For me data collection will largely consist of taking observational data. I will be reviewing ten-minute recordings during the same ten minute period over the period of a few weeks. I will be randomly scanning the students and marking whether or not they are currently engaged at the moment they are scanned. A plus sign on the data form means the student was engaged, a minus sign means the students was not engaged. After collecting this data for 10 minutes, I will divide the number of plus signs by the number of marks collected total, and this will give me a percentage of engaged students for the given observed period. Additionally, at the end of the data collection period, I will be administering a survey to my students to collect their impressions and feelings about the Brain Gym program, and to collect their thoughts on how using these activities affected their engagement.
One of the biggest challenges I am anticipating is having to remember to record my class for the ten minute period each day for a few weeks. Often when I am teaching I get so involved in what is going on with my students as school, that I forget about anything else! There have been times before where I meant to record myself for other various purposes, but simply forget because I’m too busy thinking about my kids, rather than my academic obligations! I will be using notes to remind myself, and I will prep my recoding area before school starts. Also, hopefully after doing it a few times, I will get used to the routine of recording myself, and it wont be a struggle to remember.
Method/Research Design is posted below:
In this study on the effectiveness of Brain Gym as an intervention to improve engagement, I take a qualitative inquiry approach examining a real world situation without manipulating it. I take a naturalistic approach in this research through a case study that is both historical and observational.
The participants for this action research study were nine female students and three male students, among the ages of right through ten. Participants were selected because they are the students I teach in my 3/4 classroom. Students were not informed of the purpose of the study. Names and other personal information of the students is not presented in the research project, as the objective of the project was to analyze the influence the behavior of the students as a whole, rather than as individuals.
Observations will occur daily over a 3-4 week period. Instructional time will be recorded each day, occurring at 10:30 AM, which will consist of the instructional time that occurs immediately after Brain Gym exercises. Observations will be ten minutes long. First round of observations will occur before implementation of Brain Gym, second round of observations will occur while Brain Gym is being implemented, the purpose being to have comparable data and to clearly see influence and effectiveness of Brain Gym.
Towards the end of data collection, students will be surveyed on their perceived understanding and attitude of the Brain Gym implementation. Surveys will consist of questions that ask students how they feel about the Brain Gym activities, and if they feel as though the program has improved their engagement.
Internal validity in this study will be accomplished through triangulation, the analysis of multiple sources of qualitative data. A content analysis will be conducted using the collected sources of data. This analysis will determine the effectiveness of the Brain Gym program as a tool to increase engagement in the classroom.