QuestionQuestion

Respond to the following stimulus. Follow the instructions for what to include and how to write your answer. Answers should be no less than 15 pages and no more than 30 pages (not including references and tables) and in APA manuscript format (6th edition).

Stimulus:
Recently, Morgan (2015) presented evidence that, contrary to the commonly held belief, racial minority students were under-represented in special education; specifically in the judgmental categories such as Specific Learning Disability (LD) and Emotionally Disturbed (Ed). This finding contradicts years of research, court findings, and thought on the issue, and directly challenges recent OSEP attention to disproportionality in special education (e.g., https://www.osepideasthatwork.org/osep-meeting/significant-disproportionality and https://www2.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/idea/disproportionality.html)

The Morgan et al. (2015) study created quite a stir (e.g., Skiba et al. [2015] and Cohen, Burns, Riley-Tillman, & Hosp, [2015], and now your state officials want to know: Is disproportionality bad? Is it occurring in our schools or not?

Part 1:
A. Researchers examining the disproportional representation of minority children in special education (including those above) often rely on large-scale quantitative methods to examine associations between child-level variables (e.g., race, SES, achievement), school variables (e.g., SES, urbanicity, racial distribution), and placement in special education. Please discuss:

a. Potential issues/challenges with making decisions about which data to examine
b. The research assumptions that underlie these decisions
c. How researchers can mitigate the impact of their own biases
d. Briefly, discuss some alternative methodological approaches to examine disproportional placement in special education and the relative advantages/disadvantages of these approaches.

B. Based on your understanding of the various possible research paradigms, write a brief proposal for a study to investigate:
a. Whether minority students are disproportionally placed or non-placed in special education in your state
b. The effects, if any, of such disproportional placement or non-placement. This proposal should include

1) A careful statement of the research problem and questions based on the information presented in subsection A.

2) A section on methodology including the following:
a) The research design
b) Choice of participants
c) Instruments and measurements
d) Methods of analysis

3) A review of the pertinent ethical considerations for the study.

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Research questions and proposal

Part A
Potential issues/challenges with making decisions about which data to examine
While the majority of the scholars usually have a clear understanding of whether to use or examine quantitative or qualitative data, several challenges come to fore when deciding the form of data to use. To understand this notion, it is of central importance to understanding the various advantages and disadvantages of each method. For qualitative data, a major advantage is that it provides not only depth but also detail. This is to say that through the data, the researcher is allowed to look deeper than just analyzing ranks and counts as it is usually the case with quantitative data (Brannen, 2017). Apart from this, qualitative data tends to create openness. As such, this form of data usually encourages study subjects to elaborate their responses, which, in turn, opens up new areas of study that were not perceived initially. In addition to this, qualitative data has been found to stimulate people’s individual experiences. According to Brannen (2017), with the qualitative data, it is possible that a researcher will be allowed to build a detailed picture concerning why people usually behave in a certain manner.

While this is the case, there are several; characteristics of qualitative data that make researchers to shy away from using the information. For example, as profiled by Brannen (2017), it is not usually possible to generalize when using the data. Given the fact that fewer subjects are often studied when using qualitative research, it is n most cases not possible to generalize the results to that of the overall population. A further quandary is that it is particularly difficult to make systematic comparisons when compared to the case of quantitative data. This is especially so where the research subjects provide widely differing responses, which are characterized by a high degree of subjectivity.

Just like the qualitative research data, quantitative information also presents critical decision-making dilemmas for the researcher. For example, of the researcher opts to use this form of data, it follows that he or she will be allowed to carry out a broader study that involves a greater number of participants, which creates an avenue for enhancing the generalization of the outcomes. Additionally, when using quantitative data, a researcher is allowed for greater accuracy and objectivity of the outcomes. This notion is confirmed by Jensen (2013) who indicated that quantitative methods data often provide summaries of the respondents that support generalizations of concerning the phenomena under study, unlike the qualitative research. Moreover, it has been expressed that when using quantitative data, it is easy and quick to avoid potential personal biases.

This is especially due to the notion that the researcher is compelled to keep a distance from the participants and the third parties unlike the case of the qualitative studies. Despite these promises, dealing with quantitative data comes at a cost. For example, as explained by Jensen (2013), it is likely that a researcher will collect much narrower data set. In some cases, the dataset might be overly superficial. Furthermore, the researcher clarifies that quantitative results derived from quantitative data are limited given the notion that they provide numerical descriptions as opposed to detailed narratives as it is often the case with the qualitative data. A further uncharacteristic nature of the quantitative data is characterized by structural bias as well as false representations.

The research assumptions that underlie these decisions
To decide on whether to select the qualitative or quantitative data, researchers often make a series of assumptions. These assumptions are often categorized as either qualitative or quantitative. On the qualitative side, researchers assume that the research ends with a hypothesis as well as grounded theory and that it is inductive. It is also assumed that qualitative data searches for patterns and that it seeks complexity and pluralism....

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