- What would be the strengths and limitations of the research?
The strengths of this phenomenological study are that it would adequately address reliability and validity of the design used in data collection. To ensure that the collected data would be accurate, reliable, and original, information will be obtained directly from the participants through filling semi-structured questionnaires. Further, the researcher would apply multiple methods for the organization, coding, management and analysis of data hence increasing reliability and validity of the methodology used (Brown, 2006).
However, this phenomenological hermeneutic research study would have some limitations due to research design employed by the researcher. The sample size chosen by the research is significantly small to achieve the required results to test the research hypothesis. The researcher interviewed only six male students to represent the entire African American population attending a community college in Virginia. Given the fact that the male students from the African American origin were selected from a single institution, the results could not be generalized to reveal the factors that thwart their academic progress and understanding the perceptions of factors that would determine their pursuit for higher education (Brown, 2006). Similarly, the area of the study would affect the desired outcome of the research due to the temperament of the locale and the respondents’ feelings concerning answering the questions in a predetermined manner as per the interest of the researcher.
- What would be done well?
The sample size for the phenomenological study would be relatively small to represent the whole population. Therefore, the researcher should have considered increasing the size of the sample to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data collected. Further, the researcher should have designed some guiding questions to help participants understand their views on successful academics experiences as African American male students studying in a community college. Phenomenological studies seek to identify the overall effects of experience, and the researcher should not impose certain meanings for the respondents. Participants are supposed to fill in the questionnaires without any influence from the researcher to express their own perceptions about the learning environment.
- What could be improved?
Within the context of phenomenological study design, interviews help in examining the response of participants to research questions as opposed to administration of standard questionnaires. Although the interview would help the researcher to capture the interpersonal depth and obtain first hand information from the participants, the design has to ensure equilibrium between the use of questionnaires and interview. Therefore, this would ensure that the results obtained from the study are not biased, and participants’ responses are not subjective. To capture the actual perceptions of the respondents’ experiences, the researcher should have employed phenomenological analysis. Thus, the design should have considered the perceptions of the participants affected by the phenomenon and link them with those of the researcher who is also interested in the phenomena (Brown, 2006).
- Which research design would you have used and what would you have done differently?
Qualitative research design would be the most appropriate to employed in this phenomenological study. Qualitative research helps the researcher in gaining more understanding of the phenomenon, as well as human experiences so as to get accurate answers to research questions. Further, it helps the researcher to capture people’s perceptions on the studied phenomena and his or her ability to report findings in the most appropriate manner. Since, the researcher makes use of interviews and questionnaires in data collection, qualitative technique would be the most suitable method of inquiry. Additionally, the research intends to address human or social problems to come up with comprehensive findings on factors that contribute to its existence. Similarly, the research is conducted on its natural setting implying that the qualitative design would be the best research technique to provide the researcher with a convincing interpretation. However, I would have also considered applying some of the quantitative research design techniques to ensure that the data collected is accurate and reliable to test my hypothesis and to respond adequately to my research questions.
- As an educator describe how you would professionally help African American students become more academically successful?
As an educator, I would professionally help African American through suggesting some of programs that would target African American males to become more successful academically while becoming more connected with the college environment. Further, I would take the initiative to enlighten them to relate well with their instructors in order to share their personal needs with them. Through making their personal needs known to their instructors, their feeling will be adequately addressed, and they will be motivated to pursue academic success. Similarly, I would offer motivational lessons to African American community college students to encourage them to pursue their academic goals regardless of racial differences (Brown, 2006). Also, I would push for equal distribution of resources meant to support African American families in order to help them provide better education for their children. Hence, this would help these students become more successful in pursuing higher education. On the other hand, I would liaise with school administration to provide more learning resources to promote academic achievement for African American.
- What relevance would this type of research have on the field of education?
This type of research would be relevant to the field of education as it will help in addressing problems that are faced by African American male community college students. Findings from this research would help in improving academic outcomes for African American students in order to compete favorably with students from other ethnic backgrounds. Further, the research findings would be relevant in the field of education through identifying cultural, as well as academic experiences of students from various ethnic groups. Similarly, the research would be important for all stakeholders and all administration of African American male community colleges in addressing their educational needs so as to improve their performance (Brown, 2006).
- How would it help educate others to become more academically successful?
The research would also help in identifying problems faced by students from other ethnic backgrounds since college students share common problems. Further, it will help in changing the perceptions of students that they could only achieve academic excellence if they are taught by educators from their own ethnic group.
Brown, C. (2006). The impact of campus activities on African American college men. In M.J.
Cuyjet (Ed.). African American men in college (pp. 47-67). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.