Sample Essay on The Education of Minority Children 0-5

The Education of Minority Children 0-5

Introduction

Studies conducted in the past have clearly shown that most national schools are faced with unique challenges in their efforts to provide equal learning opportunities to all students. Factors, such as family social structure, income, and parents’ levels of education are known to have greater impacts on education opportunities of children below the age of 5 years. Current statistics show that about an eighth of 4 million babies born each year are born to teenage mothers; a quarter born to mothers with lower that higher school education; and a third born to either unmarried or divorced mothers. Some of these conditions are known to contribute significantly to the problems, such as repeating a grade, demanding special education services, regular suspension, and early school dropout. This research is purposefully developed to determine the impacts of factors, such as social structure, family income, and family educational background on the education outcome of the minority children below the age of 5 years.

Research question

How do social structure, family income, and family educational background affect the education of children below the age of 5 years?

Research hypothesis

H0: social structure, family income, and family educational background have no effect on the education of children below the age of 5 years.

H1: social structure, family income, and family educational background have effect on the education of children below the age of 5 years

 

 

Methodology section

With the objective of determining the effects of social structure, family income, and family educational background on the education of children below the age of 5 years, the researcher will use a combination of both qualitative and quantitative research methods. The choice of the Mixed Methods Design for this research is based on the characteristics identified in the preceding discussions.

The Mixed Methods Design

The Mixed Methods Design has been identified by researchers as one of the best alternative designs to qualitative and quantitative methods. The Mixed Methods Research is a combination of quantitative and qualitative researcher designs (Choy, 2014). The idea behind the development of Mixed Methods Research is based on the notion that the design offers rich insights into variety of topics under investigation. While the quantitative and qualitative designs may make the researcher miss certain important information, the Mixed Methods Research will allow the researcher to capture all the required information, enhance the body of knowledge, and generate more data to investigate the topic under investigation (Choy, 2014). Through the Mixed Methods Research (MMR) design, it would be possible to present insights into the research problems and questions than if the methods were used independently. Studies conducted in the past have shown that the application of MMR requires the researcher to have preliminary knowledge about qualitative and quantitative designs.

Why the chosen method and design would be most appropriate for the research questions

In identifying the factors that affect the education outcomes of the minority children, the researcher will need to obtain mutual viewpoints of different societies based on their experiences with the identified factors and ensure that there is close association between the identified factors and the education outcomes of the minority children. In addition to ensuring that the researcher is able to achieve these two study outcomes, the MMR design will also allow the researcher to establish questions that will finally materialize into the earlier implied meanings (Choy, 2014). This means that while one method will be used to suggest the implications of prior methods of study, the researcher may find the other method applicable in in hypothesis presentation and testing. For example, the qualitative method may be used by the researcher to suggest the extent to which the hypothesis represents the study objectives while the quantitative research methods will be used to test the hypothesis based on the information collected from the field. Other than using the MMR design for complementarity, completeness, and developmental purposes as already mentioned, the method becomes important when it comes to expanding or elaborating the knowledge gained from other related studies (Choy, 2014). On the same note, the idea about correlation in a Mixed Method Research design will allow the researcher to test for the validity of data and reliability of the sources of information.

Even though all the methods may be considered appropriate when it comes to validity and reliability tests, certain information may require specific methods. Therefore, the used of both qualitative and quantitative methods under the MMR will enhance the two tests since the methods will be used interchangeably (Matveev, 2002). Apart from the areas that touch on statistical specificity, the Mixed Method Research design will ensure that the researcher is in a position of countering or compensating for the weaknesses of one methods of study. For instance, there are higher possibilities that the researcher will be able to compensate for the weaknesses of qualitative design in case the quantitative method is considered more appropriate for this type of investigation. It is also true that through the Mixed Method Research, the researcher will be able to obtain both the opposing and supporting viewpoints based on similar experiences and levels of association.

 

 

Conceptualizing the Mixed Method Research Design

Over the past years, many studies have been conducted on the implications of family social structure on school going children with very few evidences indicating the degree of association. The several studies conducted at present are indications that little is still known about the cause-and-effect relationship between family social structures and education outcome of children; a phenomenon which is partly linked to the research methods used and procedures followed to test for data validity and reliability (Caruth, 2013). Form the articles analyzed, it became clear that most researchers on the factors affect the children education performance traditionally use quantitative designs to generate information and analyze data while ignoring aspects of qualitative attributes of statistical findings, especially for the large sample sizes. With current studies focusing on the use of MMR designs, it is accurately stated that for every 100 studies, only 15 apply MMR methods. This means that there is overdependence on the use of quantitative designs, which to a higher level limits the amount of information generated from the targeted sources. While majority of researcher use quantitative research methods, studies have also shown instances where individuals use qualitative research design to complete their investigations. For qualitative designs, most researchers are known to focus mainly on non-quantifiable attributes like family experiences with poor performance among their children (Caruth, 2013). Unlike quantitative designs where the focus is on a large sample size, the investigation under qualitative design is based on focused group interviews with smaller sample sizes. It is therefore true that the combining both qualitative and quantitative research designs have marked advantages that if the methods were used separately.

Setting up MMR design

Before setting up the procedures to be followed during the investigation, the researcher will first decide whether the design is viable for the study based on the underlying variables; provide a justification for the use of MMR; plan the procedures for data collection under this method; engage in data collection; perform data analysis; and provide a comprehensive report based on the study outcomes (Caruth, 2013).

In deciding whether the method is viable, the researcher will evaluate the chosen MMR design following the evaluation procedures for both the qualitative and quantitative research designs. The procedure here will include using qualitative and quantitative designs to collect data, combining the two sets of data, restructuring the study according to the principles of MMR, and making communications about the chosen method of study. Under methods validation, the researcher will be required to evaluate the quality of the data findings. Process validation or evaluation is considered more important than the researcher determining the value of the questions or questionnaire, the size of the sample and sampling techniques (Caruth, 2013). In every study, there is need for the researcher to ensure validity, and where the findings lack this trait, the study may be rendered useless. By evaluating or validating the MMR design, the researcher will be ensuring that the findings from the qualitative and quantitative designs appropriately match the objectives.

In this study, the researcher will be required to provide an overt discussion and proper analysis of how the findings from the separate methods will be integrated into MMR design without distorting the intended meanings. Through such discussions and assessment, the researcher will be setting pace for users of statistical data or information to determine whether the inferences made from the samples are efficiently harmonized following the research objectives and whether the study findings contribute to the body of knowledge. While assessing the research findings, it will also be possible for the researcher to provide information about threats to validity, especially during at the stages of data collection and analysis (Caruth, 2013). Through the MMR design, the researcher will not only be able to provide results that link to the study objectives, but will also be in a position of designing procedures that will reduce some of the threat that may be encountered at the different stages of study.     

Advantages of using MMR design in this type of study

The choice of MMR for this study is based on its advantages when it comes to data collection and analysis, especially when the researcher feels that there is limitation to other methods of study. Through MMR methods, the researcher may find it possible to use words and photos to explain certain meanings or add value to the statistical figures. Similarly, statistical figures can be used to add precision to photos and information presented in a study. The method will also allow the researcher to handle various research questions because there are no possibilities of the researcher being limited to one study design (Caruth, 2013). Through the process of cross validation, the researcher will be able to test for validity and add insights that might be left out when a single method is used.

Why the alternative methods would not be appropriate for this study

As already mentioned, the researcher may opt to use qualitative, quantitative, or Mixed Method Research design in this kind of study (Baskas, 2011). The main idea will be to ensure that the chosen study design provides all the required information and data that can be used to test the hypothesis and provide explanations to the observations made. However, the explanations provided concerning the use of qualitative and quantitative designs separately indicate certain limitations that make the methods not desirable for this type of study.

For example, studies have shown that the findings under the qualitative methods may only be unique to the few people or sample groups included in a study. Researchers who apply qualitative designs in their investigations always complain of not being able to make statistical predictions since the method does not give a cause-and-effect relationship (Baskas, 2011). There is also a possibility that the researcher may find it difficult testing hypothesis and theories where large samples are used in a pool of participant when qualitative design is used. Qualitative design has lower credibility and some administrators, commissioners and programmer tend to avoid its use in policy formulation and implementation. The neglect as far as policy implementation is concerned is based on the fact that the result obtained under qualitative design can be easily influenced by the researcher’s personal idiosyncrasies.

The choice of MMR design over quantitative method is based on the fact that quantitative research design is makes it difficult for the researchers to obtain information through structured instruments of data collection, especially for sensitive information relating to family values and income (Baskas, 2011). The method also makes it hard for researchers to reach ethnic minorities, and self-reported information obtained from self-administered survey question may be inaccurate, incomplete or inconsistent with the study hypothesis

References

Baskas, R. S. (2011). Applying knowledge of qualitative design and analysis. http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED525676

Baskas, R. S. (2011). Applying knowledge of quantitative design and analysis. http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED523700

Caruth, G. D. (2013). Demystifying mixed methods research design: A review of the literature. http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED544121

Choy, L. T. (2014). The Strengths and Weaknesses of Research Methodology: Comparison and Complimentary between Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 19(4), 99-104.

Matveev, A. V. (2002). The advantages of employing quantitative and qualitative methods in intercultural research: Practical implications from the study of the perceptions of intercultural communication competence by American and Russian managers. Bulletin of Russian Communication Association Theory of Communication and Applied Communication, 1, 59-67.