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The Scientific Approach in Education

Ryan Bernido is an educator and writer. He has expertise in Education.

This article will walk us through the nature of research as a scientific inquiry aimed at providing basis for informed classroom decisions and review the fundamentals of research. Topics included are the definitions, nature, characteristics, and other attributes of research. This also introduces the research agenda of the Philippine education agency.

Introduction

The field of teaching and learning requires continuous development and improvement. This requires stakeholders including teachers to conduct research– a scientific approach in education in which the goal is to gather information and facts to build new ideas and knowledge which contribute to existing body of knowledge leading to improved practices, processes, policies and procedures among others. Research as a scientific approach in education is typically conducted to improve teaching practices, instructional materials, curriculum and assessment, and leadership and management practices.

In the context of the Philippine Department of Education, Action Research is the most common type of scientific inquiry. It is defined as a process of reflective inquiry to improve teaching and learning practices and provide solutions to existing concerns and challenges in the agency, particularly in classrooms and school offices (Llego, 2020).

Definition

Research is undertaken to build new ideas and knowledge in the field of interest through a systematic investigation. Research as a scientific approach includes research questions to be answered, research problem to be solved, or new knowledge to be generated through a systematic, orderly collection, organization, and analysis of data to come up with useful and beneficial findings for decision making (iEduNote, 2022). These useful findings lead to the improvement of materials, practices, processes, policies and procedures. Others defined research as “systematic and critical investigation about the natural phenomena to describe, explain and finally to understand the relations among them”. Describing and explaining phenomena helps researchers to undestand the novel existence of events and other variables of interest which leads to understanding and making sense of it.

The iEduNote (2022) listed some pointers for a research to be considered as scientific approach. A research must possess the following elements to become scientific:

  1. empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning;
  2. systematic observations, measurement, and experimentation;
  3. application of the scientific methods and harnessing of curiosity;
  4. provision of scientific information and theories for the explanation of nature;
  5. practical applications possible; and
  6. adequate analysis of data employing rigorous statistical techniques.

Research: Characteristics, Features, and Other Attributes

Research as a scientific approach must aim to prioritize specific, defined research problems following a systematic research procedures carefully designed by the researcher (iEduNote, 2022). Research should also be logical to make a better progress in the process of investigation. Any findings of the research should be made available in public through dissemination and publication to prevent duplication of the same research; however, research should be replicable which means that the research can be reconducted in a new environment to confirm the findings. The replication can be done on a new setting, new study units, period of time but similar research procedures. The research should also be generative, worthy of generating new research questions for future studies. Research must also provide solutions to existing problems in the field of interest, e.g. Action Research. To iEduNote (2022), a research must be cost-effective as possible.

Moreover, research should be SMART – relatively specific and simple (clear and not ambiguous) , measurable (questions are researchable and with established criteria to answer the questions or achieve the goals), attainable and achievable (employs feasible or doable procedures and designs) , realistic (with practical applications/solutions to the field), and timely (time-bound; follows timeline of activities).

To others, research should have some attributes like objectivity, precision, design, and verifiability.

Research being objective requires no bias of the researcher. There must be no conflict of interest or any personal preference. For example, when conducting research based on deduction from theory, the goal should not focus on proving the theory but on testing it. Data and logic should be the one leading to conclusion and not the existence of researcher’s personal judgement. These can be done through utilizing research materials and instruments which underwent validation process to established its nature of validity and reliability.

Research being precise means the use of statistical tools and analysis. Any numerical data must be analyzed accurately to convey its meaning and generate findings correctly.

Research must also follow established research design. Research design is a model on how the data will be collected, measured and analyzed. Usually, research design starts in defining the research problem, and building a hypothesis. Then, the collection and analysis of data and information follow. Precise analysis of data through the use of statistical tools or any established data analysis and methods should lead to testing and confirmation or rejection of the hypothesis. This become now the basis of results reporting or conclusion.

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Research being verifiable means that the research methods and procedures are accurate and correct. Being verifiable also means that the research has underwent peer review or be presented in research community through research conferences for others to review the processes. Replication is one way also to verify research results.

Research starts from brainstorming and establishing the research topic, problem or question. Then, it involves the three basic operations: data collection, data analysis, and report writing (iEduNote, 2022). Data collection include observation, recording of data and information, and measuring any quantitative data. Data analysis is the organization of the collected data to enable researcher to generate meaning and establish its significance. Report writing is the process of conveying to the readers the research findings and results.

According to iEduNote (2022), good research generates dependable data. Hence, the following qualities must be observed:

  1. The purpose is clearly defined.
  2. There is a detailed research process.
  3. Research design is well planned and established.
  4. The research should follow ethical processes.
  5. Scope and delimitations must be stated.
  6. Data analysis must be accurate and complete.
  7. Findings and results must be clearly and comprehensively presented.
  8. Conclusions and recommendations should be based on the findings and well justified.
  9. The researcher’s experience and expertise should be reflected.

Research in the Field of Education

Research plays a vital role in discovering new knowledge, improving the existing school of thoughts, and predicting phenomena. In education, research can be used in strengthening evidence-based policy development, and decision-making. Department of Education has allotted fund to eligible proponents of research proposals through the Basic Education Research Fund which is being implemented to promote the culture of among DepEd personnel including the teachers, and among the research agenda (a list of priority education research areas to guide DepEd and its stakeholders in the conduct of research ) are (1) teaching and learning, (2) child protection, (3) human resource development, and (4) governance. These four basic education research agenda was adopted through the issuance of DepEd order no. 39, s. 2016. Below is the conceptual framework of the basic education research agenda.

the-scientific-approach-in-education

Read further details on the research agenda of the Department of Education by accessing this link: https://www.deped.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/DO_s2016_039.pdf

References

Research: Definition, characteristics, goals, approaches. iEduNote. (2021, February 2). Retrieved March 15, 2022, from https://www.iedunote.com/research-definition-characteristics-goals-approaches

Adoption of the basic education research agenda. (n.d.). Retrieved March 15, 2022, from https://www.deped.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/DO_s2016_039.pdf

IGNOU. (1970, January 1). Unit-1 introduction to research : Purpose, nature and Scope. eGyanKosh. Retrieved March 15, 2022, from https://egyankosh.gkpad.com/page/32484

Llego, M. A. (2020, October 29). 2020 DepEd action research topics and sample titles. TeacherPH. Retrieved March 15, 2022, from https://www.teacherph.com/deped-action-research-topics-and-titles/#:~:text=DepEd%20Action%20Research%20is%20a,school%2C%20classroom%2C%20office)

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Ryan Bernido Network

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