I must say in the beginning when this class first started, I was nervous due to the fact that I knew nothing about research or what the work was going to be like in this course. As the course started and the weeks went by, I gained a lot of insight about research from using research as a tool, choosing a topic, learning about quantitative, qualitative and mixed method design, design issues, equity and much more. I also gained the insight of how important it is to maintain confidentiality and privacy when interviewing children and their families.
Before this course, I always had problems with reading research papers and sometimes did not want to read them because some of them were too long to read. I did not know how to read a research paper prior to this class and that made it difficult and a very time-consuming task, but over the course I have learned that it is not necessary to have to read the whole research paper. I have learned on what I should focus more on and give my attention to and also what I could skim through and still get the whole meaning of the paper. I now find it a lot easier and smoother to read a research paper without getting frustrated because I do not understand what I am reading or what certain words mean.
I have learned when it comes to planning, designing, and conducting a research study in the early childhood field that it is important to pick a topic that can be narrowed down and a hypothesis can be formed. I also learned that it is important to ensure the validity of one’s research design, consider ethical issues, and recognize limitations in one’s research study. I also learned the importance of ethics and equity in research. It is vital that every person is respected and have equal power in the research study no matter what nationality, race, religion, gender, class, socioeconomic status, or culture. I also learned that a researcher must have very strong ethics, work collaboratively with other researchers, and always be open for unexpected outcomes because there will be times where the outcome is not what was predicted or presented in the beginning.
One challenge that I encountered was choosing a topic that could be narrowed down and could form into a research question. I wanted to do inclusion in a childcare setting, and then changed it to what impact would inclusion have a a child?, and then I changed it a third time to how can a child become independent in an inclusion child care setting? I finally found the topic that I would get the most answers for. I resolved this problem by looking at the responses from the instructor on the charts and discussions boards to narrow down my topic to feel more comfortable. I also took into consideration the different types of research design. Another problem I encountered were the terminology. Some of the words in the text, I had no clue as to what they meant even after I read what was in the text and in the glossary. In terms with the book, I also used the internet to help me put in layman terms to help me fully understand what the word meant in the context in which it was used. Sometimes the terms can be more understandable when they are easily worded differently.
As a result of this course my perceptions of an early childhood professional have been modified in the fact that I have come to the conclusion that in early childhood education research is a necessity to evaluate current methods, policies and procedures. In this field research has been the sole way of developing new ideas for the early childhood field for years. It is also equally important to stay current on research, new methods and theories as it pertains to early childhood.
I would like to take the time out to say thank you to all of my colleagues for their support and comments on the discussions and the blogs. It has been a honor and privilege being in this course with you all. I pray that you will have a blessed and safe Christmas and New Year. Peace and blessings as you embark on future courses at Walden University.
Thank you, Dr. Todd for your prompt responses to my e-mails. I also want to thank you for being a great instructor and your comments on all assignments. This has been a rough but very informative course and I have gained a lot of knowledge on research. Once again thank you for everything.