Analyzing Quantitative Research
Brownand Walberg wrote a Journal article a few years back in an effort toestablish the reason why most American students do not perform wellin standardized tests in the U.S in comparison to other developednations in the world. The poor performance of U.S students was areason of concern for stakeholders in the education sector. Anexperiment was conducted in order to determine the effects ofmanipulated conditions to motivate students for a mathematical testamong elementary school going children.
Inthe experiment two types of data collection methods were utilized.The first method highlighted the use of surveys before theexperiment. The surveys collected the students’ opinions towardstests among U.S elementary children and those in Ireland. The firstsurvey showed that U.S children had little regard for standardizedtests as a majority of the children believed the tests were of littleimportance to them as 90% of the students disapproved thestandardized tests. On the other hand, school going kids in Irelandshared almost the same sentiment as a majority of the survey feltnervous, bored and disinterested by the tests. The second method ofdata collection involved the use of an experiment. Random samples ofstudents from 5 grades were selected for the study by flipping acoin. The students originated from three public schools in Chicago,Illinois. The selected students were then subject to an experimentand their test scores were recorded for analysis.
Thestudy is definitely experimental as it meets all the necessaryelements of an experiment. From the study, it is evident thatresearcher utilized two sets of students for the study. Theresearcher used two groups of students who were randomly selected inthe study. The first group was the experimental group while thesecond group of students formed the control group. The experimentalgroup was provided with a script before undertaking an exam while thecontrol group was not handed any script. The script underlined theimportance of the test and urged them to do well on the tests beforethe test was administered.
Theresearcher was spot on in collecting the data for the experiment. Theresearch question at the beginning of the study wished to establishthe relationship between manipulated motivational conditions and thestudents’ performance in standardized mathematical tests. In orderto answer the question, the researcher had to identify a sample groupfor the experiment and subject them to a manipulated experiment. Inthis case, the experiment wished to establish how the students’attitude, their teachers and parents influence their level ofperformance in standardized tests. The use of a script at thebeginning of a test was a good idea as students were made to believethat the test was important to them as well as their parents andteachers.
Accordingto the researcher, the motivational effect for the students waspretty much similar across all the grade levels regardless of thegender. However, the effect differed from one school to the other astwo experimental groups and one control group recorded highmotivational effects. The mean for the experiment group was 41.37while that of the control group was 36.25 [CITATION Bro16 p 4 l 1033 ].The experimental group reported a higher average score by 0.303standard deviations, therefore the special script at the beginning ofthe exam provided some motivation for the elementarystudents to do well.
Theonly ethical issue in the study could be the fact that the researcherwas bias in the experiment. The research was only conducted on threepublic schools in Chicago where a majority of the students hail fromthe minority communities. The study would have yielded differentresults if a private school was incorporated in the experiment.
Brown, S. M., & Walberg, H. J. (2016). Motivational Effects of Test Scores of Elementary Students . Journal of Educational Research, 2-6.