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Personal Experience Regarding The Process Of Writing A Research

1689 words - 7 pages

Introduction
As a professional practitioner of many years standing in education, I welcomed the opportunity I have been given in this module to consider the issues affecting Higher Education (HE) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and to explore the many ways in which I many engage in research by identifying a problem or issue, review the relevant literature, state a purpose for the research and then proceed to gather data and conduct a process of analysis, finally reporting on my findings. Creswell, (2009) and Cohen, Manion and Morrison (2011) provide commentary on the need for educators to produce meaningful research by examining issues within their own contexts which has allowed me to ...view middle of the document...

Yates (2004) and Bentz and Shapiro (1998) present discussions on what constitutes ‘good educational research’, the dilemma for me is that I agree with both perspectives. I attribute this to the fact that I am a novice researcher, therefore am susceptible to being convinced of the merits of all methodologies as I navigate my way to a set of processes and build a framework within which to place my research. I concluded that it is the research question and its response to context is what should be studied, and taken together with the selection of suitable methodologies my work was staring to form. In the beginning I was so concerned about understanding the many methods and methodologies, that I was not focusing sufficiently on the question – this led me to have a weak question to present in the first hand-in assignment and my grade understandably suffered. On reflection, I realise that I should have been more pragmatic about my goals and my intended outcomes, and perhaps most importantly at this stage I needed to know who my audience would be. My one real concern was, as I considered my context, the access I would have to both data and individuals. The reason for this is complex - there is a real reluctance on the part of the leadership of the HCT to grant permission to researchers to interview or survey the student body. Finding an explicit answer to the reasons for this is difficult, although anecdotally the reason is that there is a fear, in this closed society that the students will be mis-represented in any analysis and subsequent reporting of findings in open access forums – however authentic and respected the particular publication may be.
On a positive note, as a long time practitioner, I have built up a network of individuals on whom I could depend to provide me with data. My challenge is to identify those who have the desire to help and are in possession of the width and depth of knowledge to offer me an objective perspective so that my research is representative of a balanced approach to data collection. Therefore, from this position of relative strength with regards to the availability of data, I am inclined towards the idea of focus groups as espoused by Wilkinson (2008), as I feel that my natural strength is interacting with people – I am very much a relationship person - to build meaningful data collection, where I can work with a pre-identified group of individuals, thus resulting in a successful, rewarding and productive exercise for me as a researcher. Cassell (2009) is an exponent of the interview as a research method, which for me, is the method that is most flexible in terms of data collection and analysis. I say this due to the fact that I would want to harness the views of those stakeholders whom I would identify as being the most interested in participating in my research and would offer the most valuable data. In no way do I consider this an easy option, but I do feel that working with individuals in this way...

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