Country School Research Critique

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Qualitative Study Evaluation
Eleanor Vernice Siyon u7a1
Capella University

Quarter & Year: Summer 2012
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E-mail: esiyon@capella.edu
Instructor:Pat Ryan

Qualitative Study Evaluation

The one- teacher country school is largely the past practice of the American educational institution. This one teacher setting was characteristic of the recitation process used by students to “recite” to the teacher what one had learned from their lessons. The teacher characteristically would ask questions of their students during their process to glean the answers and evaluate the progress of their students. Traditionally these classrooms consisted of multi-age, multi-grade level all situated in one classroom with one teacher. This evaluation is about one such educational system in the state of Nebraska. It is an ethnographic study title “ Notes on a Country School Tradition: Recitation as an Individual Strategy” The stated purpose of this study was to view the practices of some of the one-teacher schools and to determine what may be learned from them. This evaluation will proceed by evaluating the validity and effectiveness of this research in its relation to the following categories within the study. The categories are as follows: the problem statement, review of the literature, the purpose statement and central phenomenon, validity of the data collection, validity of data analysis and findings, and the quality of writing and its consistency with the qualitative criteria.

1 Evaluation of the Title

The title of the study “ Notes on a Country School Tradition: Recitation as an Individual Strategy” This title does not reflect the central phenomenon being studied. The central phenomenon is the investigation of recitation in a one-teacher school as a patterned and functional response to the conditions of smallness, and it’s interrelationship to parental and community expectations, along with the inevitable transfer of these students to larger middle and secondary schools in an environment in defense of their way of life at a time of rural social and economic decline. The title does reflect the site (country school) and the people.

2 Evaluation of the Problem Statement

The author does have an educational issue to study, though not clearly stated in the problem statement. It may be assumed due to the fact that many of the children taught in this recitation method in the small schools went on to do very well in the large secondary and middle school settings. Therefore, a comparison of this small school approach and the differing large school approach is worthy of further educational study. I believe that the author has provided evidence that this issue is important because of the research that is stated about the benefits of smaller schools and the success of the students once they leave the one class environment. There is an indication that the author has located this issue through past research as he mentions the various literature that he has read in the past about this subject matter. I feel that this study may have been more beneficial as a mixed design approach. The ethnographic design did give an excellent insight into the values of the rural people and the day to day activities of the students and teacher. It was also very helpful to see firsthand how the recitation process worked. But there are other variables in the problem statement such as: recitation as a functional response to smallness, conservatism toward knowledge and learning, and parental and community expectations. An indication of how these variables correlate to the acceptance of this method of education may have been handled more effectively with a correlational approach. The assumptions of the study seem to be more consistent with a mixed methods approach.

3 Evaluation of the Review of the Literature

The author does present reviews...
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