Seems complicated, doesn't it? Using the new cool tool, bubbl.us, I was able to "mind-map" all the ideas I have been having about where my research interests lie.
The IRBPH proposal development document was full of very specific questions that helped me to think through this web of questions. However, it provoked a few more questions. These were sort of deal-breaker questions, too.
Since I began the Touro program, I have known that at some point I was going to use it as a resource to tackle a certain problem. Each year, a significant group of our youngest students (many are on free/reduced lunch programs) are found to be drastically below in achievement on early literacy skills assessments. It seems as though they enter school already in the achievement gap. While we do our best to provide high quality, effective interventions at school where students do make significant growth, it isn’t enough. Students remain in the gap.
My essential question is: Can parent involvement in home literacy activities improve student achievement in early literacy skills? I also have an additional question: Can school-to-home communication technology enhance the achievement?
Here's my problem. I know this seems like it's already been done, and done, and done. However, most of the research I was able to pull up addresses how parent involvement can be a predictor of achievement. Fewer studies came up in my search about what specifically works to make a positive intervention, and I didn't find much with a focus on early literacy.
Another thing. If I choose a parent home literacy intervention program to implement for my study, does my study become all about the effectiveness of that specific program? Realistically, I just want to improve things for my students and I want to find out what will work in my setting. After all, Falk and Blumenreich tell us that action research is "a study of a situation that is driven by a desire to improve that situation."
One more thing. Is it wrong that I also want to include technology as a part of my study? Am I all over the place? Is it okay to have more than one thing you are looking at in a study?
As you can see, I have a lot to sort out! Thankfully, I feel like the IRBPH document definitely lined so much of it up in my head so that these important questions can be answered and I can be on my way to finding some help for my students.