CHAPTER 4 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
In this chapter, it is the aim of the researcher to present the research design and methodology employed in the study. The following brief overview of the preceding chapters serves as a link with the research design and methodology.
Chapter 2 provided a general idea of the TQM principles as deduced from a literature study. The focus was to determine the influence of each of the identified TQM principles as quality measures on teacher performance. Chapter 3 explored the nature and characteristics of the developmental supervision approach including its implementation strategies in order to determine the extent they match with the Total Quality Management principles. The same developmental supervisory strategies finally resonated with the implementation of the IQMS. The review of the literature revealed the perceptions and the extent to which developmental supervision can improve quality of teaching. The gaps identified in the existing research provide a base from which to carry out the current study. The main endeavour of this enquiry is to close the gaps in knowledge and add a further dimension to the developmental supervision and TQM theoretical approaches.
In investigating the phenomenon under study, the researcher decided to use the mixed research design which combines both the quantitative and qualitative research methods in one study (Tashakkori & Creswell, 2007; McMillan & Schumacher, 2010). The nature of this study suits the explanatory sequential mixed design (Quantitative-qualitative) which is used to obtain statistical (quantitative) results from a sample and then follow that up with interviews (qualitative) to explore those results in greater detail (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2007, 2011). In the first phase, the researcher used a quantitative research method to address the relationship and association of developmental supervision implementation strategies and TQM principles and improvement of teaching quality with regards to perceptions of educators and school based managers in selected Gauteng primary schools of South Africa. In the second phase, the researcher used qualitative research methods to elaborate on the results of the quantitative phase by exploring the perceptions of participants on the link between developmental supervision strategies, TQM principles and teaching quality in three selected districts of Gauteng Province. This means that the study operated largely within one dominant paradigm (QUAN →qual) sequential design where, the quantitative being the dominating phase comes first by means of questionnaires (McMillan & Schumacher, 2010:401). This was followed by the qualitative phase which applied focus group interviews with less weight (McMillan & Schumacher, 2010:401).
There are differences between data collection, analysis and interpretation procedures for quantitative research and qualitative approaches. Quantitative investigations are numerical and make use of statistical data while a qualitative study involves verbal interpretations of themes from the respondents (Johnson & Christensen, 2007).
The rationale for this mixed method approach was the need to apply triangulation, a corroboration of different methods in one study to ensure that the research question is fully answered (McMillan & Schumacher, 1993:251; Greene, et al., 1989: 256). In the context of this study, the aim was to ensure that a deeper understanding of the research question is fully answered and the results well-understood by confirming quantitative data with qualitative investigations (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2007).
The researcher also utilised the principle of complementarity by integration of both quantitative and qualitative with the notion that one does not blemish or lessen the strength of another, but rather complement each other to make stronger interpretations and arguments based on the data, according to the framework of Greene, (2007). In other words, the advantage of mixed methods research includes sustaining the strengths and enhancing the weaknesses of both the qualitative and quantitative approaches so as to add breadth and depth of the results (Connelly, 2009:9). This is because quantitative data are viewed as objective and narrow whereas qualitative methods are subjective but rich in information (Neville, 2005:5).
This was relevant to this study since the management teams and educators’ perceptions were combined objectively and subjectively reasoning that qualitative data add more details to the quantitative results as participants give clarifications and elaborations freely in a verbal form (Gephart, 2008). Furthermore mixed method research increases the levels of reliability and validity (Greene, Caracelli & Graham, 1989:256). This is because validity is often low in quantitative approaches while reliability is high in qualitative approaches. In contrast, the qualitative approach has low reliability but high validity (McMillan & Schumacher, 2010:395).
The researcher was well aware of the major drawbacks associated with the mixed method research design in terms of prolonged time to conduct the study and complexity in putting the method into practice, including cost implications. To overcome such challenges, the researcher put proper planning strategies in place, including funding to carry out the research effectively and efficiently. Quantitative and qualitative research methods are elaborated on separately in the following sections.
THE QUANTITATIVE SURVEY RESEARCH PHASE
The quantitative descriptive survey design served as a means to collect numerical data from a sample to address all the research questions. The use of the quantitative method was appropriate because it provided a broad picture of the perceptions of school-based managers and educators regarding the effectiveness of the developmental supervision approach. Research questions in this study are descriptive in nature and therefore the researcher sought to provide a descriptive analysis of the perceptions of school-based managers and educators.
Sampling is the process of selecting a number of participants for a study in such a way that they represent the larger group selected from by means of random sampling procedures to ensure generalisation of research results (Rubin & Babbie, 2008). It is of utmost importance to make sure that sampling is done in quantitative research since it is not possible to gather data from the whole population, which may be infinite (Rubin & Babbie, 2008). There are mainly two distinguishable sampling methods namely probability sampling and non-probability sampling (Gay & Airasian, 2003:101). In non-probability sampling, the researcher is not bothered much about the fact that each population gets equal chances of being sampled (Gay & Airasian, 2003). This study makes use of probability sampling where randomisation serves the purpose of determining the population segment that goes into the sample (Gay & Airasian, 2003:101). This notion reflects the principle that whichever member of the population is included in the sample is there merely by chance and each member of the population must stand an equal chance to be part of the selected sample (Gay & Airasian, 2003:101).
Representativeness of the sample: A Theoretical perspective
Prior to selecting the sample in this study, the researcher familiarised himself with the principles and procedures that guide sample selection and representativeness. According to Anderson (1990:196), a target population refers to the group of interest that the researcher wants to study. The researcher needs to define the target population very distinctly and its boundaries understood (Anderson, 1990:196). Referring to chapter one (see sub section 184.108.40.206), Anderson (1990:200) maintains that researchers can build a sample that is representative by means of adopting a statistical technique called the level of significance of (0.05 or 0.01,). This indicates that the characteristics of the sample does not vary from the characteristics of the population by more than five percent or one percent in accordance with the theoretical sizes for different sizes of population and 95% level of confidence. To achieve this, Anderson (1990:200) proposes the following samples for the corresponding target population indicated below, at a level of 95% confidence.
Sampling of the schools
In the light of the foregoing and table 1, the researcher obtained a computer generated digital list of all 2013 registered public primary schools in all districts of Gauteng from the Education Management Information Systems (EMIS) Directorate of the Gauteng Department of Education.
Table 2 above indicates that out of 1358 schools under survey there are 1 161 100 learners, 28 399 government employed educators and 3 857 SGB employed educators. There are 32 256 educators in the 15 districts. On average terms using the arithmetic means, each school has approximately 855 learners, 21 government-employed educators and 3 SGB employed educators; thus yielding 24 educators per school.
Johannesburg Central district has the highest number of primary schools (147 schools). It accounts for 10.8% of the population under survey, followed by Tshwane South district with 127 schools (9.4%); Ekurhuleni South with 117 schools (8.6%) and Gauteng East with 108 schools (8.0%). The lowest numbers of schools exist in Gauteng North district with 32 schools (2.4%), Sedibeng East district with 43 schools (3.2%) and Johannesburg South district with 66 schools (4.9%). This 2013 statistical information collected from Education Management Information Systems (EMIS) Directorate of the Gauteng Department of Education indicates that out of 1358 districts under survey for the study, there are 1 161 100 learners in total, 28 399 government employed educators and 3 857 SGB employed educators (giving a total of 32 256 educators) in the 15 districts of Gauteng Province.
Based on the developmental supervision theoretical framework of this study, simple random sampling has been found suitable for allowing each school and the educators who represent the target population to be included, keeping in mind factors such as homogeneity/heterogeneity, age gender, race and professional and socio economic status, literacy level, income and demographics (De Vos, Strydom, Fouche & Delport, 2005:305). The random sampling method also has an advantage of being highly representative unlike systematic and cluster sampling if all subjects participate (Gay & Airasian, 2003). Other sampling methods require much in-depth research and advanced knowledge of a population prior to the selection of subjects (Anderson, 1990:196). In simple random sampling, only the complete listing of the elements in a population (known as the sampling frame) is needed. Apart from being highly representative of a population, a simple random sample also simplifies data interpretation and analysis of results (Best & Kahn, 1993; Leedy, 1997). Trends within the sample act as excellent indicators of trends in the overall population. Generalizations derived from a well-assembled simple random sample are considered to have sufficient external validity (Rubin & Babbie, 2008).
By means of random sampling; using a five percent sample size approximate of all Cases – Estimated Percentage Level, 57 schools were selected using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS version 19) as shown in the above table. A 5% sample size was chosen for practical reasons taking into consideration time, money, and accessibility (see sub-section 220.127.116.11). In the context of this research, simple random sampling was also easy and effective because the list of all Gauteng public primary schools was provided in a convenient electronic format (McMillan & Schumacher, 2001:170). This study also complied with Anderson’s view (1990: 200) that researchers can build a sample that is representative by means of adopting of statistical technique called the level of significance of .05 or .01, as highlighted in chapter One (see sub-section 18.104.22.168) and Chapter 4 (see sub-section 22.214.171.124). Based on the assumption that all the selected schools in this study share the same supervisory structure and roles comprising of the principal, Deputy Principals, HODs and PLI educators as stipulated by the South African IQMS policy document (2003), will automatically become the participants per school. It has also been considered that at every school, the same members of this supervisory structures are directly involved in the implementation of the IQMS following the stipulations of the same national policy besides their different socio economics background (IQMS policy document, 2003). The principal, the deputy principal and one purposefully sampled HOD and three educators, from each of the selected schools were asked to respond to the questionnaires for the quantitative phase of the study. The study made use of the expertise of the principal to purposefully select one HOD and three educators with supervisory knowledge and experience in their respective schools. This gave a total of six participants per school totalling to 342 participants. Simple random sampling unlike cluster sampling, stratified and systematic sampling is the most basic among the probability sampling techniques that involves assembling a sample in such a way that each independent, same-size subset within a population is given an equal chance of becoming a subject.
This study made use of questionnaires for the quantitative data gathering method, because of some of the reasons that have been outlined in chapter one (see sub-section 126.96.36.199.1). The choice of data- collection methods for the researcher working from a quantitative approach can be categorised into questionnaires, checklists, indexes and scales (De Vos, Strydom, Fouche & Delport, 2005:166).
Neuman (2000: 516) defines a questionnaire as “a written document in survey research that has a set of questions given to respondents or used by an interviewer to ask questions.” Types of questionnaires include mailed questionnaires, telephonic questionnaires, personal questionnaires, hand delivered questionnaires and group-administered questionnaires (De Vos, Strydom, Fouche & Delport, 2005:166-169). The researcher made use of both self-administered and mailed questionnaires because of some of the following advantages highlighted by research scholars (Best & Kahn, 1993; Neuman, 2000:271-272):
Saving time: Several subjects are addressed concurrently and responses are quick;
Reduced financial expenditure: use of postal services cut expense in comparison with travelling to the respondents;
Enabling easy data analysis: data from closed-ended questions are easy to analyse;
Data gathering : is not influenced by personal attributes;
Respondents do not usually stampede in providing attributes;
Anonymity: there is freedom of responses to the questions without exposing names;
This ensures respect of norms and values of the respondents;
Closed questions help to keep our data impurity that comes with waffling;
Reliability: there is improved reliability as the written questions are asked in exactly the same way to each respondent;
They provide a permanent, verifiable record of the data collection effort;
Researchers can give questionnaires directly to respondents who read instructions and questions, then record their answers;
Accessibility of information: questionnaires allow the respondents to refer to personal records or consult colleagues before completing the questionnaire;
Accessibility to respondents: a larger geographical area is covered through the use of questionnaires. This also ensures a larger sample size;
They are very effective, and response rates may be high for a target population that is well educated or has a strong interest in the topic or the survey organisation.
For schools which were not easily accessible, this study made use of mailed questionnaires. In an attempt to overcome mail questionnaire challenges as well as increasing the questionnaire response rate, this study implemented the following strategies as advocated by Neuman (2000:270). The researcher:
addressed the questionnaire directly to sampled school-based managers and educators;
included a carefully written, dated cover letter on letterhead stationery. A request for co-operation from the respond was made ensuring confidentiality including an explanation
of the purpose of the survey, and the researcher’s contact details;
included a postage-paid, addressed return envelope;
used a questionnaire with a neat, attractive layout and reasonable page length;
printed the questionnaire professionally and legibly, with clear instructions;
sent two follow up reminder letters to those not responding (The first was done one week after sending the questionnaire, the second a week later. They were gently asked for co-operation again and offered to send another questionnaire);
sent the questionnaires during the term so that they could respond before going on holiday;
avoided putting questions on the back page. The researcher left a blank space and asked the respondent for general comments.
Considering that this study was dealing with a large number of respondents, closed questions were seen to be preferable in accordance to Neuman’s (2003:278) following views:
Questions could be well-understood interpreted more efficiently by the respondents. Questions could be answered within one framework;
There are better chances of consequently comparing responses more efficiently with one another;
Coding and analysing of responses are easy including clarification of response choices;
In order to avoid the problem of questions that are not clear including open-ended questions and complex questions that can be misinterpreted, closed questions are the best.
This section describes how the survey collection instrument to collect the data was used in the present study was developed, piloted and administered. The two crucial issues viz.: reliability and validity, also served as a primary focus. According to Borg and Gall (1989:423), successful questionnaire development includes:
selecting a sample;
constructing the questionnaire;
preparing a letter of transmittal;
sending out the questionnaire and follow-ups.
The above-mentioned procedure can be elucidated as follows:
A seventeen paged, structured, pre-coded questionnaire attempting to answer the following research questions derived from the research objectives was developed:
What are the perceptions of the South African primary school-based managers and educators regarding the effectiveness of the implementation of the TQM principles on improving the quality of teaching/teaching performance?
What are the perceptions of the South African primary school-based managers and educators regarding the effectiveness of the developmental supervision approach as a tool for improving quality of teaching by means of the clinical supervising, self-supervision, peer supervision and connoisseurship strategies as related to IQMS implementation in compliance with TQM principles?
What are the perceptions of the South African primary school-based managers and educators regarding effectiveness of developmental supervision implementation strategies as tools for improving the quality of teaching by means of the clinical supervision, self-supervision, peer supervision, and connoisseurship strategies as related to teachers’ levels of expertise and commitment?
What are the perceptions of the South African primary school-based managers and educators regarding effectiveness of the developmental supervision model as a tool for improving the quality of teaching by integrating the elements and components of clinical supervising, self-supervision, peer supervision, and connoisseurship strategies concerning teachers’ levels of expertise, and commitment and implementation of TQM principles?
The questionnaire is structured in the following manner:
Section A: Demographic information
This part of the questionnaire included collecting demographic information relevant to the study for answering the research questions according to the following concept map:
Perceptions of the South African primary school-based managers and educators regarding the effectiveness of the implementation of the TQM principles on improving the quality of teaching
Section B: Perceptions on the effectiveness of TQM principles on improving quality of teaching
Perceptions of the school-based managers and educators regarding effectiveness of the developmental supervision as a tool for improving quality of teaching by means of the clinical supervision strategy, self-directed supervision strategy, peer supervision strategy and connoisseurship supervision strategy with special reference to IQMS implementation in compliance with TQM principles.
Clinical supervision strategy
Section C: Perceptions on the extent to which implementation of the IQMS lesson observation cycle complies with the clinical-supervision performance improvement strategies;
Section D: Perceptions on the extent to which the clinical supervision lesson observation cycle complies with the TQM principles;
Section E: Perceptions on the extent to which the practical implementation of IQMS lesson observation cycle complies with the TQM principle.
Self-directed supervision strategy:
Section F: Perceptions on the extent to which IQMS self-evaluation complies with self-directed supervision performance- improvement strategies;
Section G: Perceptions on the extent to which the self-directed supervision performance-improvement strategies comply with Total Quality Management principles;
Section H: Perceptions on the extent to which IQMS self-evaluation comply with Total Quality Management Principles
Peer supervision strategy
Section I: Perceptions on the extent to which IQMS peer evaluation complies with the peer supervision performance- improvement strategies;
Section J: Perceptions on the extent to which supervision complies with the TQM principles;
Section K: Perceptions on the extent to which implementation of IQMS peer-evaluation complies with the principles of TQM.
Section L: Perceptions of the extent to which the qualities of the school based managers or IQMS DSGB complies with connoisseurship supervision performance improvement strategies are profound;
Section M: Perceptions of the extent to which connoisseurship supervision complies with TQM Principles.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER 1 ORIENTATION OF THE STUDY
1.3 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
1.4 PROBLEM STATEMENT
1.5 AIMS OF THE RESEARCH
1.6 RESEARCH QUESTION
1.7 SUB QUESTIONS
1.8 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
1.9 MOTIVATION OF THE STUDY
1.10 THE DELIMITATIONS
1.11 THE ASSUMPTIONS
1.12 RESEARCH METHODS and DESIGN
1.13 DEFINITIONS OF CONCEPTS
1.14 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
1.15 CHAPTER DIVISION
CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 INTRODUCTION 24
2.2 TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES FROM A GENERAL PERSPECTIVE
2.3 THE EFFECTIVENESS OF TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES ON PROMOTING QUALITY OF TEACHING
CHAPTER 3 DEVELOPMENTAL SUPERVISION
3.2 DEVELOPMENTAL SUPERVISION IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES
3.3 CLINICAL SUPERVISION STRATEGY
3.4 THE SELF-DIRECTED SUPERVISION STRATEGY
3.5 THE PEER SUPERVISION STRATEGY
3.6 CONNOISSEURSHIP SUPERVISION
CHAPTER 4 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
4.2 RESEARCH DESIGN
4.3 THE QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH PHASE
4.4 THE QUALITATIVE RESEARCH PHASE
CHAPTER 5 PRESENTATION OF FINDINGS
5.2 QUANTITATIVE FINDINGS
5.3 PRESENTATION OF THE QUALITATIVE FINDINGS
5.4 SUMMARY 251
5.5 SYNTHESISING OF QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE RESULTS
CHAPTER 6 DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS, CONCLUSIONS AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
6.2 DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS OF THE RESEARCH STUDY
6.5 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
LIST OF REFERENCES
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