Ethics in researchThere exists complexity of research ethics Essay

Ethics in research:

There exists complexity of research ethics in qualitative research. Special care was taken to recognise social processes whereby things appear to be ethical or not. Qualitative research requires moral responsibility in a field besieged with dilemmas, not for quick pre-fixed answers (Ryen, 2011). Explicitly in ethnographic research, several problems are increasing and contextual and call for situational responses. As such, constructionist theories excluding practical ideas, social reality is more complicated, enormous and circumstantial aspect that makes research ethics more complex.

Therefore, researcher must be basing ethics considering the context and situation rather than abstract principles. The role of the research is to instinctively negotiate the ethical problems. Ethical guiding principles have to be created to Authors Eisenhauer & Wynaden (2004) assert that guiding principles related to ethics must be formulated to direct the research in solving the initial and current issues that arise from qualitative research. This will ensure that the goals of research can be obtained and the rights of the participants are preserved.

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This research study has to the maximum extent used ethical principles. Voluntary consent of the students was taken at the time of study to be interviewed and observed of their behaviours and other aspects. The students were made aware of the nature and purpose of the study in identifying the causes of their underachievement in schools and that it would be good for their development as well as the society. One of the students was not willing to participate in the study was allowed to withdraw from the study, while other student who showed interest in the research study was included. After taking consent for educational research of the black Caribbean students, they were assured of the data collected would be kept confidential. Students who felt uncomfortable in answering questions which were sensitive to them were waived off. Questions that could potentially harm such as the bad bullying/harassment experiences the child had, to be described in detail, would make him/her emotional, were avoided. Such questions required yes/no answers. The potential harm caused in this way was very little, and it was necessary for the research study to investigate the bullying or harassment of the Black Caribbean child in British schools.

The present study would help the student to analyse the situations they are facing in day-to-day life. The reasons for their underperformance in studies are analysed and the data is shared so that they can evolve and better handle the situations in a cultural setting that would not lead to underperformance in schools.

Data collection: Validity and Reliability

Ethnography research method was used for data collection as it is a coherent way to assimilate different components of data. The constructivist logic appreciates truth or reality to be subjective or relative to the phenomenal world of the individual. Therefore the constructivist paradigm has huge significance on the human conception of meaning or subjective human realities (Barnett, 2011).

In terms of validity another important aspect that I focused on during the interviewing process was trying to build a strong rapport with my participants. As an interviewer I was trying to establish some sense of shared ground, so that one avenue of rapport building could be opened. King and Horrocks (2010) also suggest that building strong rapport with the individuals is necessary for a successful qualitative interviews. I have ensured that the participants built a rapport by discussing their cultures so that the data they share would be authentic, true of their feelings and not manipulated.

The data collected is reliable as the questions framed were from pre-dominant researches and literature review performed. The questions were relevant and important for the study. While consistency of the study is important, the views of participants having a particular opinion and the others who do not agree to it are also noted.

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Findings and Data Analysis:

During the transcription of the interview data from my main study, I made some evocative notes of data collected, which I thought was appropriate to the main research question which is concerned with the discernments of teachers, parents and Black Caribbean children about their educational achievement; There are also issues, such as racism, which transcend black ethnic particularity and operate at the level of race, which could affect all black boys or be an issue for all black boys

Institutional Racism:

When we talk about behaviour issues, there are a lot of youngsters Black and White who misbehave. Because of stereotyping and the media, as far as teachers are concerned, we are talking about a system that has taught them that the Black male has a problem, or is difficult, so as soon as a young Black boy picks up something and throws it, he is regarded as being a difficult child. If a White boy does it, they say he’s having a bad day.’

A school is not in isolation of community and racism exists in our society at large. We have families under stress that the child is exposed to and the child might be more likely to themselves have stress, and exhibit symptoms or behaviours which the school finds difficult to manage. An identical behaviour might be perceived as being more aggressive if it is coming from a large Black boy than a small White girl. It’s what is described as ‘challenging behaviour’; the attributions teachers might have for Black pupils might be seen more negatively. It could be about perceptions. The school feels powerless. They do not want to exclude but they have reached a point where they cannot do anything with the child. There seems to be less tolerance now in schools, perhaps because of the demands on teachers.’

‘Several generations of people are told you shouldn’t achieve… you cannot go to University… you have no reason to aspire. Your child is told this and their child the same. That’s a bigger barrier to overcome than for a new immigrant. My hypothesis is if you have been subjected to racism over several generations then this is going to make your hopes and dreams more difficult. Black Africans tend to be first and second generation so they still have that hope. Work situations are difficult, zero hours contracts, trying to make ends meet. These are the problems our parents face.’ (School Governor)

Students Perspective :

Three students who participated in the research confirmed that racism occurs in British schools and they think that racism can be overcome. The first of this student response statements says that:

‘There is racism everywhere you go, you’re not going to go to a place where there is no racism, so you have to learn to deal and get on with your life’.

And other student expresses his views to overcome this racism barrier, this Sewell (2009) highlights as a cane piece mentality, which is a durable mentality that emerges from the poverty, hardship and discipline of these underdeveloped environments, in which when the child enters the British education system has stable identity and is conducive to learning.

One of the student of my sample felt that facing the racism and humiliation in the school and always being subjected to the stereotype attitude of teachers would affect the attainment and lose the interest in academics learning and feel the risk of being excluded.

Opinions of teachers and parents on the teachers expectations on performance of the Black Caribbean students

A mixed response was obtained from those who were interviewed as to the impact of teachers’ expectations A teacher who is of Caribbean heritage and is now an Adviser for Behaviour Management recalled that her own teachers had very high expectations of her success:

‘I am from Islington and studied in Barnsbury Girls’ School. My partner grew up in Tottenham at the same time as me. He didn’t do well at school and didn’t go to College or University, whereas I did. High expectations are embedded in you early on – this expectation came from my teachers.’ (Parent D)

Yet, she recognised that this is not the case with some teachers:

‘I remember hearing a Black teacher say ‘she doesn’t need to go to University’. I said ‘hang on, would you say that if the child was called Annabel’? We should make any child feel that they can go to University. For me, I did not expect my child to do anything other than go to University.’ (Parent D)

A number of people interviewed spoke about how their teachers told them that they will not be able to make it to the University or pursue a career:

One parent recalls that her mother, at parents evening, was said that another person like her sister couldn’t make it to the University. And that her sister was clever and got unconditional offers from many Universities. Another staff member reminisces about how teachers told that she wouldn’t get anywhere. Her father is Black and mother is White. Such behaviour from teachers would knock her self-esteem and belief.

A Black Caribbean teacher remarked on the low expectations of staff who do not expect the Black pupils at his school to be polite:

‘They do not expect much of the pupils. Some staff, maybe through fear, do not challenge negative behavior.’ (Teacher)

‘You need a staff team who understand the children and expect a lot of them. High expectations – you must believe in them.’ (Staff member)

In some schools pupils faced different expectations according to the ethnicity of their teachers as the following comment by a parent illustrated:

‘In Year 4 my son had a Black, female teacher. She just had high expectations for all the children and he performed well for the next two years. Then in Year 6 he had a White teacher who was disinterested.’ (Parent H)

A former Vice Principal of a secondary school in London from Caribbean heritage shared his experience about low teacher expectation

‘We had a teacher from Rhodesia who commented to a White pupil ‘People like you should not misbehave because one day you will be leading this country’. From this I gathered I would not be running the country! This is a reason why people get discouraged, they have anglicised names, speak with an English accent and you can see this in operation at interview, they think you are going to be White – from then on you are judged by the colour of your tan.’ (Former Staff)

Teacher-training could be the best suitable time to recognize and remove teachers whose ideology of students ability hinder them from facilitating an unbiased and high demanding education for all. In order to do this educational institutions must firstly be familiar with the potential influence of teacher expectations on student achievement and should be aware of how to identify inflexible perceptions among student teachers. Colleges of education should instruct student teachers about the jeopardies of unfair or biased expectations, provide training so as to identify and amend negative attitudes based on students experiences, and offer counselling to those who are not suitable teaching candidates to other professions (Demie and McLean, 2017).

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