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Pre-Proposal: A Qualitative Research on Students’ Perception of Ecological Awareness John Peterson Keiser University Dr. Andrea Thompson EDR810 Qualitative Research December 17, 2011
These are all done with gargantuan technologies that leave behind unmitigated devastation" (Perlingieri. Students attending college are the future leaders with the power to decide on the preservation of our planet. mining. What does it mean to be ecologically aware? II. so it is fundamental that educational institutions ensure that students are environmentally aware. 1). logging. This study addresses the following research questions: 1. Purpose of Study / Research Questions 2 The purpose of this phenomenological study is to gain an understanding of students’ perception of ecological awareness based on their lived experience in an ecological awareness program. When combined with toxic pollution left by Bhopal. . which will not go away. Global warming and climate change are influencing our planet in an unparalleled manner. para. unsustainable uses of fuels.PRE-PROPOSAL Pre-Proposal: A Qualitative Research on Students’ Perception of Ecological Awareness I. What is it like being a student in an ecological awareness class? 2. and overfishing. and other nuclear-related occurrences. as Perlingieri (2009) explained. Literature Review Without doubt. 2009). Chernobyl. and this paper presents a study to describe the lived experience of being a student exposed to ecological awareness. to name some of the major ones. 2009. the Exxon Valdez oil spill. "massive destruction of habitats. ThreeMile Island. The primary causes are human-created environmental devastation. the world is facing an environmental crisis. producing a need for better consciousness and answers to the environmental crisis (DeGalan & Middlekauff. A qualitative study on this issue is relevant to this understanding. there is a real danger to all the inhabitants of this planet (Perlingieri. 2008).
especially in schools with disciplines catering to environmental awareness. visiting assistant professor of environmental studies at Knox College led a 10-day trip with nine Knox College students to canoe and camp “through more than 100 miles of the Florida Everglades during winter break. is one of those. where the author described field trips in environmental education as. In addition. In the field research paper Keller described American student’s acceptance of having a life experience in nature. For example. 11) and enjoying nature through walks and hiking. 2011). Storksdieck (2006) conducted a study in the role of out-of-school settings in education for sustainability. and not giving value to environmental pollution. Nic Mink. 4) being exposed to an awareness on the environmental crisis. Storksdieck defended the idea that out-of-school environmental learning experiences strengthen the relationship between humans and their natural environment. "an effective teaching tool in a variety of cognitive and affective learning dimensions" (p. an acceptance stronger in boys than girls. Keller's (2007) field research paper on an investigation of the environmental 3 awareness of students in the US and Europe. some studies made a distinction by their relevance to the issues of scholarship. . This contact with nature is turning into a popular trend in education. based on 14 qualitative guided interviews. In this study Keller seeks to know "how the concrete actions of students correlate with what they said about their values before" (p. gaining first-hand knowledge of the deep connection between people and national parks” (Knox College. 2007).PRE-PROPOSAL Although there is not much research on the subject of students' perception on environmental awareness. Keller described European students also “connected to a value of environmental protection” (p. 1) related to environmental learning. mostly because boys liked camping (Keller.
. in order to answer the research questions. 2002. O'Brien's (2007) thesis on "Indications of environmental literacy: Using a new survey instrument to measure awareness. which defends that “the feeling of actual things by actual things to be absolutely basic to more high-grade and specialized experience” (Muirhead Library of Philosophy. III. 24). Research Design According to Hancock (2002). 2009. knowledge. p. This study uses phenomenal methodology to understand the phenomena related to the integration of student awareness of the environmental crisis. p. This proposed phenomenological study aims to understand students’ perception of ecological awareness based on the principles guided by Whitehead's Theory of Experience. 268). 2006).PRE-PROPOSAL In the author's point of view there is "a lack of global environmental science knowledge" (p. "phenomenology literally means the study of phenomena" (p.4). 4). THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK The theoretical framework of this study consists of how important it is for students to be aware of the current and potentially dangerous future ecological crisis and how they react to this ecological awareness. especially those in higher education. have a low-to-moderate level of environmental knowledge. and attitudes of university-aged students" suggested that students. Phenomenology is as much a philosophy as it is a type of qualitative research that emphasizes “experience itself and how experiencing something is transformed into consciousness” (Merriam. 4 which drives the need for models that influence pro-environmental behavior (Storksdieck.
These different possibilities are coming from the disciplinary fields of anthropology.PRE-PROPOSAL Methodology The research question and the resources available for research will assist researchers in 5 selecting how to collect data (Devers & Frankel. qualitative data is nominal. which is interpretative research. p. Devers and Frankel (2000) explained that in qualitative research the type of instrumentation used when collecting qualitative data has pros and cons. 1994). and education (Creswell. over time. sociology.” In . interviews take time and resources. Borg. Qualitative researchers. 2000). 2000. A researcher’s role in qualitative research links to the nature of the study. Seidman's (2006) recommended interviewing in order to collect qualitative research data. when conducting interviews. interviewers have to be experienced in many different aspects of measurement instrumentation (McNamara. The interviewer can pursue in-depth information around the topic. 1996). the researcher could use a very detailed interview protocol" (Devers & Frankel. social psychology. Data collection will be through interviews. differing from quantitative data. developed a variety of ways to study human behavior (Gall. & Gall. "In most qualitative research. and as such. psychology. 1999). For example. The way people can openly discuss their thoughts characterizes interviews. 1994). McNamara (1999) explained that “interviews are particularly useful for getting the story behind a participant’s experiences. 267). the degree to which interviews and observations are structured varies. there is the risk for his or her judgmental bias and values influencing the study (Creswell. Data is the information collected by the researcher originating in the findings of the study. which is in most cases scalable. However.
The second interview will concentrate on the details of the lived experiences described in the first interview.d. and evaluate data.) at Northern Illinois University. According to the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center (n.PRE-PROPOSAL addition. compress and summarize. 1. many times analysis becomes an ongoing iterative process where data is continuously collected and analyzed almost simultaneously" (para. . The first interview will focus on a participant’s experience with sustainability and environmental issues as a result of their lived experience in an ecological awareness program. This will be done by asking questions related with their life experiences with the issues. This study will adopt an in-depth. According to Seidman (2006) this method associates life-history interviewing with focused. 3. "While data analysis in qualitative research can include statistical procedures. Data Analysis Data analysis is the process of systematically applying statistical and/or logical techniques to describe and demonstrate. The interviews will be structured to follow a three-interview series. 6 2. 1999). as proposed by Seidman. 2). in-depth interviewing “informed by assumptions drawn from phenomenology” (p. The third and final interview will be based on the reflection on the meaning of their lived experience. This reflection is the fruit of a connection between their daily lives and their intellectual and emotional experiences in an ecological awareness program. phenomenological based interview. following up answers of responses on questionnaires and further investigating responses gives even a larger importance to interviews (McNamara. 15).
there is an interest in discovering the whole picture by using data to explain a phenomenon and to express and understand what it means (Hancock. 2002).d). n. "Analysis of data in a research project involves summarizing the mass of data collected and presenting the results in a way that communicates the most important features” (p.). Data reduction.PRE-PROPOSAL Hancock (2002) wrote.) explained. Fritz (2008) elucidated that the following are effortless steps to good data management: (a) “Choose and follow a clear file naming system”. this starts at the very beginning of the research phase. when concepts and methods are developed and subjects/ phenomena selected. (b) “develop a data tracking system”.).d. In qualitative research. n. and "to make sense of the categories and to communicate the findings to readers". to hold data the following containers of data can be used: The human brain Field notes Tape recorders Video recorders In qualitative research.d. According to Cheng (n. 7 Cheng (n. Data analysis tends to be a continuing and interactive process in qualitative research. . Folkestad (2008) explained interview data analysis as a three-step process: 1. and (d) “establish a realistic timeline” (slide 4) . The actual data storing in qualitative research is initiated with the collection of data (Cheng. whatever comes in frequently in a random way has to be understood by the researcher (Cheng. (c) “establish and document transcription/translation procedures”. Storing data techniques is sometimes critical to data management in qualitative research. (d) “establish quality control procedures”. 16).d. to categorize data. "Data management and analysis in qualitative research are ways to store data.
searching deviant cases Assist in team research. . there will be an engagement in memoing (i. Throughout the entire process of qualitative data analysis. this step seeks meaning on a limited part of the data (summaries. as for example. all.e. Conclusion. or some proportion of behaviors or events 8 occur under distinct circumstances. and searches for patterns. especially when conducting coding schemes Support sampling decisions Themes and Categories Categorizing a study during its analysis is an efficient method of organizing information.) into word-processing documents. Although not perfect the following advantages of CAQDAS justify this choice (Silverman. recording reflective notes about what is learned from the data). memos. This study will analyze data with the assistance of the computer-assisted analyses of qualitative data (known by the acronym CAQDAS). 3. In addition. triangulation etc. observational notes.PRE-PROPOSAL 2.. "The researcher can generate a preliminary model to explain the data collected. when the researcher compares. 2002). contrasts. etc. 2000): Speed when handling large amounts of data Better accuracy. Data display. diagrams and text-matrices). Explanations place particular social facts in reference to their environment. The researcher can check whether none. Further observations are then collected which can strengthen or weaken the researcher's preliminary model" (Saint-Germain. there will be a typed transcription of the data collected (from interviews. Although different from quantitative research coding categories function with the same purpose.
behaviors. "Risk assessment" 4. 9 Categorizing a study also has the advantage of helping to organize these categories in a coherent way bringing meaning and sense to the text. "Explaining purpose of the inquiry and methods to be used" 2. 1). concepts. By reading the text in study researchers can identify themes that elaborate ideas. incidents. "Informed consent" 6. "Promises and reciprocity" 3. interactions. and has to rely in ethical integrity. Merriam listed "ten items to be considered when engaging in qualitative research" (Merriam. and "Construct validity refers to the degree to which inferences can legitimately be made from the operationalization in your study to the theoretical constructs on which those operationalization were based" as elucidated by Trochi (2006.PRE-PROPOSAL to help indexing the data. 233-234): 1. "Confidentiality" 5. An ethical code would greatly assist on that. "Data access and ownership" 7. 2003). para. Validity and Reliability Reliability is linked to the quality of measurement (Trochi & Donnely. and phrase used. "Advice (who will be your counselor on ethical matters)" . terminologies. 2006). "Interviewer mental health" 8. Validity and reliability are connected to the manner which research is measured. Merriam (2009) explained that the best way to achieve validity and reliability in qualitative research is through ethics. pp. It is very difficult for a qualitative researcher to maintain assumptions about investigation free of bias. 2009. (Taylor-Powell & Renner.
the structure will be defined at the beginning.” Then. descriptive. Perhaps all researchers have the honest intent of producing the best study they are capable of. the themes will be presented in sections with the categories as sub-sections. however. "Ethical versus legal conduct". especially in 10 qualitative studies (Creswell. holistic and copious and it can be difficult to know where or how to start" (Hancock. because the data are "subjective. after all it is the researcher's reputation on the line. The use of variation and diversity in sample collection to permit a larger spectrum of “applications of the findings by consumers of the research” (p. Following Hancock's (2002) advice. 2007). And a critical self-reflection by the researcher regarding assumptions. “either as a list or in diagrammatic form. as suggested by Merriam (2009): 1. 229). having ethical believes and trust in results of investigations. A well detailed description in order to provide readers an opportunity to examine if their “situation match the research context” (p. interpretative.PRE-PROPOSAL 9. 3. 229). 2002. and how close the researcher is to the study jeopardizing the research. "Data collection boundaries" 10. Dissemination and Recommendations All features of the findings on the qualitative data will be taken in consideration when planning the presentation. Emerged themes and categories will be used to structure the results section of the research report. p. This study will apply the following strategies to promote validity and reliability. Presenting in this way allows the categories of data to be used to . Validity and reliability are major areas of concern in any research. IV. theoretical involvement. 22). it is crucial that some form of ethical guidelines are followed. bias. 2.
. In addition.PRE-PROPOSAL 11 build the themes as the main findings of the study.” Key quotations will be selected to illustrate the meaning of the data. additional verification to support the findings “will be provided by using direct quotations from respondents. as suggested by Hancock (2002).
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