from the life of a teacher

Research – Final Week December 24, 2011

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Through this course I have learned how challenging research can be. There are many things that must be done in order for research to be conducted. There are many types of research that can be done. Whether it be qualitative, quantitative, or a mixture of the two. Researchers must be open minded and be willing to reflect on their own biases in order for them to conduct objective research. One of the most interesting things I learned was that  how a researcher conducts an interview can change the results (by the types of questions or how the researcher goes about conducting the interview)

In what ways have your ideas about the nature of doing research changed? I was very insecure about research when this class began. I was reflecting on my frustrations of finding valid articles. Yet, as they course continues I was no longer scared by this aspect, but by the many aspects that go into conducting research. I have learned just how complex it is and how committed someone must be to conduct research. Through this I have also understood how beneficial research is to the world and I am thankful there are people that enjoy conducting research.

I learned a great deal about organizing my  thoughts. To plan, design, and conduct research it takes a great deal of organization. I am a very organized person, but there were times that I even felt unorganized in the research aspect of it. I learned that a researcher really has to have thought out the whole process and what end results they are looking for before being able to design or commit to conducting such research. I learned that there are numerous aspects that go into designing research like the participants, the sampling process, what type of experiments, identifying possible outside factors, and the list goes on.

I was challenged from the very beginning on whether or not a choose a sound topic to research. I continued on the best I could with it but the further I got in the course I felt like my topic was hard to conduct. Perhaps I was looking for something other than what my topic specified. I was really challenged with some of the ideas of research such as the quasi-experimental design. I really tried to study this design and reread the sections in our text time and time again to better understand it.

I now have a greater understanding of how beneficial research is to early childhood. I also have a better understanding of how to go about research topics as an early childhood professional. I now realize that research is part of an early childhood professionals role!

I have enjoyed learning aside all of you! I thank you for each of your support and encouragement throughout this course! I know we have all grasped a deeper understanding of research and perhaps a greater appreciation for what we do! I am grateful for the commitment you have each made to the early childhood field!


International Research – wk 5 December 3, 2011

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For this assignment I chose the Early Childhood Development Virtual University (ECDVU) Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) website. Through my exploration of the website I learned the following information:

What are some of the current international research topics? Some current international research topics in the Sub-Saharan African region include research on the quality of services provided by selected orphanages, how to involve fathers in early childhood development, how to strengthen the capacity of care that grandparents can provide to hiv/aid children, and utilizing indigenous stories in early child care programs.

What surprising facts/insights/new ideas about early childhood did you gain from exploring this international early childhood website? I was very pleased to learn that Early Childhood Professionals in Africa are involved in cohort groups with other early childhood professionals in different regions to collaborate! I also found it very interesting that all of the instructors teaching the courses to the early childhood professionals were from different areas of the world. I found this to be very admirable! The perspective each instructor brings as well as the difference in background experiences would help to provide very thorough instruction.

What other noteworthy information did you find on this website? Through looking at their curriculum guidelines I was pleased to see a lot of guidelines that we consider important here in the United States as well. Some of these included working in cohort groups to encourage collaboration, learning about various cultural influences, and encouraging students to derive meaning not only from the provided curriculum, but from their own life experiences as well. I found exploring the website to be very informational! It was definitely an enjoyable experience to learn what other early childhood departments are doing.