Looking Into Intergration of EthicsResearch Paper

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Integration of Ethical Principles

This research study explored the ethical behaviour that should be observed while conducting researches, in context of implementation of school advisory program and that if ethical dimensions are kept in mind, more clarity can be achieved in the field of research. Research ethics comprises of an intricate set of principles, morals and institutional outlines that standardize scientific activity. Educational and social researchers face complex challenges occasionally, when they encounter the conflict of their legal and moral responsibility towards protection of their participants on one hand, and maintaining the standards, criteria of quality and significance of research on the other hand. Although, the research design or findings does not always restrained or deteriorated by ethical principles. At times, ethics are supportive in enhancing the quality of research, while some other times it's not. Additionally, a special responsibility lies with the researchers to protect the welfare of vulnerable groups during the course of the research process. (Tangen, 2014)

Nowadays, a growing concern noteworthy to acknowledge is that certain ethical principles have been sabotaged by contemporary approaches to methodology. Due to which, the entire educational research discipline has been disgraced. This paper, therefore, analyses the foundation and importance of these ethics in the field of educational research. The ethical behaviour that is expected from researchers have been reviewed and commented on, illustrating from the current literature on this topic. (Gallagher, 2005)

Research ethics can be further divided into three areas: (1) ethical codes practiced in the research community; (2) relevance and significance of educational research in society; and (3) responsibility towards protection of research partakers. Accordingly, key ethics like liberty to research, liberation, upright research practice, professional honesty, respect for students and coworkers, etc., which is often regarded as the quality of the research process and findings, lies in the area (1) of ethics. The duty towards the protection of participants from harm and respecting their human welfare and autonomy, i.e. their self-esteem, honesty, and liberty, are the dominant values addressed under area (2). This includes apprehension of potential risk as well as of potential benefits for the participants and their group, if any. However, area (3) of ethics deals with the significance and scope of research for educational practice and policy making as well as importance of research for different groups, like youth and children, and thereby the future of country (Tangen, 2014)

Purpose of Study

The current study proposes to discuss the ethical behaviour that should be followed while conducting research on the implementation of school advisory program in middle and high schools, following a theory of Seedhouse's (1998a) ethical grid, and that by thinking through the ethical dimension of research in a logical and structured way, a level of clarity can be brought to this field. A framework to study ethical analysis is introduced, based on the work of David Seedhouse (1998a) and present a methodology for its use in educational research. The usage of this framework is validated through two examples and the argument that effective ethical analysis requires such analytical tool. This framework is not just a set of guidelines or codes of practice, rather much more expansive and powerful than both are. It offers a precise analytical procedure to make sure that a quality research process is conducted with a moral framework. This paper discusses the moral theory followed by the framework proposed by Seedhouse, the limitations and study design and procedure of conventional approaches by other authors in the following sections (Stutchbury & Fox, 2009).

Literature Review

The standard of research and research ethics are grounded on extensive social values and hence contains not only internal concerns, like validity and quality of research as well as responsibility for participant's protection, in the scientific community, but also external matters like practical significance of research and its utility and relevance to policy-making. The researcher therefore is never out of the realms of political and practical contexts, nor from his overall ethical responsibility (Tangen, 2014).

A significant fact to consider is that following and adhering to ethics should not be limited to only the commencement phase of a study or investigation. Rather it should be a consistent consideration throughout the process of investigation as the leading force of any research study, and accordingly ought to be sustained during the write-up and distribution stages (Abed, 2014-2015). This section, therefore, discusses the procedure the previous studies followed, while collecting data, regarding the implementation of school advisory program to middle and high schools. It also explores the extent to which they abide by the norms of research ethics.

A study conducted by O'Dowd, A Mixed-Methods Study of Middle School Advisory Programs: Staff Experiences, Perspectives, and Implementation in Three Suburban Middle Schools specifically focussed on the manner of explanation, and identification of the role of participation of the staff of three schools of the advisory program in each school. It also focuses on recommendations they would make to administrators for its successful implementation. The study employs Creswell's mixed methods research as theoretical framework. A sequential research design, i.e. quantitative and then qualitative stage, has been used for this research. Initially, an online survey has been conducted by providing a general set of outcomes on the staff's awareness and experiences with advisory programs for gathering quantitative data. The study then follows-up the exploration through interviews, document analysis, and non-participants' comments for gathering qualitative data, which reveals a thoughtful account and a deeper understanding of the topic (O'Dowd, 2012).

The ethical concern in the study in discussion is that the researcher was the assistant principal in one of the participating middle schools. This familiarity and understanding with the staff and the advisory program posits the potential of a biased opinion. This acquaintance could have been both an advantage and a limitation for the outcome of the study. The prior involvement of researcher in the process of planning and implementation of this program in the school she works could bias the findings in favor of middle school advisory programs (O'Dowd, 2012).

However, another study by Dooly, namely Academic Achievement in Arkansas High Schools Based on the Implementation Level of a Teacher Advisory Program, attempts to examine the influence of Teacher Advisory Programs (TAPS) on educational achievement and student motivation in Arkansas high schools grounded on their implementation level of the program by their comparison with similar non-TAPS schools. The researcher employs a quasi-experimental regression analysis to study the impact of TAPS on academic achievement. The data was gathered from the information site of Arkansas School and Arkansas Department of Education. The school level information comprises of new Performance Report of year 2001 and 2004. The information and data are availed from the records of attendance rate, dropout rate, graduation rate, percent worked through free lunch, teacher salary, expense per pupil, scores of 8th Grade Literacy and Mathematics Benchmark, scores of End-result of Algebra, Geometry, and Literacy Exam, and composite ACT scores (Dooly, 2013).

However, the findings of this study were unfortunately not favourable. No significant or reliable relationship could be found between the implementation of advisory program and higher academic accomplishment, after comparing 20 schools that implemented TAPS and 40 that were not implementing TAPS. The ethical concern here lies in this process of data collection, any leniency or carelessness in data handling might have skewed the results (Dooly, 2013)

A similar study by Stawick explores the advisory programs' impact on student learning and knowledge for three successive 8th grade classes at Main School. The first 8th grade class of year 2005 with no advisory program; the second 8th grade of year 2006 with advisory for one year; and the third class of 2007 with two years of advisory program during their 7th and 8th grade. This research made a comparison of three classes, based on their academic performance, to study the impact of advisory program on the student learning. Creswell's quasi-experimental, ex-post facto model has been utilised for the comparison of two groups in the research design, i.e. the participants were not selected randomly. The students were compared to each other in each group of race, income, and gender, exhausting each dependent variable (GPA, ISAT and NWEA). Such design has been deemed to be an authentic technique to examine the differences between groups and to determine its implications (Stawick, 2011).

The literature also maintains that advisory program, if carefully designed and well-employed, produces optimistic results in schools. The best measure to assess student learning is NWEA test, as it is the only customised measure to evaluate individual student growth. However, the researcher ought to consider participant's comfort with technology and his familiarity of taking tests on computers, as the instrument is provided on computer, which belongs to the category of informed consent of research ethics. The participant's anonymity and his comfort is the main ethical concern in this study (Stawick, 2011).

A similar study regarding school advisory program by James, Teacher's Perspectives of the Advisory Program: A Case Study of Curriculum and Implementation in an Urban Middle School examined several… [END OF PREVIEW]

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