Why Educational Research can Change the World

I substitute a microscope for a tablet. My lab is a university office. Books and manuscripts replace scientific equipment. Ink is the only chemical I need. There is a certain type of satisfaction that comes with conducting, synthesizing and interpreting educational research. Never in my wildest dreams did I envision myself in this role, though little did I know it’s the foundation for everything.

I’m a young research analyst, and even when I move on from this role my title may change, but the skill will transition with me wherever I go. Educational research, like most other scientific research domains, focus on three areas: challenging the status quo, policy improvement, and allowing evidence to do the talking. These three areas are functions I acknowledge whenever I do relevant work.

IMG_4077.JPG

Challenging the Status Quo

Our world is a robust social construction, meaning all laws, policies and expectations are agreed upon by citizens and society stakeholders. Money, time, rules, educational curriculums, and even sex/gender norms are all examples of status quo standards we oblige and live by. What educational research does in an excellent way is analyze the status quo of many outlets and inquire does the status quo truly benefit all stakeholders? If it does, how so? If it doesn’t, why not? The Satir Change model excellently visualizes this process–with educational research being one facet to get the change/innovation conversation started, challenging the argumentum ad antiquitatem fallacy, which proposes something is good simply because it is the traditional way of doing things. However, the proposed change MUST be beneficial and relevant to stakeholders, or it could end up creating an opposite fallacy argumentum ad novitatem, which means appealing to a new perspective status quo simply because it is new and different.

IMG_4078.GIF

Policy Improvement

All corporations, educational entities, and similar business structures rely on an outlined string of policies to dictate, simplify and clarify organizational functions. Rather the research method is qualitative textual data, quantitative statistical data, benchmarking, or evaluation and assessment, reviewing policy frameworks to ensure relevancy to stakeholders is vital. The reason why is because our society uses laws, policies and regulations to justify actions and decisions. However, not all “laws” may be beneficial or applicable to all citizens or areas. This is were educational research is such a vital tool via identifying such policies and providing recommendations for improved laws. This takes a macro (large change) approach to policy development, because mezzo (mid change) and micro (small change) approaches often aren’t strong enough to implement large-scale change.

IMG_4080.GIF

Allowing Evidence to do the Talking

What attracts me to educational research most is if conducted ethically and correctly, the results can be indisputable. As a research analyst, I personally make no claims whatsoever. Any concluding results from a research poster, manuscript, or interview is simply synthesizing facts to create a conclusion. My goal is to remain objective while following the evidence wherever it takes me. Only during the evaluation process of an assessment might I provide recommendations based on my expertise–with this entire research process separate from objective educational research. Furthermore, any awards or accolades I receive really shouldn’t be attributed to me; it truly is a win for the researched subject instead.

MLA

Neuro Review: Rush & Rest

I consider myself a smart guy, but I seem to be oblivious to a few things out there. Neuro drinks used to be one of them, but now they have become fast favorites of mine, especially as a graduate student. There are four main drinks, and this review looks at Neuro Sonic: a pick-me-up, and Nuero Bliss: a chillaxer.

411 on Neuro Bliss

First up is Neuro Bliss. Let’s get the technical ingredients out the way first. Neuro Bliss contains hydroxytryptophan, which makes you feel drowsy without tiredness, and L-theanine, an amino acids that promote relaxation and a calm feeling. It’s lightly carbonated and flavored.

Does Neuro Bliss Work?

For me it does. It’s best used under stressful or irritated circumstances. I tried one when I was feeling stressed about not finished a data drilldown/analysis so I used it then. The best descriptor I can give is I felt a rush of euphoria and focus-ness. Needless to say I finished my task in an uplifted mood.

411 on Neuro Sonic

Next up is Nuero Sonic, a lightly caffeinated drink that also contains taurine, carnitine, theanine for enhancing mental function, and resveratrol for heart health.

Does Neuro Sonic Work?

If you know me, I’m an avid coffee drinker, I do so much in a day that the boost helps immensely. I substituted Neuro Sonic for coffee this morning and I felt awake and alert.

Bottom Line

Because everyone’s body chemistry is different, results will of course vary. I’m usually a bit of a skeptic on stuff like this, but I can honestly report in my circumstances these were helpful and did exactly what they advertised. I would recommend them; they come in cool bottles and helps you get through different parts of the day. There are two more mainstream Nuero Drinks (all taste like likely carbonated / flavored water) so I’m looking forward to trying those out too. The only downside is the price, with each currently $2.50 a bottle.

“Los Problemas” – El Salvador Day 0/15

I’m an American. I’m a young adult. I like video games, drawing, writing, and research. Then there are El Salvadorians, who have vastly different values and priorities than myself. El Salvador (which mean “The Savior”) is a beautiful country which lives up to its namesake. Rich in Myan and Aztec culture due to their close proximity, El Salvador is a country were it initially was able to embrace its culture without outside influences; this means traditions, customs and languages were rich between the Pipils, the earliest known group that would soon become modern-day El Salvadorians. However, with the rest of the world industrializing and expanding, this culture would soon change in many ways. 1524 brought about the first wave of intrusion by the Spanish, and since then there has been constant clashes regarding El Salvador ownership and identity.

 

Today, El Salvador is classified as a two-thirds world country, and issues such as inequality in work, political corruption, human trafficking, and gang scuffles flood this beautiful area, just to name a few. For myself, this study abroad experience will be a balance between noting the positives of this rich culture with lavish landscapes while simultaneously accepting the negative foundation of current events and historical acts that contributed to its current state. I was told that as an American, many natives will want to take a photo with me, request specific items unobtainable there, and inquire about my views on politics. While here, I can treat this experience in two different ways: I can be passive. I can simply listen to the speakers during sessions and take notes, take photos while touring the country, and buy as many survivors as I can afford. I can also be active. I can do the before-mentioned actions while also inquiring the “whys” and “hows”. I can use my research skills to do strategic planning for organizations with limited resources. I’m no solider fighting for either country. I’m not a millionaire able to contribute greatly, nor do have access to staffing resources to address major issues. However, I do have drive, and even though I cannot positively impact the country, a city, or an organization, I’ll make all efforts to positively impact that one, single, individual or issue. Also, this experience isn’t necessarily about “me”. I’m a guest of this county and to achieve  solidarity this must be remembered. I may not be “The Savior“, but I will be active in the work I do here.

 

Asociación ~

Image