Inquiry based learning is a process that serves to benefit the researcher in the collection and analysis of material relevant to the dissertation topic. Carfora & Blessinger (2014) defined IBL as:IBL, as an approach instead of a specific method, is a cluster of teaching and learning strategies where students inquire into the nature of a problem(s) or question(s). The problem or question scenario thus serves as a mechanism or catalyst to engage actively and deeply in the learning process. This approach is constructivist in nature because it allows the student to take greater ownership of her/his learning by allowing them a means by which to construct their own knowledge rather than just having that knowledge merely spoon-fed to them by others. (p. 5). In the process of analyzing various research materials to determine their relevance to the dissertation topic, a checklist containing 10 questions was formulated (see appendix). The model of inquiry was thereby integrated into these 10 questions to serve as the criteria that the articles needed to sufficiently satisfy to establish relevance.
This inquiry based research was applied to the article titled Social Emotional Learningin Elementary School: Preparation for Success written by Linda Dusenbury and Roger P. Weissberg. The analysis has been documented below with the 10 criteria of the model of inquiry written as subheadings.Does the author clearly define the purpose of the research? While extensive information is given about the findings of the research, the authors do not explicitly state the reason for carrying out the research in the first place. However, the conclusion can be drawn once the entire article has been read. The title of the article also provides insight into the contents of the paper, which are aligned and sufficiently support the title of the article.
Is the statistical data provided sufficient to make a persuasive argument? While the authors provide impressive numbers, they highlight that the analysis was done on 213 studies with over 270,000 students spanning a period of over 20 years. While this may seem like a great number, this is just a fraction of the number of elementary students in a year. Furthermore, of the 19 SEL evidence based programs analyzed in 2013, only 8 demonstrated positive effects for at least two years. The statistical data shows less than half the programs have a positive effect which is enough to draw conclusions regarding the performance of some of the SEL programs. Furthermore, the study established that SEL programs were analyzed in only 11 states, which does not provide enough bases to draw a generalized countrywide conclusion.
Is the article analyzed current? The article analyzed was published in 2017, making it a very recent source. However, the conclusions in the article are based on information provided by studies carried out years ago with the most recent one being undefined. The authors refer to “more recent studies” but provide no particular timeline that can be used to establish if the year can be definitively considered recent.Are there any sources provided that can supply further information? Unfortunately, the authors do not cite any sources.
While they state that they studied and analyzed a number of studies that were focused on evidence based SEL programs, none of the studies are highlighted so one cannot look up any of the studies used. This oversight by the authors goes to question the credibility of the statistical data provided as well as the conclusions drawn. Is the analysis method used reliable? There is no apparent way to measure the reliability of the analytical methods used by the authors. While there is provision of statistical data, the authors do not mention any specific analytical tools used to draw the conclusions. There is mention of analysis of third party studies but the authors do not provide any links or references to these studies as backup. This therefore diminishes the credibility of the authors as the statistical data could have been quoted out of context. With no specific analytical tool used, the reliability of the data comes into question which calls the whole article into question. Does the article highlight any challenges or flaws in the study? The authors do not mention any analytical tools used during the analysis of the study.
For this reason, there are no apparent flaws that are highlighted that directly pertain to the authors’ analytical process. However, they provide insight into the challenges faced in the implementation of the evidence based SEL programs. These challenges are surmised to be the reason for the failure of some of the programs that have not yielded any tangible positive results.Are there points that are worth considering in the article? The authors define the important aspects that require nurturing for students to succeed in the short term and subsequently in the far future.
However, while there are so many programs that incorporate the social emotional learning competencies, less than half of the evaluated programs have been quantifiably successful. The authors have listed a myriad of factors that have to be incorporated to ensure that the SEL programs, policies and practices are more likely to be successful. It can therefore be surmised that some of these factors were missing in the programs that have yielded less than favorable results. One can therefor use these factors in further analysis of similar programs to determine the chances of success or failure.
They can also be integrated into poorly performing programs in a bid to increase their chances of success.Does the conclusion/implication make the case for or against the study? The conclusion puts emphasis on the factors that need to be present to make the SEL policies, programs and practices more successful. These factors have been highlighted and explained in the entirety of the article, making the conclusion the hammer that drives the point home. Does the author use sufficient examples to clarify key concepts?