A number of ways can increase reliability and validity. One is the framing of open-ended questions in the in-depth interview and the combination of closed and open-ended questions in the survey questionnaire to encompass the information that the research process intends to derive. Another is conducting the in-depth interviews and floating the questionnaires in a uniform manner to ensure consistency in the data collection context for the different respondents.
Last is context-based treatment of data to come up with a good research providing an understanding of the obstacles experienced and strategies employed by Native American students able to successfully graduate from high school. Data Collection Procedures Collection of qualitative data is through in-depth interviews and survey questionnaire. This research project will begin upon approval and will take place on the Tulalip Reservation.
In-depth interviews target thorough derivation of information while survey focuses on gaining data from a sufficient number of respondents to support representation of the general population. In-depth interviews make use of open-ended questions to allow sufficient room for follow-up and explanatory accounts of their high school education experience. The survey questionnaire is semi-structured by combining closed and open-ended questions on the demographic characteristics of respondents and educational background. (Schostak, 2006)
Data Analysis Procedures The qualitative data collected from this research will be coded for various themes including; indicators of teacher/school support, indicators of family support, culturally appropriate curriculum, effective/ineffective teaching strategies, student learning styles, family influences, school influences, student motivators, and student identified factors relating to their success in school. Comparative analysis of the Native American high school students who successfully graduated and dropped out also forms part of the analysis.
Descriptive statistics will be used to analyze answers to the closed questions in the survey questionnaire. Limitations of Methodology There could be possible limitations of the research methodology. One, focusing on qualitative research prioritizes the collection of rich data at the expense of measurable data, although the research also utilizes descriptive statistical analysis for the closed questions in the survey questionnaire. Another limitation is the consideration of a wide range of range that could affect the focus of the research process.
However, incorporating aspects of quantitative research through the closed survey questions and using descriptive statistics lessens this limitation. Internal Validity, Accuracy and Credibility Internal validity pertains to the extent that the independent variable in the research is attributable to the primary influence on the dependent variable. As such, achieving internal validity happens if the changes in the dependent variable are due to the operation of the independent variable.
(Johnson, 1997; Stenbacka, 2001) In the current study, achieving internal validity is through the determination of the conditions positively and strongly affecting the successful graduation of Native American high school students. Accurate and credible data comes from the comprehensive information derived from the perspectives of Native American high school students who successfully graduated from high school and comparing these with the views of those who failed to successful graduate. External Validity and Transferability
External validity refers to the susceptibility of the results for generalization in terms of the target population and the contextual environment (Johnson, 1997; Stenbacka, 2001). In the current study, achieving external validity and transferability is through consideration of the perspectives of both groups of Native American high school students who successfully graduated and dropped out before graduation. Selection of a representative research sample, albeit using non-probability sampling methods, also supports generalizations.
Expected Findings The findings would support an understanding of the contemporary obstacles experienced by Native American high school students in successfully graduating from high school from the perspectives of students who have successful graduated and dropped out before graduation. The research would also provide an understanding of the strategies employed to address obstacles from the perspective of those who successfully graduated. Ethical Issues
Ethics in research pertain to the adherence of the researcher of standards of responsible research that considers not only the achievement of the purpose of the research process but also in a manner that protects and respects the interests of stakeholders, especially the research respondents. Complying with ethical principles supports effective research because the minimization of ethical issues would support credible and rigorous research outcomes. (Patton, 2002) Ethical Issues in the Proposed Study A number of ethical issues could emerge from the research endeavor.
One is encouraging the voluntary participation of the respondents to the study. While those who successfully graduated would likely express greater willingness to participate in the study, there may be reluctance on the part of those who dropped out. Another is obtaining the informed consent of the respondents by explaining the purpose of the research and their expected participation in the study. Last is maintaining the confidentiality of the identity of the respondents by practicing anonymity as a means of allaying any possible risks to the participants.
Addressing these issues would support a good qualitative research. Conclusion Based on the discussion of the methodology to be employed in the proposed study, these would support the purpose of the study of deriving an understanding of the means of addressing obstacles to successful graduation in Native American high school students.
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