Whew, eight weeks and I made it! This course has by far been the most challenging for me but it has also been extremely insightful. I began this course with a slight feeling of dread as I wondered how I was going to make it and now I feel like an insider. I have a better understanding of both quantitative and qualitative research designs including the major differences. The articles in week 1 were very informative in learning to read research and understanding the importance of research. I love learning about the field of early childhood and through this course I am better equipped to understand the research that helps shape the field.
The biggest challenge I faced in this course was overcoming my own fear. Right from the start the first assignment was very difficult for me because I fretted over whether or not I was understanding the assignment. Reading the posts of other students I realized that we were all a little apprehensive but everyone was encouraging and I received great feedback. Once I relaxed and just focused on the work I can happily say that I am able to walk away with a new confidence. With that said I honestly feel as though at some point in my career I could see myself getting involved in a research project.
The lessons that I enjoyed most involved creating the understanding research charts. Working through each section gave me the opportunity to delve further into the chapters and understand the information. As a researcher there are several factors to consider when conducting researching and even in choosing a topic. One such factor is that of ethics and justifiable risk which can be very tricky when working with children as research subjects. Another factor that I found especially interesting and one that i had not considered before was that of equality vs equity. When you consider the factors of ethics, choosing a topic, determining which research design to utilize and even working through the who, what, when, where and how it is amazing how much actual time is put into a research project.
As I write this and review all the work that I've done I want to say thank you to my fellow students who have went through this journey with me. We were all a bit nervous but we made it and just reading the discussions from week 1 to week 8 it's obvious that we have conquered the research beast!