Educational Research based on observations takes place daily in the classroom. As part of my daily interaction with the students, I conducted educational research that helped me address their specific needs. For instance, while conducting daily research I may notice how a specific student may have behavioral problems triggered by an academic hardship he needs assistance with.
In addition, as part of the daily research, I was able to address specific goals and of most children in a classroom during a school year.
Such as, academic goals in specific areas, behavioral changes, and even changes in daily routines that led them to excel in class. Thus, some of the guidelines required by the state that included “Collecting data documenting student behavior for instructional purposes and writing anecdotal information concerning student behavior (NYC Schools)” helped me address the needs of students through research and gathering data.
There were several methods necessary in order to properly gather classroom data. For example, observing is the most common and useful method to collect information regarding students. Observation techniques helped me in determining the specific needs of children. Such as one on one assistance, learning deficiencies, and behavioral situations triggered by difficulties at home.
Subsequently, mastering data collection and observation skills helped identify each student’s specific needs as required by the NYC Department of Education. Constant training and professional development (PD) helped develop in-depth my skills in classroom observation techniques.
From several PDs, I have been able to develop observational skills that help me make hypotheses in order to analyze individual students, as well as classroom settings. In addition, during monthly PDs I was able to develop learning from seminars on specific environmental, and societal triggers in children’s behavior. I can determine what triggers defiant behavior in children according to demographics.
Another skill I mastered as an Educational Assistant was how to organize, thoroughly, both quantitative and qualitative research in a classroom setting. For instance, “One-on-one or small group instruction as outlined by the teacher (NYC Schools)“.
As part of my responsibilities, I was required to conduct both quantitative and qualitative research. Quantitative research represented group observation while quantitative research represented one-on-one observation and clear data.
The most common method to conduct cohesive research and data collection was direct classroom observation. For instance, once I worked with a student that seemed to show mental retardation, and the school psychologist diagnostic agreed on mental retardation.
After several months of research and one-on-one lessons and analysis, I concluded that this particular student was in fact illiterate in his native language; therefore, he could not interact with the psychologist.
I relied on techniques such as observations, data collection, research, direct evaluation such books, and images, and finally behavioral contrast with an actual mentally retarded person. Ultimately, after further evaluation, the new evaluation confirmed my observation through research.
Although the process in which research and analysis are done is often smooth, often ethical considerations arise and pose a barrier. Ethical considerations in regards to reporting educational research are very important when addressing children in an educational setting. For instance, the NYC Department of Education is the most diverse school system in the United States.
Therefore students from all over the world will need to be addressed according to their specific needs. During the research, the following should be considered: privacy, cultural background, and religious beliefs. For instance, Muslims, Jewish, and Christians share different views.
While often people think Christmas is celebrated by everyone. This is a religious holy day that might represent a dilemma to most. All these variants have to be considered in order to make a clear evaluation based on research and data collection.
Ultimately, I developed strong observational skills with the NYC Department of Education through research, analysis, and observation as stated on the syllabus of Observation Techniques from the APUS program list of courses.
In the end, working for the largest school system in the United States, with the most demographically diverse school population helped me understand the specific needs of every student addressed. Thus, from my time in the NYC Department of Education I was able to master observation techniques, gathering data, and the development of hypotheses.