Shortcomings in Supervision

• Students are not taught processes because lecturers themselves are not aware of them. • Students are taught the wrong make-up and/or system of procedures. • Students are taught an incomplete repertoire and/or system of procedures. • Students are taught particular rather than more general operations and their systems. • Students are taught uncertain, vague, or ambiguous prescriptions, which leave unclear what specifically should be cognitively done in order to be able to solve problems.
Adapted from Landa (1983)

Shortcomings in Supervision
• • • • Scary anecdotes Administrative strategies for excellence Students have to be good before coming in? For me: Can’t really choose or be choosy about my students • To my students: If I am not good enough, dunk me. Please go get someone else ASAP. I am not “married” to you.

"Conceptualizing the Quantitative and Qualitative Research"
Merza Abbas, PTPM

How to
• Conceptualize quantitative research • Conceptualize qualitative research • Do Quantitative research:
– Dr Mokhtar

• Do Qualitative research:
– Dr Hashimah

The differences
• Qualitative research
– – – – – – – – Introduce new theories Suggest causes Descriptive, bottom-up Uses inductive thinking Sharpen old/existing tools Suggest a cure Prescriptive, top-down Uses deductive thinking

• Quantitative research

What is research?
• Another process of “tool” or sense making • The world is a complex place
– Dynamic, ever-changing – Driven by entropy, chaos – Built-in rot, decay, obsolescence – Need to be always in control

• From Science: devices and remedies • From Soc. Science: mental tools/strategies

Review of some key concepts

Structure of Academic thinking

Q U A N T I T A T I V E Res.

Q U A L I T A T I V E Res.




Structure of Scientific Revolution (Kuhn, 1970)
Quantitative Method Paradigm Normal Science


New Paradigm

New Normal Science

More Anomalies Qualitative method

Another new Paradigm

Objectivist Paradigm
Theory Focus: Mastery of content/skills


Cybernetic Cognitive

through conditioning and use of Mental processes extrinsic “motivational”processes are predictable: External factors through accumulation of sub-skills can change and sub-procedures internal processes through activation of mental processes such as schemas, strategies, & metacognition

Bloom’s Taxonomy
Evaluation Synthesis Analysis Application Comprehension Knowledge

Learning Hierarchy
Higher Order Rules

Problem Solving




Components of interest

Accumulated knowledge, rules, & facts

Mastery & Transfer

Constructivist Paradigm
Theory Mental Development Humanist Social learning Focus: reasoning skills & science process skills through inquiry and solving real-life problems Mental processes are not predictable: Knowledge meaningful& through is private & is personally purposeful learning constructed through scaffolding, cooperative/collaborative learning,

Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy
• Evaluation • Synthesis • Analysis • Application • Comprehension • Knowledge •Creating •Evaluating •Analysing •Applying •Understanding •Remembering

(Based on Pohl, 2000, Learning to Think, Thinking to Learn, p. 8)

Lawson’s Taxonomy
Draw & apply reasonable conclusions Organize & analyse expt. data Plan & conduct controlled expt Generate logical predictions Recognize & state alt. H & Theories Sense & state causal question Describe nature accurately

Components of any field
Accumulated knowledge, rules, & Facts Real world applications

Types and levels of thinking /reasoning

How to begin a study
Identify through literature review: • • • • Problems, Shortcomings, Needs, Anomalies, etc

inherent the current paradigms, theories, models & practice

Types of Needs
• • • • • Normative needs --- test norms Comparative needs – status/kiasu Felt needs ------- desire/wish Expressed needs --- waiting list Anticipated/Future needs ------------------ projection • Critical incidental needs— ------- failures /accidents

Sample problems

• Performance in math & science • TIMMS 1999 • TIMMS 2004


Performance in 1999



Performance in 2003

No significant increase in science achievement despite > 5 years of preparation. Why?


• Simple answers
– Logical, general one dimensional answers – Black and white thinking – Quick cure, as in policy formulation

• Scientific answers
– Identification of multiple factors & complex inter-relationships between them – Only from research

Quantitative Research
• Sharpen / replace existing practices / tools • Prescribe, top-down intervention • Paradigms, theories & models play Critical Roles • Justification: “….no study has yet explored the use of this P / T / M in this context…..”, • Title: “The effects of an IV on a DV among an MV…..”

Quantitative Research
Problem or Need
Identify an alternative Structure to guide research: Theoretical Framework

Create a structure to guide research: Conceptual Framework

Grand theory Midrange theory Micro-range theory Conceptual Definitions of Study Variables, Research Questions, Hypotheses

Operational Definitions to measure the study variables


What is obtained?
• A new cure / remedy • A more dynamic & productive paradigm

Acute Anomalies
Malaysia:- 5 As + Sc + IS + BSc = killers • PhD + Datukship + CEO = CBT • Car + Motorcycle + License = accidents • Schooling + F in all subjects = millionaire The US:- Best of everything + Best of everything + best of everything = killers World: Islam + marginalization = terrorists
How to study / solve these problems?

Qualitative Research
• Reassess known paradigms, theories & models in specific contexts • Non-invasive data collection • Justification: “….no adequate P / T / M currently explains this phenomenon…..”, • Title: “Violence in the Malaysian Premier Schools-A case study” • Or “Social construction of technology in the Malaysian Smart School-A case study…..”

What is obtained?
• A new mind set / problem situation • A hidden/grounded theory

Qualitative Research
Problem in a given context

Reveal Grounded theory

Survey related theories to guide the development the research instruments


Piece together bits & pieces of data to address the research questions

More Research Questions
• Which develops first:
– Scientific thinking or Critical thinking?

• What are some classic qualitatively discovered theories?
– Darwin’s theory of evolution – Piaget’s theory of mental development – Vygotsky’s ZPD

Theory of Evolution
• • • • • • • Man descended form ape Mammals from fish Birds from dinosaurs (Present from the past) Survival of the fittest Natural selection Adaptation

How was the theory developed?
• • • • Darwin went to the Galapagos Islands Collected data /very fine observations Analyzed each case closely Drew conclusions
– Form follows function – Adaptation produced each form – Lifeforms change, mutate, gain flight… at will

• Extrapolated to the primordial soup

What did Darwin do?
• Discovered a grounded theory • Offered an elegant theory that has
– – – – – – Internal consistency Explicit boundaries and limitations Parsimony (i.e., simplicity) Usefulness Comprehensiveness Breadth of applicability, etc

• That became upgraded into paradigm • But is this theory final?

What happened in Physics?
• What did Newton do?
– Introduced a new paradigm, F = ma

• What did Einstein do?
– Introduced another paradigm, E = mc2 – And F = ma is a special case of E = mc2

• Newton’s laws were subsumed under Einstein’s theory • Also, Einstein assumed his theory is subsumed under another theory (unified theory)

What happened in Physics?

A higher order paradigm subsumes A lower order paradigm

What’s happening in biology?
Theory of Evolution True: More proofs That support
•Fossils •DNA •Survival of the fittest •Natural selection •Adaptation •ET life •Outer space proteins/chemicals

•Not consistent with Theology Philosophy Some Scientific data

Is it really true? Cases that do not fit

Could This happen?
• Creation / Intelligent design becomes the higher order paradigm and evolution becomes a lower order paradigm? Intelligent design subsumes evolution?

What do these have to do with us?
• Part of a community of researchers / tool makers / sense makers • Design new tools for our eras • Refine accepted theories / models based on new data • Introduce new theories / paradigms • Refine the educational paradigms like the ones in Physics

Beliefs in Science
• Anything that exists is quantifiable, measurable • Laws of nature are regular, replicable • A theory (or paradigm) is held true for as long as it cannot be rejected • Refinement through Research

Survey of issues, paradigms, theories, models, frameworks

Identify a Problem/ need

Suggest a cure

Lit. review

Identify hidden causes

Choose P/T/M/F. Develop the instruments

Cured? Collect the Data & Analyse Grounded Theory?

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