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Sample Education Paper

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Contents

Brief description. 2

The rationale for the study. 3

Methodology. 4

References. 7

Brief description

Plato, a great Greek philosopher, argued that co-education is important in helping individuals develop their personality. He postulated that both women and men can benefit from co-education systems because it creates a feeling of comradeship among them (Andrea, 2008). He argued that co-education was a necessary method that made both women and men equal and useful members of the general society. Therefore, in the west, the significance of the concept of co-education has had a great impact since ancient times (Alice, 1993, Gill, 2004, Tyack & Hansot 1990).

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This research proposal is an independent study that discusses the significance of Co-Education to children and parents. It tries to address the respective issues facing both parents and children relating to co-education issues by giving a clear theoretical analysis of the topic.

Reports from a study by the University of South Australia made examinations and verifications on whether coeducation schools had any significance on students as well as parents and its major impacts to the parties involved. The study verified the distractions created for the students in the co-creation schools. The researchers’ intention was to verify whether co-education that involved having girls and boys together in learning had any effect on their progress and the take on the side of parents in performing their roles (Alice, 1993).

Co-education according to Spender (1982) is an education system that involves educating girls and boys together and instilling various skills in overall gender without favors. In ancient times, notes Dale (1974, Steedman, 1985), the concept of co-education was so much prevalent in Greece and countries around the region. Today observes Crump (1990), co-education systems are present in almost every country globally but with varying degrees of limitations in their operations. This research purposes to derive answers to the following questions:

  • How would the concept of co-education be operationally defined
  • What is the significance of the co-education concept on both children and parents

From the studies conducted on co-education, there have been problems in relationships between boys and girls a factor that challenges the concept and requires interventions in place to handle the system (Alice, 1993, Dale, 1971, Lee, & Bryk, 1986). A major advantage of co-education in Australian schools is that it helps cover for the teacher shortage within the educational system. It is also postulated that boys, because of co-education, overcome their individual curiosity and girls are able to overcome shyness when in the presence of the opposite sex (Andrea, 2008). The co-education has also been proved as the best approach in facilitating the learning of individuals to respect the opposite gender and harmonize their stay when learning in institutions as well as outside in the general society.

It is absolute that there was a feature of conservancy about facilitating the system, especially over the past decade with many conservative people arguing against the application of the system (Alice, 1993). However, much research has sidelined the conservative ideas and they do not hold any ground in the system of education. Co-education has been a driving force to generating harmonious and perfect relationships as well as a sensible sense of co-operation, and therefore, it is a tool of progress in the education system within a nation (Andrea, 2008).

The rationale for the study

The main areas where this research will be of help are in the fields of education, and educational psychology. From this standpoint, the research will be directly necessary to the entire Australian education system (Andrea, 2008).  The outcomes of the research will provide Australian educators with ways and means through which they can asses systematically the respective students’ learning processes in co-education and its applicability in the current system. Therefore, they will develop insights into relationships between parents and students’ impact emanating from co-education as well as the overall take from both on the applicability of the system. In so doing, respective outcomes may not just be of use in increasing educators’ awareness of the relevance of co-education in both children and parents, but also it will develop impacts on the possibility of adopting the co-education system in many educational fields in the current curricula (Fontana, 2000, Phillips, 1979).

The research has a great potential of making at least three contributions to the concept of co-education systems within the fields of education, and educational psychology (Fontana, 2000). The contributions are: furthering the co-education concept, deriving a better understanding of education systems in Australia and the development of an elaborate co-education theory.

First, the research will make definitions as well as expand knowledge of co-educational learning environments and make identifications of the main aspects as well as sub-aspects of co-education in the respective contexts (Blumer, 1969, Gilligan, 1982). In line with Kenway& Willis’s (1986) way of thinking, the research will also imply improvements in co-creation concept applicability in Australian education settings and evaluate how the concept influences children’s learning processes. Thirdly, the research will make extensions to elaborate theory established currently within the field of co-education by exploring several components of the respective construct across a range of tasks and learning situations. It is through the research that verifications of the systems will be possible enabling a better understanding of the concept and people’s views and suggestions on the topic (Fontana, 2000).

Methodology

This study will do use the framework of symbolic interaction theory (Woods, 1992). It will also use autoethnographic (Ellis, 1999) and ‘constructivist’ grounded theories (Glaser, 1992). This will facilitate the achievement of what Marsh et al (1985) consider to be the dual aims of explaining the relevance of co-education to the parents and creating an in-depth and credible understanding of the significance of co-education to children.

This research will study people within their natural environments and not through their respective abstracted forms or even in artificial experiments, a concept known as symbolic interactionism(Woods, 1992). Symbolic Interactionism is perfectly understood using Blumer’s (1969) “central principles.” It is an argument that human beings tend to act on various phenomena mainly based on perceived respective meanings of these phenomena to them. This meaning attribution to objects through respective symbols is a continuous process according to Stake, 2000, just like co-education in Australia.

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In addition, the attribution of meaning is the main product of human social interaction within a particular society (Woods, 1992).    Human conduct, therefore, can only be understood relatively in the context where they are found.  Such notions as time, place, culture, self, significant others and structure are important components of ‘situation’ and they exist if only the individual refers to them as important (Stake, 2000).  As indicated by Woods’s (1992) explanation “people act based on meanings that they inscribe to objects.  They do not necessarily respond to the way others perceive it or objective reality.” This study will make an exploration of what symbolic meanings participants share in their respective situations; and why and how these relationships might exist(Stake, 2000).

Case studies, such as, to use Stake’s (2005)terminology, the ‘instrumental’ autoethnographic case study (Stake, 2000) will be referred to in this research. These case studies are about the experiences of parents and children who might have gone through co-education or even facilitated this form of education (Strauss, 1998). The autoethnographic case study conducted initially will seek to examine every single case to allow “the provision of insight into an issue” (Stake, 2000). It will give an overview of some experiences and the take of parents as well as children on co-education basing on shared experiences (Fontana, 2000).

After the instrumental case study, a ‘collective case study’ as Carpenter (1985) terms it, will commence, undertaken just like the previous one following Stake (2000) illustrations of a case study. The selection of respective cases will be supportive of grounded theory as well as the use of ‘constant comparative method’ (Woods, 1992).

Theoretical sampling will be done both between and within cases whereby collection and tabulation of data will be the sole basis of coming up with findings as well as determining recommendations. The task of analysis of data will be done within three days after the completion of collection and tabulation work. This is the most labor-intensive part of the research and it will be done within two weeks after the commencement of research work. The validity of data will be done through cross-examination of the empirical validity of everyday phenomena in order to avoid unrealistic findings being arrived at. In. Towards this end, similar case studies done in the past will be very insightful in terms of developing a capacity for verification of respective data.

References

Alice, W. (1993). Co-Education: A Series of Essays by Various Authors. New York:

            Kissinger Publishing.

Andrea, G. (2008). Women and Coeducation in the American West. London: Sage.

Blumer, H. (1969). Symbolic Interactionism: Perspective and Method.  Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.

Carpenter, P. (1985). Single-Sex Schooling and Girls’ Academic Achievements. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Sociology, 21, 456-473.

Crump, S. (1990). Gender and curriculum: Power and being female. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 11, 365-385.

Dale, R. (1974) Mixed or Single-Sex Schools Vol I? Routledge & Kegan: London

Fontana, A. & Frey J.H. (2000). The Interview: From Structured Questions to Negotiated Text. Handbook of Qualitative Research (2nd Ed.).Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Gill, J. (2004). Beyond The Great Divide: Single Sex or Co-Educational. Sydney: UNSW Press.

Gilligan, C. (1982). In a Difference Voice: Psychological Theory and Women’s Development. Cambridge, Ma.: Harvard University Press.

Jones J (1990) Outcome of Girls School: Unravelling Some Differences – Australian, Journal of Education 34(2), 12-34

Kenway, J.& Willis, S. (1986) “Counting Sexism in the Single Way: a flawed proposition” in Porter, P. Gender and Education, Deakin University Australia, Routledge: London.

Lee, V. and Bryk, A. (1986). Effects of single secondary schools on student achievement and attitudes. Journal of Educational Psychology, 78(2), 381-395.

Marsh, H., Parker, J.& Barnes, J. (1985). Multidimensional Adolescent Self-Concepts: Their Relationship to Age, Sex and Academic Achievement, American Educational Research Journal, 25, 237-269.

Phillips, S. (1979). Young Australians: The Attitudes of our Children, Sydney: Harper and Row.

Spender, D. (1982). Invisible Women: The schooling scandal. London: Writers and Readers.

Stake, R.E. (2000). Case Studies. In N.K. Denzin & Y.S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (2nd ed.) pp. 435-454.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Steedman, J. (1985). Examination results in mixed and single-sex secondary schools. In D. Reynolds(ed.) Studying School Effectiveness. London: Falmer Press.

Strauss, A. & Corbin, J. (1998). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Tyack, D. and Hansot, E. (1990). Learning Together: A History of Coeducation in American Public Schools. New Haven, Ct: Yale University Press.

Woods, P. (1992). Symbolic Interactionism: Theory and Method. In J.P. Goetz (Ed.) the Handbook of Qualitative Research in Education. London: Sage.

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