals completely similar in structure or behaviour. “In the whole world there are probably no two things exactly alike similarly no two human beings are alike, they differ physically in size, weight, height, colour of eyes and hair texture of skin and in a thousand other details as well as in thousands of details of mental, social and spiritual life,” writes H.C. McKown. This fact stands in the way of making research as an exact science. 7. Research is not the field of the specialist only W.C. Redford writes, “In sum, I believe the teachers in every country have the opportunity and the capacity to undertake some research. Such research, carried out in the day-to-day work of the school, should be concerned directly with the problems of that school. It can properly concern itself with such matters as child development, class organisation, teacher-pupil relationships, interaction with the community, curriculum matters, teaching techniques and many others.” Similarly, V.V. Kamat, in an article entitled “Can a teacher do research?” published in ‘Teaching’ making these remarks: “Any teacher with commonsense, intelligence and insight can undertake research in a problem. In the beginning such workers may require some guidance and training but this can be made easily available to them at the hands of experts.” 8. Research generally requires inexpensive material In many social studies research studies we simply need subjects, i.e., children, their social studiesal tools of daily use, paper and pencil and a few tests. 9. Research is based on the subjectivity and intangibility of social phenomena Lundberg has pointed out that the physical phenomena may be known directly through sense, whereas social phenomena are known only symbolically through words representing such phenomena as tradition, custom, attitude, values and the whole realm of so called subjective worlds. 10. Research is perhaps incapable of being dealt through empirical method According to Lundberg “Exact science tends to become increasingly quantitative in its units, measures, and terminology while most of the matter of social science is quantitative and does not admit of quantitative statement. We can talk of urbanisation, cultural assimilation etc. but we can’t measure quantitatively. We may talk of growing indiscipline, but unless we can measure it, unless we can ascertain the degree of indiscipline, we cannot find a perfect cure.” According to Mitchell, “Even in the work of the most statistically minded, qualitative analysis will have a place. Always our measurements, the pre-conceptions shape our ends, our first glimpses of new problems, our widest generalisations will remain qualitative in form.” 11. Research is based on inter dependence of causes and effect In case of a social phenomena the cause and the effect are inter dependent and one stimulates the other. It becomes, therefore, very difficult to find as to what is the cause and what is the fore effect. MacIver rightly points out, “Social science has hitherto suffered greatly from the attempt to make it conform toPerception of Research 7 method derived from the order and more abstract sciences. It has led us to look for impossible results and to be disappointed at not getting them. We enquire, for example, after the manner of physical sciences which of the two related social phenomena is cause and which the effect. It usually turns out in the social sphere, that both are cause and both are effect. 12. Research cannot be a mechanical process Symonds concludes that research is, ... “not something that can be ground out as by a machine. Research can never be made a mechanical process. There is no problem worthy of study that does not include unknown elements and does not require a fresh approach and attack. Too much of the research done by students in recent years has smaked of the mechanical or merely following the methods and procedures of some predecessors without clear insight, into the problem itself or the methods to be used in attacking it. Much of the research in social studies that is being published fails to receive recognition because it lacks that spark of originality that must accompany an attack on a new problem. Research methods and techniques can be taught, but after they are mastered there is still the problem of attacking a new problem and genuine contribution to social studies cannot be made without the willingness to pioneer into new fields or to work out new procedures. Genuine research must be an exploration. Any student who wishes to undertake research in social studies must be willing to take venture into the unknown and only by doing so he will bring back the fruit of genuine discovery.” The criticism of research, Hugh B. Wood states: “Every year about a thousand young men and women go off justly neglected corners of knowledge and assemble tiny scraps of more or less useless information into a little pile of dust, which, adopted with comparative tables, correlative graphs, and other forms of academic is served up as a thesis. The reward is the little of Doctor of Philosophy, which enables its recipient to ascend the social studies as ladder and in time teach other young men and women to scrap together their own heaps of dust or doctoral dissertations.” OBJECTIVES OF RESEARCH The research has the following three objectives: 1. Theoretical objective 2. Factual objective and 3. Application objective. 1. Theoretical Objective Those researches whose objectives are theoretical formulate the new theories, principles or laws. Such type of research is explanatory because it explains the relationships of certain variables. These researches contribute some basic knowledge to the human knowledge. The researches in different disciplines i.e., Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics etc. have the theoretical objective. 2. Factual Objective Those researches whose objective is factual find out new facts. This objective is by nature descriptive. These researches describe facts or events which happened previously. Such type of research is done in history.8 Fundamental of Research Methodology 3. Application Objective The research having application objective does not contribute a new knowledge in the fund of human knowledge but suggests new applications. By application we mean improvement and modification in practice. For example if anyone gives a new application of electricity then such type of research has application objective. CLASSIFICATION OF RESEARCH In actual practice, research is conducted at different levels and for different immediate purposes. The level at which a person operates in the field depends on the objectives he intends to accomplish. Generally research has two levels: 1. Basic level and 2. Applied level. 1. Basic Level Trevers has defined basic level as basic research. It is designed to add an organized body of scientific knowledge and does not necessarily produce results of immediate practical value. 2. Applied Level Applied research is undertaken to solve an immediate practical problem and the goal of adding to scientific knowledge is secondary. A common mistake is to assume that levels differ according to complexity and that basic research tends to be complex and applied research. Some applied research is quite complex and some basic research is rather simple. KINDS OF RESEARCH There are various bases to classify the research. A. On the Basis of Objectives of Research On the basis of objectives of research they are of two types: 1. Fundamental research and 2. Action research. B. On the Basis of Approach of Research On the basis of approach of Research they are of two types: 1. Longitudinal research: Historical research, case study, genetic comes under longitudinal approach of research. 2. Cross sectional research: Experimental research, survey are the examples of cross sectional research. C. On the Basis of Precision in Research Findings On the basis of precision (accuracy) the researches are: 1. Experimental research andPerception of Research 9 2. Non-experimental research. Experimental research is precise while non-experimental is not. D. On the Basis of Nature of Findings On the basis of findings Researches are of two types: 1. Explanatory research: Such researches explain more concerned theories. laws and principles. 2. Descriptive research: These are more concerned with facts. E. According to National Science Foundation These National Science Foundation formulated a three-fold classification of research. 1. Basic research: Those researches which embrace origin or unique investigation for the advancement of knowledge. 2. Applied research: Which may be characterized as the utilization in practice. 3. Development research: It is the use of scientific knowledge for the production of useful materials, devices, systems, methods for processes excluding design and production engineering. F. Another Classification 1. Adhoc research: Adhoc research is the class of inquiry used for a purpose alone and special. 2. Empirical research: Empirical research is that which depends upon the experience or observation of phenomena and events. 3. Explained research: Explained research is that which is based on a theory. 4. Boarder line research: Boarder line research is that which involves those main two branches or are as of science. For example study of public school finance. TYPES OF RESEARCH There are three types of objectives of research: theoretical, factual and application. The first two types of objectives of research contribute new knowledge in the form of new theory and facts in a particular field of study or discipline. The third objective does not contribute to knowledge but suggests new application for practical problems. Thus, the researches are classified broadly into two categories: 1. Fundamental or Basic research, and 2. Action research or Applied research. Meaning and Definition of Action Research The concept of action research is very old but Stephen M. Corey has applied this concept first in the field of social studies. He has defined the term action research: “The process by which practitioners attempt to study their problems scientifically in order to guide, correct and evaluate their decision and action is what a number of people have called action research.”10 Fundamental of Research Methodology According to Corey–“Action research is a process for studying problems by practitioners scientifically to take decision for improving their current practices.” “Research concerned with school problems carried on by school personal to improve schools practice is action research.” – Sara Blackwell. According Mc. Threte –“Action research is organized, investigative activity, aimed towards to study and constructive change of given endeavour by individual or group concerned with change and improvement.” On the basis of these definitions of action research, the following characteristics may be enumerated : 1. It is a process for studying practical problems of social studies. 2. It is a scientific procedure for finding out a practical solution of current problem. 3. The practitioner can only study his problem. 4. It is a personal research for clinical research work. 5. The focus is to improve and modify the current practices. 6. The individual and group problems studied by action research. 7. It does not contribute to the fund of knowledge. Origin of Action Research The concept of action research is based on the ‘Modern Human Organization Theory.’ This organization theory is task and relationship centred. It assumes that worker of the organization has the capacity to solve the problem and take decision. He brings certain values, interest and attitudes in the organization. Therefore, the opportunities should be given to the workers of the organization to study and solve the current problems of their practices so that they can improve and modify their practices. The effectiveness of an organization depends on the abilities and skills of the workers. They have to encounter some problems and can realize the gravity of the problems. The practitioner can only study and solve the problems of the current practices. The workers’ will be efficient when they will be given freedom for improving and modifying their practices. The origin of action research is also considered from the field of psychology or social psychology. Kurt Lewin explains life space in terms of person and goal. There is a barrier in between person and goal. He was to overcome the barrier to achieve the goal. ‘It depends on the abilities of the person to achieve the goal. The person’s activities are governed by the goal. The practitioner has to face this type of situation. The concept of action research is being used in Social Studies since (1926). Backingham has mentioned this concept first in his book ‘Research for Teachers’. But Stephen M. Corey used this concept for solving the problems of Social Studies for the first time. Steps of Action Research The research work is done by reflective thinking and not by traditional thinking. The reflective thinking functions systematically. The steps of research are drawn from reflective thinking. The following are the six steps of research: 1. Selection of the problem. 2. Formulation of hypotheses.Perception of Research 11 3. Design of research. 4. Collection of data. 5. Analysis of data. 6. Formulation of conclusions. First Step The problem is selected and defined. The feasibility of the problem depends on its delimitations. Hence, the problem is also delimited in this step. Second Step Some tentative solutions are given for the problem when these solutions are based on certain rationale they are termed as hypothesis. Therefore, in this step hypotheses are formulated. Third Step These hypotheses are subjected to verification. A design of research is developed for collection of data or evidences for testing the hypotheses. It involves method, sample and techniques of research. The appropriate method and techniques are selected for this purpose. Fourth Step The observations and research tools are administered on the subjects and their responses are scored out. Thus, the obtained data are organized in tabular form. Fifth Step The appropriate statistical techniques are used to analyse the data so that some decisions may be taken about the hypotheses. The results are used to draw some conclusions. Sixth Step The results are discussed and some conclusions are drawn in the form of new information, theory, facts and solution for the practical problems. These steps are followed in both types of research: fundamental and action research, but there is significant difference between the two. The comparison of fundamental and action research has been provided in the tabular form on next pages. Objectives of Action Research The action research projects are conducted for achieving the following objectives: 1. To improve the working conditions of school plant. 2. To develop the scientific attitude among teachers and principals for studying their problems. 3. To develop the scientific attitude among students and teachers for understanding and solving their problems. 4. To bring excellence in school workers. 5. To develop the ability and understanding among administrators to improve and modify the school conditions and make it more conducive to learning. 6. To root out the traditional and mechanical environment of school. 7. To make the school system effective for generating a healthy environment for student learning. 8. To raise the level of performance and level of aspiration of the students.12 Fundamental of Research Methodology Fields of Action Research The action research projects may be designed in the following field of Social Studies: 1. In improving and modifying the classroom teaching strategies, tactics and teaching aids. 2. In developing interests; attitudes and values of the students towards their studies. 3. In dealing the classroom problems and school problem relating to discipline and code of conduct. 4. In assigning the home work so that students should take interest in completing them. 5. In improving the spelling errors and wrong pronunciation. 6. In dealing with the problems of poor attendance in class as well as In school and coming late in school. 7. In developing the habit of completing class notes and active participation. 8. In removing the practice of copying in the examination. 9. In solving the personal problems of students relating to school situations or poor adjustment. 10. In dealing with the problems of school administration organization. Characteristics of an Investigator A good research worker should possess the following qualities: 1. He should have the full understanding about the functions and activities of his job. 2. He should have the reflective thinking about various dimensions of his job activities. 3. He should be sensitive towards his job. A sensitive person can perceive the problem. Most of the teachers are problem blind because they are not sensitive towards the job. 4. He should be creative and imaginative. These abilities are essential in formulating the action hypotheses for his problem. 5. He should have the knowledge and training of action research. . 6. He should have insightful into his area. During his teaching experience he can identify the real problem on the basis of his insight. 7. He should have the scientific attitude for studying and observing things. 8. There should be an objectivity in his thinking. 9. His behaviour should be democratic. The action research design should not intervene the activities of other teachers of school activities. 10. The most important characteristics is the patience and pursuant of the investigator. 11. He should have knowledge and skill of measuring instruments and elementary statistics. 12. He should have open mind so that he can discuss his problems with his colleagues and experts of the field to have correct picture of the problem. 13. He should have an urge to bring about excellence in job economical performance. 14. He should be economical in designing the project from time, energy and money point of view. Steps of Action Research In designing and conducting action-hyper-research project the following steps are followed :Perception of Research 13 1. Identification of Problem A teacher should be sensitive towards job activities. The problem is isolated from the broad field. The investigator must realize the seriousness of the problem. 2. Defining and Delimiting the Problem After Identifying the problem. it should be defined so that action and goal may be specified. The delimitation means to localize the problem in terms of class subject, group and period in which a teacher perceives the problem. 3. Analysing Causes of the Problem The causes of the problem are analysed with the help of some evidences. The nature of the causes is also analysed whether it is under the control or beyond the control of the investigator. This helps in formulating the action hypothesis. 4. Formulating the Action Hypotheses The basis for the formulation action-hypotheses are the causes of the problem which are under the approach of the investigator. The statement of action-hypothesis consists of the two aspects: action and goal. It indicates that the action should be taken for achieving the goal. 5. Design for Testing the Action Hypothesis A design is developed for testing the most important action-hypothesis. Some actions may be taken and their results are observed. If the hypothesis is not accepted second design is developed for testing another hypothesis. In action-research one hypothesis is tested at a time. The design of action-research is flexible and can be changed at any time according to the convenience of the researcher. 6. Conclusions of Action Research Project The accepting or rejecting the action-hypothesis leads to draw some conclusions. The statement of conclusion indicates some prescription for the practical problem of school or classroom. The conclusions are useful in modifying and improving the current practices of school and classroom teaching. The National Council of Research and Training has been taken interest in the action research projects. The extension departments of NCERT have been conducting seminars and workshops for in service teachers for imparting knowledge and skill of action research projects. It has developed Its own paradigm of action I research projects. A Paradigm of Action Research Projects The steps and sub-steps are proposed by NCERT for conducting action research projects: 1. Topic of the project. 2. Objective of the project. 3. The system of the project work. 4. Evaluation of the project. 5. Estimation of expenditure for the project. 6. Name of the institution, number of students enrolled with sections. 7. Number of teachers in different subjects. 8. The available facilities in school for the project work. (a) Background for the project work. (b) The importance of the project for the school.14 Fundamental of Research Methodology (c) Identification of problem. (d) Defining and delimiting the problem. (e) Formulation of action hypotheses. (f) Testing the action hypotheses. (g) Conclusions of the project work. (h) Remarks by the investigator. On these lines the teacher plans an experimental project, after conducting the experiment he writes a report of his project work. Experimental Project of Action Research The experimental project is designed for solving the problem of English teaching. 1. Topic of the Project A study for improving the spelling errors in English. 2. Investigator An experienced teacher of English. 3. Background for the Project Work The English teacher has observed and experienced that students commit more errors in English spellings. He has noted several types of spelling errors in student’s home assignments compositions, translation and their written work. 4. Objectives of the Project This project is designed and conducted for achieving the following objectives: (i) To make sensitive to students for their spelling errors in English. (ii) To improve the English spellings of the students. (iii) To promote the level of achievement in English. (iv) To realize the need and importance of correct spellings in English language. This project is directly conditioned by these objectives. 5. The Importance of the Project for the School English is the second language but it is the international language. Even in our country we can exchange the ideas with the persons living in every con mer. It is only the media of communication in our country as well as abroad. It is an important language. Therefore students must learn English correctly. 6. Field of the Problem The field of project is the spelling errors in English language. 7. Specification of the Problem The problem is located in class IX A, period second at DAV Inter College Dehradun. The students of this class commit several types of spelling errors in English. 8. Analysing Causes of the Problem The causes of the problem are identified objectively so that tentative solutions may be developed for the problem. The causes are analysed with the help of following table.Perception of Research 15 Causes Evidence Nature Control 1. The students do not By observing the Fact Under the approach complete their written written work of students of the teacher work attentively and in English Language. seriously. 2. They do not give due By administering May be fact of Under the approach attention to spelling recognition or recall Conjecture of the teacher during their study. types test. 3. The teachers do not give Inquiring from the May be or Under the approach due importance to students and Conjecture of the teacher spellings during their supervising their teaching. written work. 4. The students are lacking Oral questions may be Fact May be or may not be in the pre-requisites do asked on English under the approach of not have clear grammar and previous teacher. understanding of English knowledge grammar. The analysis of the causes of the problem provides the basis for the formulation of action hypotheses. 9. Formulation of Action Hypotheses The following two action hypotheses have been developed by considering the causes which are under the approach of the English teacher. First Action Hypothesis: The modification and improvement may be done in English spelling errors by proper correction of English written work. The first part of Action Hypothesis indicates goal and later part is the action to be taken for achieving the goal. Second Action Hypothesis: The spellings of words and their meanings should be emphasized by the teacher to improve the spelling errors in English teaching. The first part of this action hypothesis refers to the action part and second part indicates the goal. The action hypotheses are tested by using separate designs of the project. 10. Design for Testing Action Hypothesis The first action hypothesis is tested by employing the following design of the project. The data are collected during the project work if the evidences indicate significant improvement in spellings of English words. There is no need to test the second hypothesis. 11. Evaluation The evaluation of the project work is done in terms of accepting and rejecting the. hypothesis. The bar diagrams are prepared for the spelling errors. The percentages of errors are calculated to analyse the16 Fundamental of Research Methodology improvement in English spellings. Some spelling tests may be administered to examine the significance of improvement in english spellings. The conclusions may be drawn in the form of remedial measures for the problem. Initiation of Activities Technique Source Time 1. The teacher will prepare a He will discuss this Text-books and Two days list of different types of issue to other English prescribed syllabus. written work of English. teachers 2. The teacher will prepare an By considering the Programme of the Three days outline of his written work papers of English which whole session and of his whole session or has been assigned to time table. semester. him. 3. The teacher will assign The students work load By consulting the Four weeks written work I every week may be considered in teachers of other of different nature. assigning the written subjects regarding work. home work. 4. The teacher has to check the The written work may He can take help of Four weeks written work of English be checked before the good students of properly and will assign students or in their English. some grades or marks. absence. 12. Comments of the Investigator After testing the hypothesis teacher may improve the teaching techniques and instructional procedure. The teacher can minimise the English spelling errors. He can promote the level of achievement in English. Suggestions for Action Research Project In developing an action research project the following suggestions should be kept in mind: 1. The nature of the project should be decided whether it is developmental project or experimental project. 2. The investigator must be directly associated with the problem to be studied. 3. The form of problem should be real. 4. The project should be so planned that it should not intervene the functioning of other school working.Perception of Research 17 5. The project should be concerned directly with qualitative improvement and level of performance of the students. 6. The project should be evaluated objectively by employing reliable and valid tools. 7. The action hypothesis should be formulated by considering the causes of the problem which are under the approach of the investigator. 8. The design of action research project should be economical from money, time and energy of view. 9. The problem should be selected objectively and studied scientifically. 10. The causes of the problem should be isolated objectively on the basis of some evidences. Difference between Action Research and Fundamental Research The Research has two main functions: – To contribute new knowledge in Social Studies. – To improve the Social Studiesal practices. The first function is of fundamental research and second function of action research. Difference between the two has been given in the tabular form. Difference between Fundamental Research and Action Research Action Research Fundamental Research Fundamental Research Contributes new 1. Purpose knowledge in the form of new theory, facts and The improvement in school and classroom teaching truth. process. 2. Investigator The investigator should have postgraduate The person is in the job teacher, principal inspector degree in the subject. He should have speci- and administrator. alization in the field. He may or may not be related with the problem. Investigator must be directly associated with the problem. There is no pre-requisite of academic qualifications. 3. Problem The problem is broad and relates to the broad The form of the problem is very narrow. It is a local field of Social Studies. The problem may be problem. It is practical problem. The problem is selected by the researcher but it is approved by selected and finalized by the worker or investigator the external experts. himself. No external approval is required. 4. Hypothesis The hypotheses are formulated on the basis of some retionale. All the hypotheses are tested by The action hypotheses are formulated on the basis of the causes of the problem. An action hypothesis one design of research. The hypothesis is not needs one design of research. One hypothesis is essential in all types of research. tested at one time. 5. Design The design is rigid and it can not be changed. Theoretical and practical knowledge is essential The design of action research is flexible. It can be for the researcher. It involves method, sample and changed according to the convenience of the worker. techniques of research. It includes certain steps and measuring tools.18 Fundamental of Research Methodology Action Research Fundamental Research 6. Sampling It is the basis of research and sampling is the There is not problem of sampling in action research, major problem. The knowledge and training of accidental or incidental sample is used. The students sampling techniques are essential, usually pro- of a class or school is the sample of action research. bability sampling techniques is employed. The Non-probability techniques is used. true representative sample is selected by using an appropriate technique of sampling from the population. 7. Data Collection Usually the standardized tests are used for collecting data in basic research. If the tools of Observation and teacher made tests are used for such types are not available the investigator has collecting data in action research. The standardized to prepare the tools and its reliability and validity tool may be used if it is available. are estimated. 8. Analysis of Data The parametric statistical techniques are used for analysing the data. The knowledge and The data are analysed by using statistical technique understanding are essential. The decision is taken to draw some results. Simple statistics: percentages about the hypotheses on the basis of data or mean mode, S.D. and graphical representation are evidences. employed for this purpose. The decision is taken about solution of the problem. The conclusions are in the form of generalization. 9. Conclusions The generalization may be a new theory or new Some conclusions are drawn about the solution of fact or new truth or new interpretation. Thus, the the problem. The conclusions are in the form of conclusions may be the new knowledge in the remedial measures for improving the current field studied. practices. It does not contribute to the fund of knowledge. A panel of examiners is appointed for examining 10. Evaluation the report of fundamental research. It may be The action research project is evaluated by the approved, or revised or rejected. The degree of investigator himself and no external evaluation is Ph.D., D.Sc. or D.Phil. is awarded for the worth required. Its results are in the form of improvement contribution in the field studied. in the job and current practices. 11. Finances The U.G.C. is awarding Junior research fellow and senior research fellowships for fundamental The finances for the action research are met out by the school or investigator himself. The extension research in all the, subjects. The NCERT is financing research projects of Social Studies. The deptt. of NCERT are also financing such projects. U.G.C. is also giving financial, assistance to college teachers for their research work. An investigator also bears the expenses himself. 12. Training There is a compulsory paper of Research The teachers are trained in B.Ed. and L.T. Methods and Statistics of M.Ed., M.B.A. and programmes for the knowledge and skill of action M.Phil. levels for the knowledge and under- standing of research methodology. During this research concept. The extension departments are organizing workshops for action research projects programme the students have to submit a dissertation for the practical knowledge of for in-service teachers. conducting research work.Perception of Research 19 Action Research Fundamental Research 12. Training There is a compulsory paper of Research Methods and Statistics of M.Ed. and M.Phil. levels for the The teachers are trained in B.Ed. and L.T. pro- grammes for the knowledge and skill of action knowledge and understanding of research research concept. The extension departments are methodology. During this programme the organizing workshops for action research projects students have to submit a dissertation for the for in-service teachers. practical knowledge of conducting research work. 13. Scope The field for basic research is broad. It deals with the basic problems of Social Studies and teaching The field of action research work is very narrow. It learning situations. deals with the problems of classroom teaching and school. The field is local. 14. Examples (a) Teaching skills for different subject teachers The problem of assignment, spellings, pronunciation (languages, social studies science). and poor attendance. The enrolment of school is (b) Behaviour patterns or effective teachers and reducing rapidly are the major problems of action creative teachers. research in the field of Social Studies. (c) Difference between trained and untrained teachers performances. 15. Importance The major importance is to answer the basic questions and contribution to the field of The major importance for solving the local problems knowledge by solving the basic problems of Social of school and classroom teaching. Studies. Exercises 1. Define the term ‘Research’, Enumerate the characteristics of research. Give a comprehensive definition of research. 2. Define the term ‘Research’. Describe the specific features of Research, 3. Enumerate the main objectives of research and explain them in detail. 4. Describe the various classification of research, Differentiate between fundamental research and action research. Elaborate your answer with examples. 5. Describe the steps of research. Enumerate the objectives of action research. 6. Plan an action research project and describe the various steps which are followed in completing the project.Chapter 2 Assortment of Problem Research is not only to develop the process or to find a formula as we do in the science.But in the field of social science the research work is oriented towards the solution of a problem or to seek an answer of a question. The first step of a research process is to identify a problem. The selection of a problem is governed by reflective thinking. Unthinking activity is governed too completely by tradition or by emotion. Primitive life was largely without effective reflective thought, until some intelligent individual conceived of a new solution for an old problem. Therefore. upper educational groups ever do much careful ordered thinking. The normal human mind thinking may be classified into four categories: convergent, divergent reflective and scientific thinking. In reflective thinking individual conceived for a new solution for an old problem, but scientific thinking is in terms of carefully organized reflection. REFLECTIVE THINKING The reflective thinking implies two components: mastery of the situation or content plus divergent thinking or creative thinking. The reflective thinking acts in terms of problem situation, therefore, it involves the following steps: 1. The occurrence of a felt need or difficult. 2. Definition of the problem in terms of a problem statement. 3. Occurrence of a suggested explanation or possible solution or hypothesis or tentative theory. 4. The rationale elaboration of an idea through the development of its implication by means of collection of data or evidences. 5. Collection of the ideas and formation of concluding belief through experimental verification of the hypothesis. 6. Conclusions and formulation of generalizations. It is recognized that at every level of generalization the human mind may act through these steps. The research process involves inductive-deductive mode of thinking which is known as scientific thinking. SCIENTIFIC THINKING The scientific thinking is defined as an inductive-deductive mode of thinking or reasoning in which one seeks to explain the uniformities of nature by appealing to experiences. • Induction moves forward from particular to the general.  Deduction is backward movement from general to particular. The scientific thinking starts with facts and continually returns to facts to test and verify its hypotheses. It is based on empirical evidences and establishes cause and effect relationship. The sources of evidences are based on the following methods: customs and traditions, authority, personal experiences, syllogistic reasoning, self-evident proposition and scientific inquiry and experimentation. These methods

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