When I first read the title of this course, Building Research Competency, I instantly became nervous and unsure how I would be able to make it through eight weeks of research. I had a preconceived idea of the course and honestly how daunting learning about research would be. Thankfully, I am able to say I made it through and learned a great deal, and it was much more interesting than I expected.
I found the style of the class worked well. Working on our own research project one component at a time, as we used the text and other resources to learn about a specific component made the process purposeful. This made the readings more meaningful and helped me make an immediate link to the new learning. Throughout this process, I had many opportunities to reflect on my research plan, my professional practice, and my personal perceptions of the early childhood field.
I have gained an enormous respect for the time and constant reflection researches must go through in order to think of topic, narrow it to a research question, conduct a literary review, choose a design, choose participants, methods of data collection, and interpreting result all while not loosing focus on ethics and equity. Research is not an easy nor quick process, it takes time to conduct research in a meaningful, ethical, and equitable manner. Although research is not an easy task, it is critical to the continuing to learn and understand more about the world, we live and how to we can make a difference.
Having gone through the research process with my mock research project I have gain confidence in readings others research. I now understand more of each of the component that make up research and do not feel so overwhelmed reading research. It is so important, professionals in the field of early childhood continuously read the latest research and reflect on their practice. I will now be more confident to stay current on research topics in my field and continuously reflect on how to improve my practice.
There were many times I stumbled to understand terms and concepts in the text or questioned my own thinking through reflection. I found when the terms and concepts in the text were not making sense I would research them on several web sites until they became clear to me. I also gained a great deal of clarity of terms and concepts from my colleges in the discussions and blog communications. Often hearing a college put the same information into their own words helped me better understand. I truly appreciate the time everyone put into their post and comments. I found comfort in colleges honesty of their struggles as well and the supportive environment.