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  • Writer's pictureallisonjolester

Red Flags of Research: The Not-so-Researchable Teacher Research Questions



Hey, teaching trailblazers! Gather 'round because we're about to debunk the myth that every question is a researchable one. Gasp! Did I just commit a teacher research cardinal sin? Don't alert the research police just yet, hear me out! (For tips on getting started on finding a researchable question, check this blog entry out!)


The Not-so-Researchable 'Research' Questions

We all know that a good research question is the cornerstone of any compelling teacher research project. However, not all questions qualify for the researchable league. Let's play detective (oops! scratch that, too detective-y), I mean, let's play explorers in the jungle of research and identify the red flags that make a question 'not-so-researchable'.

  1. The Predictable Poser: "Will students improve their math skills if they practice every day?" Spoiler alert: Yes, they will. This is a bit like asking, "Will my plants grow if I water them?" Practice leads to improvement – it's a universal truth, not a researchable question. This reminds me...I should water my plants.

  2. The 'Crystal Ball' Query: "What will education look like in 50 years?" Unless your secret talent is time travel, I'm afraid this question is more suited to a sci-fi novel than a research project. Stick to questions rooted in the present that allow for real-world, tangible research.

  3. The Overly Obvious: "Does the usage of textbooks contribute to learning?" Well, unless we're in an alternative universe where textbooks are for propping open doors, the answer is an unequivocal yes. This question lacks depth and isn't likely to yield any groundbreaking findings.

  4. The Generalizing General: "How to make learning fun?" Now, this sounds like an exciting topic, right? (I may be biased!) But as a research question, it's as wide as the Pacific and as deep as a puddle. We need to narrow it down, focus on specific strategies, subjects, or age groups.

  5. The Super-Specific Sally: "Will using yellow notepads in my third period 7th grade history class on rainy days improve student engagement?" Unless you've discovered a groundbreaking correlation between stationary color, weather, and historical engagement, this question is probably too specific to yield widely valuable results.

  6. The 'Let's Stick to Facts, Please' Query: "Why is Mx. Bumblebee's math class the best in the whole wide world?" This is less of a research question and more of a fan club. When crafting your research question, keep it neutral, avoid personal biases, and remember, we're after objectivity here, not world domination. (By the way, we know why Mx. Bumblebee's math class is so great - they use teacher research to grow their practice!)

So, there you have it, teaching warriors! While it's tempting to dive headfirst into the deep end of the research pool, take a moment to ensure your question is researchable. And remember, you’re not alone on this journey! You've got a whole community of teacher researchers here, ready to brainstorm, share, and maybe have a laugh or two. Because what's the point if we can't have a little research fun?!


Until next time, keep those research spirits high!

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