- Farmer text
- Leedy, P.D., &
Ormrod, J.E. (2001). Practical
research: Planning and design (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ:
Merrill Prentice Hall. (I do not expect you to purchase this
book. I will, however, reference it often because it's my
favorite general research how-to book.)
I like the Farmer book very
much and feel it to be a concise guide to doing useful research in the
media center. Because it IS so concise, we will supplement it
articles that present other points of view this semester and next.
The Leedy & Ormrod
comes from a textbook for research that I've used many times. I
it too because it's well explained. However, it has many parts
are not relevant to our agenda, and so I chose not to use it as a text.
Leedy & Ormrod (L&O)
It is quite important to be
distinguish research from non-research. However, I believe that
authors take a rather "prissy" point of view on the whole thing.
As SLMSs, we believe that
itself is a useful activity. It's based on curiosity or a life
problem, it involves exploring the world of information for relevant
information, and it may involve action to solve the original
We believe that all parts of this process are inherently useful and
educational for all members of our learning communities. Leedy and
Ormrod demean some of our cherished notions about inquiry by
labeling them "not research."
represent by far and
away the dominant view within the Academy. Research isn't
unless it involves data collection and all the steps after that.
Dissertations and publications for professors that "count" toward
tenure and promotion must be of the data collection variety. Many
professors do not consider information-based research as the real
For a few days, I'd like you
listen out for the word "research." Try to figure out exactly
kind of activity is meant each time it's used.
It is a useful skill to be
distinguish the kinds of research apart, because it helps you to
decide the level of trust to place in a statement based on "research."
I also like the Cyclical
model on page 9. The point of this to take away for now is: most
often, a research project generates as many questions as it answers.
There is a valuable
Checklist at the end of this chapter. It could help you review
individual research articles, which will be the bulk of your activity
in this class.
Focus on p.1, paragraph 6,
beginning "So what exactly is action research?" She lays
steps in an action research project. In this class, we will end
projects just before "designing."
I don't have too much to say
about these 2 pages - but in general, Farmer takes the research
and tailors it to our professional work. It's highly relevant to K-12
education in general, although her context is strictly SLM.
Neither of these chapters
problem that we will have in this class: distinguishing among types of
published professional articles.
Here is my [MAF's] taxonomy of what you will
find in typical educational professional literature:
I believe that all of these
of professional articles are useful. It's critical, though, to be
to tell them apart. For example, an anecdotal article might lead
to try a new approach much more cautiously than an approach that has
been tested by one or more research studies.
- true research studies, as described by Leedy & Ormrod [research reports that present primary data collected by the author(s)]
- research studies "lite," which don't report the entire
study but are based on an original research study by the same author(s)
- anecdotal articles, following this pattern: "I/we did this
in my classroom/media center. It worked really well. I shall now tell
you all about it so you can do it too."
- literature syntheses, in which the author gathers results
research studies around a given theme and packages them for the reader
- concept piece: the author has an original idea and
- opinion piece: the author reacts to some movement or issue
in the field
Don't confuse these types of
articles with the Types of Research we'll be discussing next semester,
which have to do with methodology.
1. Construct a research cycle
similar to Leedy & Ormrod's, using Farmer's steps. It
have to be in a pretty wheel - just a list of numbered steps will do.
2. Identify and describe one
example of the use
of the word "research" in your world (conversations, news media,
etc.). What did the person using the word really mean? Did
it fit any
of Leedy & Ormrod's 'research/not-research' types?
3. Browse through the table
of contents of a professional journal. Classify 5 of the articles
into my list of types above.