I suppose it is a good thing that I never truly completed my methodology review form. After posting on my class’s page about the idea below, I found a dissertation that I really love. Of course I haven’t read through the whole thing yet. One thing I learned at my last colloquium is to read the abstract, and if you like it, read the implications for further research. I’ve read both, and I’m very interested. I should also mention that the author of the dissertation was also in an educational psychology program, which means I can be assured that any ideas I glean from her study would probably be approved by my department.
What I like most about her study is that it keeps with my interest of learning strategies. My only considerations would be the age group and my measure. For the dissertation I’m reading, the author used a standardized test, and there I am at a loss. I did look at the Washington superintendent of school’s website and read about his changes to the standardized testing in Washington. It appears that this will be the last year the WASL is used, and it will only be for this spring. Obviously, I have no hope of being prepared to conduct a study that soon, and even if I did, the test is only being offered once. The new test will be offered in the spring of 2010. I could potentially use the new test that is being offered to either 3rd through 8th graders or the high school proficiency test offered to high school seniors.
The dissertation that I found was conducted with urban fifth graders. I know for a fact that my students would be rural, so that in itself could be interesting for comparison. Her study was also done in Florida, so opposing sides of the country could also prove interesting.
I would just really need to clarify my measure. The author speaks in her dissertation that for most researchers looking at learning strategies, they use GPA, so there’s always that. For right now, I really just need to read through her 100+ pages to see exactly what she did. Then I think I will ask around to figure out what age group I should use, and if her implications for future study are feasible and beneficial for my purposes.