A Phenomenological Research Design Illustrated

Overview of Article

This article first starts off by giving a brief history of the origin of Phenomenology; originating with German philosophizer, Edmund Husserl (1859-1938). In the most simplistic way, phenomenology is defined be the following: “…based on the premise that reality consists of objects and events (“phenomena”) as they are perceived or understood in the human consciousness, and not of anything independent of human consciousness.” The article also goes on to give the essential break down to understand how to approach this research methodology. For more “visual learners”, here is a YouTube that was very helpful to me when understanding this methodology: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_poJRQygJtc

Turning Theory into Practice: Applying Phenomenology to Art!

Like many of my post about these different methodologies, I try to make sense of them by applying it to my own research question. In the case of this methodology, I aim to take a different approach; in stead of applying this theory to my own research question, I will apply it to my original love… Art! Since phenomenology is the methodology associated with the phenomenon of how humans experience reality, I believe the studying of my own art goes well wit it! If you have time, please take a glimpse through this article… it is what gave me the idea to use phenomenology in this way. For clarification, this is not a full on research, but more so a test drive of the methodology in a simplistic form. I will be using the format used in the above article I summarized.

The research paradigm of a study undertaken

The selection of topic I will be going with is the following: How does my experience and understanding within me reading different novels showcase through my art? I am pretty sure this question can defined way better, but we will go with this for now. I think this research method is good for my question because like the article said, “Phrenologists, in contrast to positivists, believe that the researcher cannot be detached from his/her own presupposition and the researcher should not pretend otherwise.” In short, I am to put my already prejudged ideas about my own art and how I experience them.

Locating the research participants/informants

In the case of my “research question”, I am my own research participant.

Data-gathering methods

The way the data would be gather for my research question is by collecting and keep track of each painting/art design I do for each book that I read in the span of time that I will do the research.

Data-storing methods

I would keep digitized version of each art piece alongside the books.

Explicitation of the data

Validity and truthfulness

Since this is my sample mini version of the research methodology, I stopped at Explicitaion due to me not completely understanding! With that, it was interesting to put this theory to the text.

Sources:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5geMLe5tbM

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/phenomenology/enomenology/

Discourse Analysis

Basic Overview of Reading

I would like to first start off by defining Discourse Analysis: “In discourse analysis, the context of a conversation is taken into account as well as what’s being said. This context may encompass a social and cultural framework, including the location of a speaker at the time of the discourse, as well as nonverbal cues such as body language, and, in the case of textual communication, it may also include images and symbols (hyperlink: https://www.thoughtco.com/discourse-analysis-or-da-1690462).” 

This article is basically addressing how to collect, analyze and in a sense evaluate how data that infers statements, speeches, news, reports, announcements, expressions, and etc. Any and all related to the information and understandings, assumptions, perceptions, attitudes, opinions, or awareness of the employees about IS.

Turning Theory into Practice! My Attempt to Conduct Discourse Analysis…

Bringing it back to practicality and applying this information to my own research question. The population of people my research question is based around are minors (3rd grade students). Discourse analysis is a research method for studying written or spoken language in relation to its social context (hyperlink: https://www.scribbr.com/methodology/discourse-analysis/). Within this article, it gives a basic breakdown of how to conduct discourse analysis. And here, I implement my favorite phrase: “Being practical! Turning theory into practice.”.

Step 1: Define the research question and select the content of analysis

“What is the effectiveness of implementing the digital writing program, T.A.W.P, into a 3rd Grade classroom?”

I am looking into how a digital writing eLearning tool can aid with 3rd Grade students writing. There are many educational programs designed for reading and phoenix. In contrast, there are many programs that teach the motor skills of how to write, but I lack to see any approach writing in interpersonal humanistic form; as in the Writing Process. 

Step 2: Gather information and theory on the context

Currently, I am still obtaining my articles of material to give me deeper insight on how to answer my question and ways to approach my instructional material

Step 3: Analyze the content for themes and patterns

This process will be done in alignment with the designated school where the field study will be done.

Step 4: Review your results and draw conclusions

When I draw conclusions, I plan to apply these results from the field study to make necessary changes to the e Learning content, while also developing new learning content.  

Bonus Track!

I am very fortunate to meet the most interesting intellectuals throughout my everyday life! My dear friend and future colleague, Tony Ellis, broke down to me the underlying variables and all that fun stuff into my research question. He is a fellow graduate student who attends Montclair State University and will graduate this upcoming May with his M.A. in Physiology. Just as I. Tony is really into research and wishes to continue his studies as a researcher! Here is a short discussion we had about my research question:

Ted Talk with Tony!

Other Sources

https://www.scribbr.com/methodology/discourse-analysis/

https://www.thoughtco.com/discourse-analysis-or-da-1690462)

101 of Case Study Research!

Summary of the Reading

This article gives the reader the breakdown of not just Case Study Research but how to apply practically with student researchers. Case Study Research can be defined as the following: A research strategy and an empirical inquiry that investigates a phenomenon within its real-life context. Case studies are based on an in-depth investigation of a single individual, group or event to explore the causes of underlying principles. In the case of this article, it goes on to use a case study in nursing. This research methodology is often taught in qualitative research and mostly used in the social sciences to understand a particular situation involving a person or a particular group. For more clarification, I watched this youtube video to help me get a better understanding (which really helped!)

Thinking Practical: My thoughts and rebuttal to the Reading

Like all the readings, I like to try to understand the research methodology by putting into practical terms with my own research question: What is the effectiveness of implementing a digital writing tool designed by me, into a 3rd Grade ELA classroom. Even though I am preferbally drawn to the Grounded Theory for my particular research question (Patricia ‘Grounded Theory’ Dennis), I still see ways that I can also use Case Study Research as well. So in this post, I will do a kind of test run through some of the components presented in the article with this theory to display my understanding of it.

Prior to Beginning

The article states, “Time in the field, lengthy interviews and transcription and analysis are all factors that should be thought out well in advance of engaging with participants.” Tieng this back to my own research question, my work as a Reading Coach within a 2nd Grade class for a duration of an entire school year is considered my time in the field. During this duration of time is where I am interacting, engaging, and gathering information on the case: my 2nd Grade students.

Obviously, it would almost be virtually impossible to try and go through this an entire Case Study Research in one week, so I also decided to source another article to give an even more simple breakdown of this research methodology.

“Identifying a case to investigate involves more than choosing the research problem. A case study encompasses a problem contextualized around the application of in-depth analysis, interpretation, and discussion, often resulting in specific recommendations for action or for improving existing conditions.”: In the case of my research question it would inlet going through the students bench mark assessments, previous work, and etc.

Does the case represent an unusual or atypical example of a research problem that requires more in-depth analysis? This may be a bias opinion but in the case of my current 2nd Grade class, they are a case that is unusually low learning level with a continuous representation of that.

Does the case provide important insight or illuminate a previously hidden problem? Yes, yes, and yes! As I stated previously, these particular group of students are known for having low testing and subject matter grades. This issues has been very apparent to me while working with them. This is how my research question was born!

This article goes on to further breakdown the questions, process, and steps to take in order to see if your proposed questions fits the framework of Case Study Research.

Conclusion

Quite honestly, in my opinion I think this type of research methodology would be ideal for those looking to solve underling issues that are not either addressed or solved. I think this research methodology would best fit when trying to solve issues within a classroom (speaking the perspective of a teacher, Ms. P!)

Other sources I used: https://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/casestudy, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuG8AzK9GVQ

Grounded Theory & Me!

Response to Migilaccio, Todd & Melzer, Dan. Using Grounded Theory in Writing Assessment. The WAC Journal Volume 22 (2011): 78-88

Grounded Theory in a general understanding involves the collection and analysis of data. The theory is considered “grounded” in the data collected, which in short translates the analysis and development of theories happens after collecting the data. This theory is considered towards qualitative theory, but can be used in different areas of research. 

To simplify it even more, the best way I can put it is the following: “Think of Grounded Theory that is “grounded” from raw data/information to create a new theory all your own! You gather the data and code it. Meaning you categorize it based on the levels of importance… (Dennis & Mentor 2020).”

I found the reading Using Grounded Theory in Writing Assessment very interesting because it made me look at my own research question and ponder on the idea of using Grounded Theory to approach my question. Delving into the article, Grounded Theory is used to approach writing assessment, which most students across all disciplines have struggling doing. The idea of writing itself can be daunting for both students and instructors; in the case for this article it is the sociology department faculty and students. 

Another aspect of the article that I found interesting was the way that Grounded Theory would benefit not just one discipline such as composition but for writing in all disciplines. “As a research methodology that emphasizes dialogue, context, and a relationship between analysis and theory building, grounded theory aligns… , constructivist trends in writing assessment, and it can be presented to departments across disciplines as an alternative to the more traditional, positivist approach of formulating a rubric, scoring essays, and writing up a report to gather dust in an administrator’s file cabinet (Migliaccio & Melzer, pgs 79-80 ).”  Quite honestly, I think many students who struggle to meet the criteria of writing assessment rubrics would benefit from the research and results from this theory. We are growing in age of writing becoming humanistic, instead of facts on facts.Grounded Theory all in sense, to my understanding is backtracking your steps in the data that you gather with something new and profound to aid to information to solve an issue.

The more I read and began to understand the “groundedness” of Grounded Theory, the more I began to evaluate how I have been already obtaining my own raw data with my past and current 2nd Grade students. From annotating their writing over the course of the school year, tracking their reading log amount/content, 1-on-1 conferences, and other supplement material I create to help them with their writing assessments/assignments.  

This reading helped me feel more confident in my own research question and what research methodology I would use to research my question, which is the following: What is the effectiveness of implementing a Digital Literacy designed learning tool (by me) into a control group within a 3rd ELA class?  To elaborate on that question, I was then asked by Dr. Nelson my purpose, data, and intentions on how I would answer my question: 

The question I proposed is important to me because working as a Reading Coach in an urban school, I see the issue a lot of my students face when it comes to writing. They need that extra in class support to understand the concept of the writing process and how to approach it. Unfortunately, it is not common to have in class support in all classrooms. I want to design eLearning content that focuses on the issues of writing that our students face today.

The data I would need to collect in order to answer this question is observing the students and how they process writing, some of their writing throughout the course of the year, and working with the students in a classroom setting. Working as a Reading Coach for 2nd Grade students, I already have and continue to gather this type of data as I work with the age group. My plan is to follow this same class to the next grade to use the e Learning content that I am designing based on the information I have and currently gaining while working with them. My next steps are to do more research on the usage of digital literacies tools within an ELA classroom setting and to also get started on the IRB process in order for me to come back next school year to work with them. 

Work Cited

.Stephanie. “Grounded Theory: Simple Definition and Examples.” Statistics How To, 22 Feb. 2019, http://www.statisticshowto.datasciencecentral.com/grounded-theory/.

Migilaccio, Todd & Melzer, Dan. Using Grounded Theory in Writing Assessment. The WAC Journal Volume 22 (2011): 78-88

The following is a link to my presentation!

Hypertext Writing v. Linear-Writing

Summary of the Article

The basic understanding that I took away from this article is the idea of Linear Writing versus Hypertext Writing and what population of students most benefits from each technique. Hypertext is defined as being a non-linear way of presenting information. Students usually use this method to follow their own path when trying to give meaning to material assigned, rather than the order an author wants them to follow. As for Linear-Writing, then can be defined as  starts at the beginning and plows through to the end without going back to change or fix things. Using charts and analysis gathered from the case study of two male teachers and their groups of students, we are able to see the effective and productiveness of using each method.

My thoughts and rebuttals to the article

Fun video breaking down Hypertext!

To be quite honest, I was (and still am) confused on the exact methodology that was used and how to understand the charts, grafts, and statistics behind this research. What I did really take away from this reading is the terms Hypertext, Linear, Non-Linear, and Hierarchy; which were outlined by Emily in her presentation. The way I attempt to cope with my understanding and new material being learned is putting it into practical use. When I think of Hypertext, I think of my blogs! When I am writing out my blogs, I tend to hypertext certain words, phrases, or sentences that I feel are of importance. I use this method for several reasons: 

  1. I think as a UX (user experience) designer. If something I am trying to say is not simplistic enough, I will hyperlink the text to send them to my source of information.
  2. I try to be as accurate with my information as much as possible, so I like to send people to the source of where I receive my information from.
  3. I just think it’s fun to give more information! I just hope that people are just as excited to learn about information as much as I am. 

As I touched upon in our class discussion for Emily’s presentation, being of the millennium generation, I understand both versions of education before and after shaving advanced technology. The old day of turnitin, we had a computer base the determined if information we used in our writing were of our original work or plagiarized. If Hypertext was introduced around that time of my undergraduate academic career, I would have had less drafts of my essays that needed to be. In my eyes, I see hypertext is almost like a form of works cited without physically making the page (but I am not knocking work cited pages because they are definitely needed!). But the point I am trying to make is Hypertext is a new tool that I believe is an essential part of the writing process. I see Hypertext to be another essential to students who just can not get it right the “traditional way”. I also found the statement Dr. Nelson madea saying that we have been using Hypertext all the while without even realising it. The notes on the footer of the articles and essay most college students would be reading contain more expanded knowledge on the content at hand. SO in reality the tool has always been there, just in a different setting. I also liked what Emily stated in her reaction paper, “Looking past the flaws throughout this experimental article, I agree with Braaksma, Rijlaarsdam, and van Bergh when it comes to teaching adolescents writers the advantages of hypertext writing. In the long run, this will help them succeed in their future writing assessments and expand their creative minds.” 

Information to back up my thoughts and rebuttals!

Once I was able to put into terms exactly Hypertext, I did my own bit of research. I found this article that talks about the benefits of teaching hypertext to our students.

“Computer-aided learning is deemed to support interest and learning success because of a learner’s (inter-)activity (e.g., [12]). Dale (2008) reported “the relative newness and coolness” of computers [7]. Since the iPod assignments in his study did not feel like work to the students, it was easier to motivate students and draw them into the instructional process.”

The article goes on to talk about the history of hypertext and purposes of creating it. Due to my straining from so much reading, I was only able to bring myself to reading this article in hope of more clarification.

Wrapping it up: Coming back full circle 

So in short, this article was both confusing and informative. My learning outcome were the following:

  • Define Hypertext and its uses
  • The usefulness of teaching it to young writers
  • The experimental study of Hypertext v. Linear-text in a classroom setting
  • Putting findings into practical use

Sidenote: I hope I did pretty descent for this first article!

Turning Theory into Practice: Giving Students a Voice!

 “The Human Voice is the most perfect instrument of all” –Arvo Pärt

The project theme for my Writing Theory and Practice course this semester has been the theory and ideas behind voice. From finding you voice as an identity, to applying voice to pedagogical practice: the power of voice is limitless. With that said, my contribution to the class project is turning theory into practice. Using the practical work as a Reading Coach for 2nd grade students, I was able to come up with a simple, fun, and constructive way to help my students to take control of their learning and to find their voice in the young world of academia!

Learning goals book: month of december

With the help from two of my students, they were the first two to test out these new personally designed books I made for an ongoing practice to help my students. These books are called Learning Goals Books. These books serve as another medium of communication between my students and me. In my current (and last year) classroom settings, the class ratio of teachers to students was 3:24. Even with that being the case, to target every students with specific needs (ESL, IEPs, and cultural difference, just to name a few) can make instruction time quite hard in an ELA class. Going off of my own observation, writing and speaking seems to be two of the main issues plaguing my students. Building a sound foundation for rhetoric and composition is essential for our young scholars to be successful in the rest of their academic journey. This book was produce by research that I gained as a current grad student, practical experience as a Reading Coach, and the creativity of the artist in me to help give my students their voice.

Cover of the book

These two students were very excited to be the ones to test out the books! Below is an audio recording of our interaction with introducing the books. To the right is my young scholar friends holding their books that they designed!

Recording #1

Opening the books: Sticky notes to ms. p!

This is where the communication begins! Just before we dive into the sticky notes, you can hear in the audio the excitement and fun that my students had getting and decorating their new books. As shown above are the “sticky notes” that my students will use to communicate with me. Listen to the audio below for more in depth instructional time.

Recording #2

SHARING OUR EXCITEMENT ABOUT LEARNING!

This next audio is just us sharing our sticky note response to the question; I am excited about learning:

Recording #3

The following recording is the second prompt on the sticky note that asks the following: I still need help with___. This portion of the sticky note is where the students take control over what they want to target and gain more skills about.

Recording #4

FEED BACK TIME!

The next audio is us mapping out how we are going obtain these goals! It was so cute watching my students fumble over their words because they did not know how to exactly say what they wanted. I was able to understand what they were trying to convey.

Recording #5
last remarks/back of book

This last recording is concluding remarks with reassuring the schedule of their books, how they will be used, and the reward for meeting their goals! I am very excited ot see what the last week of December brings for us!

Recording #6

continuing study

I am very excited and pleased that the books turned out this way. As I continually stated, this project will continue on for the rest of the school year to see where it takes the students. This tool is mainly used towards my “targeted students” that I see are having trouble with certain things throughout the school year. There will be a different set of students each month, depending on their needs and areas that need improvement. Please checkout my last blog post: https://learningthroughthearts.home.blog/2019/12/07/turing-theory-into-practice-giving-students-a-voice/ to see the research behind my little books! Thank you for stopping by and checking out my project, Namaste.

Giving our Students a Voice: Listening to our Learners

Just teaching at our students is not enough for them to gain a proper education. In my now second year serving as a Reading Coach through AmeriCorps, I have been able to see my previous statement as a reality; for students that I had and currently have the pleasure to work with. The current population of students I serve are urban city students, who are first generation English speakers. My second grade students have humbled me to the idea that students should have control over their education. The issue that comes into play is that, who will actually listen to them?

During my first year as a Graduate Student, I have been able to put the theory from my courses into practice with my second graders. Through different creative exercises, discovery learning outcomes, and putting play into learning, I have a new understanding as to what is best for my students. With that said, I have come to these, and many other conclusion, by doing the following for my students : Listening to them! No, I am not the perfect educator, but I am willing to hear their ideas and stories because they have so much to say! The following three areas are where I see my students’ voice needs to be heard the most: Voice in their writing, the silenced dialogue, and ESL learners.

silenced dialogue

THE CULTURE OF POWER

This snippet of the article kind of breaks down the forms of power and how it plays a role in education. I found the first three points to be the ones most suitable to meet the needs of the classroom.

  • (1)Issues of power are enacted in classrooms.
    • Power of teacher over students. Teachers ultimately choose the learning.
  • (2) There are codes or rules for participating in power
    • Linguistic forms, communicative strategies, and presentation self.
  • (3) The rules of the culture of power are are a reflection of the rules of the culture of those who have power
    • The success in institutions – schools, workplaces, and etc – is predicated upon acquisition of the culture of those in power

“Many liberal educators hold that the primary goal for education is for children to become autonomous, to develop fully who they are in the classroom setting without having arbitrary, outside standards forced upon them.”

“The dilemma is not really in the debate over instructional methodology. But rather in communicating across cultures and in addressing the more fundamental issue of power, of whose voice gets to be heard in determining what is best for poor children and children of color.”

ESL Learners

ESL students are defined as the following: People who come to live in an English – speaking country, and do not speak English very well (http://www.learnersdictionary.com/definition/ESL) . With research on the topic of ESL students as an undergraduate, and my current experience as a Reading Coach, I’ve been able to have both the education and field experience with the ESL student population. In the aspect of learning English in an academic setting, ESL students may have a harder time understanding the “standard English” that is accepted into the world of academia. By trying to speak this academic English language, many issues may appear in their writing. Unfortunately, the academic system in most native – English speaking countries only see writing as a way of truly understanding English “correctly”. Even many native – English speaking student writers have trouble with writing and the process it takes to become a good writer. With that said, we as educators (on all platforms) must approach ESL students in a manner that both benefits them and their best interest to grow as writers. Now that I have made a clear understanding of the position where the ESL students stand, it is now appropriate to introduce the article. 

Most public schools have approximately a class size of a 1:23 ratio of teacher to students. It is quite challenging for one teacher to address the specific needs of every student, especially if they have slight extra baggage (disabilities, IEPs, ESL, etc.); this is where tutors come into play. As I stated previously, tutors’ roles are to aid with the writing process, to help students develop their writing. Unfortunately, even tutors must address the elephant in the room: Tutors need help and pointers on how to work with ESL students. Unlike native – English speakers, ESL students have deeper rooted issues with their writing, that might even be a handful for tutors. This article is a breath of fresh air for tutors who have students that come from ESL backgrounds. The reading goes on to break down into 11 subcategories that tutors may face with their students and options to help their situation.

voice in writing

“Writers in fact depend on readers’ willingness to stay with a text, even a difficult one, without judging it prematurely on the basis of its apparent violation of their own perspectives or impressions of some subject.”

“I found the first three points to be the ones most suitable to meet the
needs of the classroom.” But unfortunately, we do not see in the case of our young beautiful writers. This writing stigma is built upon the relationship we have between them as student and teacher (I am currently very guilty of this with my 2nd Graders).

“When we consider how writing is taught, however, this normal and dynamic connection between a writer’s authority and the quality of a reader’s attention is altered because of the peculiar relationship between teacher and student.”

Due to teachers feeling that they have this intellectual and experienced authority over the students writing, we try to have a say over what type of voice the student is trying to have inn their writing. We come in with having the best intentions, but it falls short when we let this authority ego take over.

Sticky note to ms. p!

This is my project for the theme of voice in writing and education, I am giving my students the chance to voice their opinions and input on how they want to shape their education.

I created this replica of a “sticky note” that my students are accustomed to me using when I give them feedback on their writing. For each month, I will give my students theses replica sticky notes as weekly personal learning goal setters. At the beginning of each week, the students will take 5 minutes to fill out the sticky note so that we can work on their goals for the week. For my project, I will share some completed books on my blog!

further reading

Elbow, Peter. RECONSIDERATIONS : Voice in Writing Again: Embracing Contraries. 2007, scholarworks.umass.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1006&context=eng_faculty_pubs.

Harris, Muriel, and Tony Silva. “Tutoring ESL Students: Issues and Options.” College Composition and Communication, vol. 44, no. 4, 1993, p. 525., doi:10.2307/358388.

Delpit, Lisa. “The Silenced Dialogue: Power and Pedagogy in Educating Other People’s Children.” Harvard Educational Review, vol. 58, no. 3, 1988, pp. 280–299., doi:10.17763/haer.58.3.c43481778r528qw4.

Checkout my new blog to see me turn this theory into practice!

https://learningthroughthearts.home.blog/2019/12/07/turing-theory-into-practice-giving-students-a-voice/