CHAPTER FOUR DISCUSSION OF RESEARCH FINDINGS
Rubin and Rubin (1995:226) observe that in research of this nature, data analysis constitutes the final stage of hearing what the respondents have said. Through data analysis, the researcher interprets and makes sense of the data collected. The design type and the methodological position of the inquiry informed the process of data analysis in this investigation. Since this investigation is a qualitative study, the researcher made use of the constant comparative method of data analysis as described by Maykut and Morehouse (1994:128).
DATA ANALYSIS PROCESS
In line with the comparative method of data analysis, data analysis in this investigation was done in a number of stages.
Data analysis during data collection
The data was collected from twenty-six (26) teachers from the three different schools. None of them was in a management position. Among these teachers, 44% of them were at a functional level and were therefore directly involved with daily interaction with the learners. Importantly, the teachers understood the dynamics of teaching and learning.
Semi-structured interviews were used to collect data. All interviews were audio-taped and transcribed verbatim. Data analysis was carried out simultaneously with data collection. Each interview was transcribed and labelled as soon as it was finished. The researcher used a process called coding during data analysis. Through this process, data was compiled, labelled, separated and organised. The researcher commenced data organisation and labelling by coding pages according to their sources. A code was placed on top of each page of a transcript for the typed data and a page number of a particular data set was indicated. Data secured from the first interviewed educator was, coded, for example, according to the sources as ED1T1 – 1, meaning Educator 1 (ED1), transcript 1 page 1 (T1 – 1) (see table 4.1).
Coding as explained above was followed by reading each of the transcripts to identify units of meaning as recommended by Maykut and Morehouse (1995). Each identified unit of meaning was then highlighted. Alongside each highlighted unit, the researcher wrote a phrase or a word, which contained the essence of the unit of meaning. For example the response, “for me evaluation is good because it enable me to show my skills concerning lesson planning, presentation and management of learning programmes” as given by educator ED18, in a question that sought to establish his opinion on the role of evaluation was highlighted as a unit of meaning. Then alongside it, the researcher wrote the words “teacher competence.” The units of meaning were further coded to enable easy access to them in the transcripts. This particular unit of meaning for instance, was further coded as ED18T18 – 6 (see also table 4.1 below). ED18 represented interviewed educator number 18. T18 stood for transcript number 18 and 6 represented page number 6 of the transcript, the page where this unit of meaning could be traced.
All the highlighted units of meaning were cut out from the original transcripts and pasted on A5 size cards, enabling the researcher to compare the different units with each other. This comparison made it possible for each identified unit to be put in a preliminary category. Such categories were written down in a notebook.
Using Maykut and Morehouse’s (1994:137) look / feel alike criteria, each of the coded data unitised was grouped under an appropriate provisional category. This assignment of unitised data to categories continued until the remaining data could not fit into the identified categories. Data that could not fit into the identified provisional categories were used to begin or form new categories. These categories formed the basis of the research findings in this investigation.
In several cases, when the situation demanded it, names assigned to the initial categories were changed as more appropriate categories were developed in the course of data analysis.
Data analysis through memo writing
In order to ensure clarity, completeness and consistency of data collection and analysis, data was also analysed through memo writing. The researcher made notes on problems or difficulties experienced during the research process. Maykut and Morehouse (1994:38) observe that notes in a researcher’s memo consist of the experiences, interaction and observations that the researcher makes in the process of data collection and analysis. Memos were also used not only to record the products of coding, but were also operational and theoretical notes.
with operational notes guided the researcher with regard to sampling concepts and categories, the questions to be asked in the process of data analysis and possible comparisons. Such notes further revealed the leads to follow during the course of data analysis.
Respondents’ behaviour, facial expressions, composure or uneasiness during the course of the interview were also jotted down in the researcher’s memo, making it possible to compare their mannerisms with their utterances and responses, thus enabling the researcher to detect any mismatch between the two.
Memo writing commenced as soon as the researcher started interviewing the first respondent and continued throughout the process of data analysis. Memos with theoretical notes assisted in indicating the properties and dimensions of the potentially relevant categories, the relationship and variations among them (Merriam, 1998:161; Strauss & Corbin, 1990). In addition, both the operational and theoretical notes contained in the memos assisted the researcher to:
Elaborate on processes, and assumptions that could have been subsumed in the codes.
Explore further the codes and expand on the processes identified and suggested in the codes.
Establish the relationship between the different categories.
Keep focussed on the analysis and avoid the likelihood of getting entangled in irrelevant data.
Link analytic interpretation with empirical reality.
Identify holes and gaps in the constructed categories and in the researcher’s own thinking (Charmaz, 2000:517; Strauss & Corbin, 1990:197).
The data analysis method described in the preceding paragraphs, was used to develop categories related to all the areas covered by this investigation. These categories were:
•Establishing the extent to which teacher evaluation enhanced quality teaching and quality learning.
•Establishing the teachers’ conceptualisation of the terms “quality teaching” and “quality learning.”
•Establishing the teachers’ perceptions of the current evaluation system.
The categories that emerged out of the data analysis process with regard to the role of teacher evaluation in enhancing quality teaching and quality learning are reflected in table 4.2. Table 4.3 reflects the teachers’ interpretation of the terms “quality teaching” and “quality learning.”
INTERPRETATION OF THE RESEARCH FINDINGS
The qualitative method was applied to analyse the data obtained from the school managers; these data were then divided into various sections addressing different aspects as discussed in chapter two. Several different questions were asked to enable the researcher to answer the research question and achieve the aims of the study. Questions were designed to obtain the respondents’ demographic information to determine reliability of data collected. In addition, questions were also designed to find out how the respondents interpreted the concepts ‘quality teaching’ and ‘quality learning’ and whether in their opinion, teacher evaluation resulted in quality teaching and learning. In order to determine the reliability of the data collected, the research included a question on the respondents’ qualifications. This was meant to determine the diversity of teachers in three schools under the investigation. Questions 15 to 21 were devised to test the respondents’ understanding of the different principles of teacher evaluation. Question 22 was related to educators’ knowledge of curriculum and learning programmes. Question 23 was related to lesson planning, preparation and presentation. Question 20 dealt with learners’ assessment.
4.3.2 Educators’ views of the concepts ‘teaching’ and ‘learning’
In this section, findings regarding educators’ views about the concepts ‘teaching’ and ‘learning’ ascertained by means of the interviews are given.
Educators were asked about their views with regard to the concepts ‘teaching’ and ‘learning.’ They expressed two major views. Whilst a minority (10%) interpreted, teaching and learning as the transfer and receipt of information, the majority (90%) indicated that teaching and learning are empowering processes through which learners are equipped with knowledge and skills. The respondents indicated further, that in order to ensure quality teaching and learning, the educators should use the strategy of dialogic teaching. These responses are summarised in the table that follows and discussed in the sections that ensue.
The views as expressed by the respondents are summarised in table 4.3 and then discussed in the sections that ensue.
Teaching and learning as transfer and receipt of information or knowledge
It emerged during the course of the interviews that a minority of the respondents (10%) interpreted teaching and learning as the mere transfer of information from the educator to the learners. When invited to describe what they considered their typical lesson, half of the respondents indicated that their departure point was the mastery of the content they intended to present. During the lesson, little emphasis was put on learner involvement in the lessons, reducing the learners to inactive participants incapable of describing and analysing the issues that were being presented. It became evident in this regard that some teachers interpreted the concepts ‘teaching’ and ‘learning’ from a pedagogical perspective. However, when asked whether that kind of teaching was quality teaching, all the teachers said that it was not quality teaching. In the words of ED2,
I do not see this as quality teaching and quality learning. This is precisely because the purpose of learning is not to absorb information given by the teacher. But this type of teaching precisely leads to information absorption.
Though the teachers defined teaching from a pedagogical perspective, they agreed that this type of teaching did not constitute quality teaching and thus did not yield quality learning. The response was consistent with the theory set out in, section 2.2.2 of this study.
Teaching and learning as empowerment processes
The categories and sub-categories depicted in table 4.3 show that the majority of interviewed teachers interpreted teaching and learning as empowering processes. The teachers indicated that teaching as a process guides learners through a discovery journey that empowers them with knowledge and skills to manage their environment and real life problems. Connecting teaching to real life problems for the respondents meant finding out and acknowledging the learners’ needs in their communities and environments.
The teaching process would then be structured to cater for these needs. Consequently, learners would be empowered in a number of areas. Firstly, the acquired knowledge and skills would enable them to participate actively in tackling and solving community problems and challenges. Moreover, they would work better in their communities; lastly, they would gain sufficient self-esteem to make them active participants in their classes. The latter type of empowerment would only be possible if the teachers recognised and made use of the learners’ prior-experiences and respected them as learners
From the above observations, it can be asserted that the respondents who viewed teaching and learning as learner empowerment, looked at teaching from a cognitive perspective (see section 2.2.2). In the literature discussed in chapter 2, it was indicated that the cognitive perspective of teaching encompasses several other perspectives and was more likely to bring about quality teaching and learning conceptualised in this dissertation.
Teachers’ opinion on this matter was solicited by asking their opinion regarding what constituted quality teaching. In response to this question, all the interviewed teachers indicated that to them teaching properly (quality teaching), ,meant guiding learners in such a way that the learners could make use of their insight
and perceptions to discover and understand phenomena.
Teachers further expressed the view that if learners were trained to use their insight, they would be able to look critically at the world around them. They would also be able to recognise the relationship that existed between the smaller constituents of a larger problem.
ED2’s response to the question regarding this aspect aptly captures the feelings of all the teachers. The educator states:
For me quality teaching means being able to empower a learner. I mean teaching a learner by guiding him or her, giving him skill and knowledge eh he can use in his real life. I mean not just to pump him or her with information that he does not understand. It is teaching where learners don’t just memorize facts. Learners should be assisted to meet their human needs in this kind of teaching.
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY
1.2 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
1.3 FORMULATION OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
1.4 AIMS OF THE STUDY
1.5 RESEARCH DESIGN
1.6 DEFINITION OF CONCEPTS
1.7 CHAPTER DIVISION
CHAPTER TWO:EFFECTIVE TEACHER EVALUATION IN ENSURING QUALITY TEACHING AND LEARNING: A LITERATURE PERSPECTIVE
2.2 THE CONCEPTS OF “QUALITY TEACHING” AND “QUALITY LEARNING”
2.3 THE ISSUE OF TEACHER EVALUATION
2.4 ENHANCING QUALITY TEACHING AND LEARNING THROUGH EFFECTIVE TEACHER EVALUATION
CHAPTER THREE RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY
3.2 RESEARCH APPROACH
3.3 DATA COLLECTION
3.5 DATA ANALYSIS
3.6 ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS
3.7 VALIDITY AND REALIABILITY OF THE RESEARCH
CHAPTER 4 DISCUSSION OF RESEARCH FINDINGS
4.2 DATA ANALYSIS PROCESS
4.3 INTERPRETATION OF THE RESEARCH FINDINGS
CHAPTER 5 FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE STUDY
5.2 FINDINGS OF THE STUDY
5.3 CONCLUSIONS REGARDING THIS STUDY
5.4 RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE STUDY
5.6 Abbreviated summary
5.7 Key terms
GET THE COMPLETE PROJECT
ATTAINING A SYSTEM OF QUALITY TEACHING AND LEARNING THROUGH EFFECTIVE TEACHER EVALUATION IN SELECTED SCHOOLS IN THE LIMPOPO PROVINCE