Purpose Statement & Research Questions

Purpose Statement

The purpose of this two phase, sequential mixed methods study will be to obtain quantitative and qualitative data on the affect of travel programs on the academic performance of inner city, middle school students. The first stage of the study will obtain quantitative data.  Specifically, the first phase of the study will compare the graduation rates, drop out rates, CSAP scores, GPA, attendance rates, and suspension rates of students who participated in travel programs to Washington, DC and/or Europe at Kepner Middle School in Denver, with those of students from the school who did not participate in either program.  The second phase of the study will obtain qualitative data.  Specifically, the second phase of the study will use interviews with travel students, their families, and their teachers to explore their perception of the travel program’s affect on the students’ academic performance.

Script

This mixed methods study will address the effectiveness of travel on students’ graduation (and drop-out) rates, CSAP scores, GPA, attendance, and suspensions.  In addition, the study will examine student, family and teacher perceptions of the effect travel has on the aforementioned indicators.  A transformative design will be used which will involve both participatory and pragmatic worldviews as an overarching framework for the study. This lens is being used because I would like to do a community based research (CBR) project.  CBR attempts to “engage people affected by the problem in addressing it in practical ways” (Cutforth, N. 2012, personal communication).  Because of this, it pulls elements from both participatory and pragmatic worldviews. The study will include both quantitative and qualitative data gathered sequentially.  The quantitative data will be used to test the theory that predicts that trips to Washington, DC, Europe, or both will influence positively the students’ graduation (and drop-out) rates, CSAP scores, GPA, attendance, and suspensions for KEEP (Kepner Educational Excellence Program) travelers from Kepner Middle School.  The qualitative data will explore travel experience and its impact on the students and families for Kepner Middle School.

Questions

Combination Questions:

  • What results emerge from comparing the exploratory quantitative data about students’ graduation (and drop-out) rates, CSAP scores, GPA, attendance, and suspensions with outcome qualitative data measured by a survey?
  • What are student, family and teacher perceptions of the effect travel has on students’ graduation (and drop-out) rates, CSAP scores, GPA, attendance, and suspensions?

Transformative:

  • How does the quantitative and qualitative data help to give a voice to marginalized middle school students and their families in an urban neighborhood?

Professor’s comments:

The script is a nice addition; however, I would not include a statement like “This lens is being used because I would like to do a community based research (CBR) project”. I think it is best to say that the CBPR framework fits the research.  Why is the quant data “exploratory” (combination question # 1)? you have a clear design where you will be
contrasting the scores from those who travel versus those that did not.  Given that you have something like a quasi-experimental design (comparison of travel vs non-travel groups), I  wonder if your design is not more a form of embedded? The qual part is more of embedded in the quant design

 

References

Creswell, J. W. & Plano Clark, V. L. (2011). Designing and conducting mixed methods research (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

 

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