Assignment 1: what is special about special education research? | EDSD 7072 – Research Methodology for Special Education | Walden University


Assignment 1: What Is Special About Special Education Research?

Effective researchers in the field of special education are acutely aware of the challenges inherent in their investigations. Working with children with exceptionalities brings particularly important responsibilities. These responsibilities include careful attention to the treatment of subjects, validity, and the use of results. Furthermore, theories must be studied using a robust measurement of appropriate variables and a respective statistical analysis.

For this Assignment, you will analyze the challenges facing special education research today as well as evaluate the role and importance of key research elements to the field of special education research.

To prepare:

· Review the required and additional Learning Resources for this module. Pay particular attention to the types of challenges facing the field of special education, research gaps in the literature, and how each may be addressed with valid measurement, theory, and study.

· Consider the role and importance of the following in special education research:

o Measurement

o Theory

o Variables

o Statistical analysis methods

Develop a 5–8 page paper to utilizing the following section headings:

1. Challenges to research practices in special education

a. Explain the challenges posed to those who design, implement, and utilize the results of research in the field of special education.

2. The purpose of measurement in special education

a. Explain the important role and purpose of measurement in supporting valid research in special education.

3. The role of theory and effective practice

a. Explain the importance of a clearly articulated theory in providing a foundation from which to conduct research and identify effective practices.

4. Identification of variables

a. Explain the importance of, and process for, identifying research variables.

5. Statistical methods used in special education

a. Explain the role of specific methods of statistical analysis, and their importance in conducting valid research in special education.

Support your position with specific references to and examples from the Learning Resources, outside peer reviewed research, and personal experience.

Note: For this Assignment and all scholarly writing in this course and throughout your program, you will be required to use APA style (6th edition). Please use the Walden Writing Center as a resource as you complete assignments. Additionally, review the rubric for requirements for the use of APA style and citation. Points will be deducted for each submission if you do not strictly and accurately use correct APA citations each time you submit your work throughout the course.

Learning Resources

Note: To access this module’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

Florian, L. (Ed.). (2014). The SAGE handbook of special education (2nd ed.). London, England: Sage.

  • Chapter 21, “A Disability Studies Frame for      Research Approaches in Special Education”(pp. 351–367)

    Focus on the promise of disability studies approach to      research, addressing policy and socio-cultural context, and disability      studies and transformative influence.

O’Neill, R. E., McDonnell, J. J., Billingsley, F. F., & Jenson, W. R. (2011). Single case research designs in educational and community settings. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Rumrill, P. D., Cook, B. G., & Wiley, A. L. (2011). Research in special education: Designs, methods, and applications. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.

  • Chapter 1, “Introduction to      research in Special Education” (pp. 3–17)

    Focus on the elements of research that are common across      studies in the field of education. Also pay particular attention to      characteristics of research that are unique to special education. Note      challenges to the science of special education.

  • Chapter 4, “Ethical Issues      and Guidelines for Special Education Research” (pp. 73–99)

    Focus on a review of the underlying ethical principles of      special education. Pay particular attention to the treatment of human      subjects. Consider that the use of the results of a research study should      consider impacts on research participants.

  • Chapter 5, “Research Validity” (pp. 100–117)

    Focus on the general concept and specific types of research      validity. Review definitions of internal and external validity and the      threats to each. Note how you may apply what you learned to critique your      own work, and the studies conducted by other researchers.

Vaughn, S., & Swanson, E. A. (2015). Special education research advances knowledge in education. Exceptional Children, 82(1), 11–24.

Additional Resources

Although every Additional Resource is not required reading, it is highly recommended that you read all of the Additional Resources. Be sure to make note of the Additional Resources which align with the content and focus of Discussions and Assignments.

Note: The resources were selected for the quality of the information and examples that they contain and not the date of publication.

Cook, B. G., Tankersley, M., & Landrum, T. J. (2009). Determining evidence-based practices in special education. Exceptional Children, 75(3), 365–383.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Focus on the synthesizing of research approaches, findings, and recommendations. Reflect on the analysis of studies. Note the processing for applying quality indicators and standards.

Florian, L. (Ed.). (2014). The SAGE handbook of special education (2nd ed.). London, England: Sage.

  • Chapter 20, “Comparative and International      Perspectives on Special Education”(pp. 335–349)

    Focus on International perspectives on research in special education,      research gaps, and the future of research on special and inclusive      education.

Kubina, R. M., Kostewicz, D. E., & Datchuk,. S. M. (2010). Graph and table use in special education: A review and analysis of the communication of data. Evaluation & Research in Education, 23(2), 105–119. 

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Focus on the use of the survey, paying particular attention to data graphs and tables. Study the findings and conclusions.

Mastropieri, M. A., Berkeley, S., McDuffie, K. A., Graff, H., Marshak, L., Conners, N. A., & Cuenca-Sanchez, Y. (2009). What is published in the field of special education? Analysis of 11 prominent journals. Exceptional Children, 76(1), 95–109.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Focus on the types of articles published in the field of special education. Consider the meaning of this for the future of special education and review how the analysis was conducted.

Rumrill, P. D., Cook, B. G., & Wiley, A. L. (2011). Research in special education: Designs, methods, and applications. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.

  • Chapter 2, “Getting Started      in Special Education Research—Variables, Research Questions, and      Hypotheses” (pp. 18–37)

    Focus on research questions, identification of variables,      theory, and sampling. Review sources of research ideas. Consider the      various types of sampling procedures and the variety of variable types.

  • Chapter 3, “Measurement and      Statistics in Special Education Research” (pp. 38–72)

    Focus on measurement issues, with a particular emphasis on the      purpose of measurement in special education. Reflect on levels of      measurement, statistics, and the array of approaches to statistical      analysis.

  • Chapter 9, “Guidelines for Composing and      Evaluating Research Articles” (pp. 193–215)

    Focus on the structure of a research report. Reflect on the      organization of a paper and the most critical elements that should be      included. Study APA format carefully as it is the typical style expected      in research reports.

Vince Garland, K. M., Holden, K., & Garland, D. P. (2016). Individualized clinical coaching in the TLE TeachLivE Lab: Enhancing fidelity of implementation of system of least prompts among novice teachers of students with autism. Teacher Education and Special Education, 39(1), 47–49.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Focus on the all aspects of the study especially the multiple probe across participants’ single case design. This is a very good example of single subject research to address a practical problem in teacher education.

Single-Subject Problem Statements

The following articles provide examples of special education problem statements in single-subject research studies.

Avcioglu, H. (2012). The effectiveness of the instructional programs based on self-management strategies in acquisition of social skills by the children with intellectual disabilities. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 12(1), 345–351.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Focus on the multiple-probe design. Note the approach to single-subject research. Pay specific attention to the interpretation to findings.

Aykut, C. (2012). Effectiveness and efficiency of constant-time delay and most-to-least prompt procedures in teaching daily living skills to children with intellectual disabilities. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 12(1), 366–373.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Focus on the adapted alternating treatment design. Note that two prompt procedures were evaluated in this study. Consider how this differs from an A-B design.

Jimenez, B. A., Browder, D. M., Spooner, F., & Diabiase, W. (2012). Inclusive inquiry science using peer-mediated embedded instruction for students with moderate intellectual disability. Exceptional Children, 78(3), 301–317.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Focus on the method of instruction. Review the embedded constant time-delay procedure and reflect on social validity.

Thompson, A. M., & Webber, K. C. (2010). Realigning student and teacher perceptions of school rules: A behavior management strategy for students with challenging problems. Children & Schools, 32(2), 71–79.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Focus on the use of single-subject data. Study how statistical significance was considered. Read about the proportion-frequency procedures and the two standard deviations statistical test.

Ethical Challenges in Research

The following reports address the many ethical challenges inherent in research with children.

Matutina, R. E. (2009). Ethical issues in research with children and young people: Robin Matutina reviews the literature on the ethical dilemmas involved in conducting child-specific research and suggests strategies to safeguard the legal rights of children. Paediatric Nursing, 21(8), 38–44.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Focus on the history of research with children. Note that most of the studies occurred in the United States. Consider the implications for today’s researchers.

Mayeux, L., Underwood, M. K., & Risser, S. D. (2007). Perspectives on the ethics of sociometric research with children: How children, peers, and teachers help to inform the debate. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 53(1), 53–78.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Focus on the purpose of sociometry. Reflect on the challenges presented to researchers who seek to treat children ethically. Consider steps for protecting children.

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