MANUAL RESEARCH PROJECT B.Ed (1.5 Year / 2.5 Year)
AIOU B.ED Research Project Course Description
Pre-service teacher education in Pakistan has been criticized for being heavily content-ridden on the cost of ignoring practical aspect. No doubt, theoretical knowledge should be linked with classroom practices to make the teacher education programs more effective. The Higher Education Commission Pakistan suggested some radical changes in the teacher education programs. In wake of the transformation, Allama Iqbal Open University is trying to equip its student-teachers with skills based on practical works under the supervisions of experienced and highly qualified teachers. Research Project is one of such offerings to the students which will provide them some basic skills for being an effective classroom teacher. It is designed to provide them with critical approach, scientific attitude and reflective thinking. In the previous semesters, the students were offered ‘Research Methods in Education’, ‘Critical Thinking and Reflective Practices’ and ‘Teaching Practice-I’. The experiences from these courses will help the students to build their narrative and complete this research project.
We have already learnt that action research is a way of solving local problems by adopting steps of scientific method. It is not uncommon that a teacher faces many problems of different nature during teaching and at workplace. Action research provides more valid and reliable solutions of the problems faced by them at classroom and institution level. So, mastering action research can be an important step in becoming a more effective teacher. Keeping in view the importance of action research in the professional life of the teachers, universities of the developed countries have made action research a part of teacher education programs. For setting higher standards of pre-service teacher education in Pakistan, Allama Iqbal Open University has also made it mandatory for B.Ed students to conduct an action research and write a report. As action research targets learning teaching through researching teaching and based on some practical work, it provides an opportunity to change student-teachers’ beliefs
based on practical experiences. It will help the students understand how scientific method is used to solve classroom problems.
One the most important considerations in action research is ‘context’ – that’s why we are not bothered about the generalization of the results. It is conducted in the context of the researcher and the problem relates to the personal context. The critical question of an action research is mostly narrated in personal pronoun i.e. ‘I’ and ‘My’. For example, “How can I improve reading skills at primary level?” or “How can my teaching develop higher order thinking among students at elementary level?” Sticking to one’s own context provides another benefit. It provides an insight into the classroom and the institutional practices as a whole. The other major consideration of Action Research is the ‘reflection’ of the student-teacher. Action research at this level should be something meaningful to a student-teacher – lessons which can be carried with as a professional teacher to make you a wiser, smarter and more effective teacher. Once a student-teacher gets through action research, he/she gets to know and handle a scientific method to solve his/her professional problems rather than always looking for trial and error method.
Course Learning Outcomes
- Identify an educational problem within the classroom / institution
- Review the literature related to the identified problem
- Develop a scientific plan to solve it
- Execute an intervention to achieve the objectives
- Collect data about the problem with the help of a research instrument
- Analyze the data
- Draw conclusions based on the analysis of the collected data
- Use APA manual in writing and formatting a research report
Introduction to Research Project
The purpose of research project is to engage student-teachers in action research process. Action research helps student-teachers to begin a cycle of posing questions, gathering data, reflection, and deciding on a course of action. Research project helps to understand a particular problem or phenomenon along with strengthening their comprehension of research process. They discover first-hand knowledge about (a) how the steps of the research process are interlinked, (b) develop an understanding and appreciation of how knowledge evolves, and (c) adds a contribution to the existing body of knowledge.
The purpose of action research project is either to solve a problem or to improve a practice in education within local settings. The output of an action research project may provide immediate solution to a problem at classroom or school level.
What is NOT an action research?
- Action research is not a library project where we theoretically learn about a topic that interests us.
- Action research is not an attempt of trying to find out what is wrong, rather it is a quest for knowledge about how to improve a particular practice/situation.
- Action research is not about doing research on or about people, or finding all available information on a topic looking for the correct answers. Action research involves people working to improve their skills, techniques, and strategies.
- Action research is not about learning why we do certain things. But it is about how we can do things better. It is about how we can change our instruction to impact students’ learning
The AIOU B.ED research project is an activity-based course. The student-teacher will complete the research project under the guidance of a supervisor. It will be mandatory that the supervisor has at least an M.Phil degree in the field of Education. A person holding a degree of M.Phil / MS without thesis will NOT be eligible for supervision. Furthermore, M.Phil / PhD degree holders in the fields of natural sciences, engineering, agriculture, languages, and Arts and Humanities will not supervise students’ project work. In extraordinary circumstances, the persons holding the required degree in some specific subjects of social sciences may be appointed as a supervisor but only with the prior approval of the Chairman, Department of Early Childhood Education and Elementary Teacher Education. Further:-
- A 3-day workshop will be held to share the concept and methodology of action research with the students. The students will be allotted their supervisors during this workshop. It is more advisable that the topic of research should also be finalized during this workshop.
- One-on-one meetings between the student-teachers and the supervisor. The supervisor will get the progress from the student and propose the way forward. The minimum number of these meetings is nine. The meetings will be decided with the mutual understanding of the supervisor and the student-teachers.
- The work (booklet) must be completed within the stipulated period of time and it will be submitted to the regional office with the approval of the supervisor.
- The regional offices will permit only those students to submit their report who have at least 80% attendance of the workshop sessions.
- A supervisor will not supervise more than 25 students at a time. Though in special circumstances, the number of students may be increased subject to the prior approval of the Chairman, Department of Early Childhood Education and Elementary Teacher Education.
Writing Project Report
You must consider the following points at the time of writing your project report
- Write you report concise and brief. You are supposed to write your report on the given space as it is not permitted to attach extra sheets by your own.
- The report must be written in English language ONLY. A report written in any language other than English will be awarded zero marks.
- Do not copy your report from some other student. If two or more reports are found to be similar, all such reports will be awarded zero marks.
- If you are already a practicing teacher, use your classroom to conduct this action research. And if you are not a teacher, you can conduct your research during Teaching Practice-II (CC-8608).
- You are required to write your response on the given blank space ONLY in the manual issued by the department. Write brief and concise; keep in view the space specified for a particular portion. Don’t use extra sheets. Only handwritten responses will be accepted. Don’t write in any language other than English.
Assessment of Project Report
Research project is a practical course. There will be no written examination at the end of the course. At completion of the project, the manual will be submitted to the concerned regional office of Allama Iqbal Open University. The project manual must be signed by the supervisor on the given form provided in the manual. Without the signature of the supervisor, the manual will NOT be accepted. Furthermore, the concerned regional office will ensure that the said student has at least 80% attendance in the workshop failing which the student will not be allowed to submit the manual. Though attendance in the workshop bears no marks yet it is mandatory for manual submission.
The final date of submission will be communicated by the DRS to the regional centers. No submission after the deadline will be accepted. If a student is unable to submit the report within the stipulated time or falls short of the minimum attendance of the workshop, he/she will have to re register in the course. The student will pay full fee of the course (the fee is subject to any change by the university administration). He/she will be given two chances to re register in consecutive two semesters (offerings) and if the student remains unable to pass or avail these chances, he/she will be considered fail and has to get fresh admission when the course is offered.
The project manual will be evaluated against total number of 100. The distribution of marks is provided against each part. Adequacy, relevance, quality and language will guide the scoring of responses.
Name of the School
Overall background of the participants of the project; area / school: (socio-economic status, occupation / profession – earning trends of majority of the parents, literacy rate, academic quality, and any other special trait of the community where the school is situated).
- Why did you select this specific sub-theme and topic? Relate it to your experience / problem in your classroom / institution. (10 marks)
- What was your discussion with your colleague / friend / senior teacher or supervisor regarding the problem?
- What did you find about the problem in the existing literature (books / articles / websites)?
- What were the major variables / construct of your project? Give definitions / description from literature?.
- What did you want to achieve in this research project?
- Who were the participants in your project?
- How did you try to solve the problem?
- What kind of instrument was used to collect the data? How was the instrument developed?
- What were the findings and conclusion? (Provide instruments and analysis as appendix)
- Summary of the Project?
- How do you feel about this practice? What have you learnt? (self-reflection)?
- What has it added to your professional skills as a teacher?
- List the works you cited in your project (follow the APA manual – 6th Edition)?