Evaluation of research articles.

Write a brief summary and critique of three research articles that use different research methods.
You will be provided with one quantitative and one qualitative article and you should choose a third article from the set readings that you judge to be a high quality research article. For each of the three articles, write a summary and critical evaluation based on these questions, which were adapted from McMillan & Wergin (2010). You should incorporate references beyond the class notes to support your understanding of research concepts.The subject reading is Doing action research in early childhood studies from Glenda Mac Naughton and Patrick Hughes.

The summary should address the following questions:
– What are the research questions being addressed?
– What methods were used to address the research questions?
– What were the major findings?
– What are the implications of the findings to the field of early childhood education?
The critical evaluation should address the following questions:
– What are the strengths and weaknesses of the literature review?
– Is the sample population described adequately? What further information would you need to know,
and why?
– What are the strengths and weaknesses of the methodology used to answer the research questions?
– What were the ethical considerations in this study and were they fully addressed by the researchers?
– What are the strengths and weaknesses of the researchers’ discussion of the findings?
– How generalisable are the findings? What factors might influence generalisability?
– How might you modify or extend this research in order to learn more?
– In what ways does this research challenge or support general or your own long-held beliefs and

First Article – The qualitative article can be accessed from the following link:
Jung, J. (2011). Caregivers‟ playfulness and infants‟ emotional stress during transitional time. Early Child Development and Care, 181(10), 1397-1407.


Second Artcile – The quantitative article can be accessed from the following link:
Yu, S., Ostrosky, M., & Fowler, S. (2011). Children’s friendship development: A comparative study. Early Childhood Research and Practice, 13 (1)http://ecrp.uiuc.edu/v13n1/yu.html

third article – article of choice.


Summary and Critique of Three Research Studies – Finding and selecting relevant
research, and developing the ability to think critically about the question, the methods, and the conclusions will help you to make good use of the wealth of research that is available to inform our decisions as educators. This assessment allows you to demonstrate the degree to which you have met the following learning objectives for this subject:
– evaluate the appropriateness of different research approaches to investigating and addressing problems in early childhood education;
– understand the different paradigms within which research in early childhood education is
situated and explain the implications for the research process;
– describe and comment upon current research in early childhood education;
– analyze and critique reports of research into early childhood education / practice;
– identify some research methods useful for educators’ research on their own professional
– understand how research is influenced by political, economic, and social forces in society.
– identify and discuss the ethical issues involved in research in early childhood education

Marking criteria

1. Quality of the written material. (18 marks; 6 marks per article)
In order to pass criterion 1, you must show that all required aspects of the assessment task are fully attended to and are completed in detail. You must also provide evidence of your developing
appreciation and understanding of research concepts, and present an informed response. Written summaries which do not meet these standards will fail this criterion.
2. Critical Reflection. (18 marks; 6 marks per article)
In order to pass criterion 2, you must provide reflective comments about research issues and concepts, and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the three articles thoughtfully, with honesty, rigour, and responsibility. Reflection should be critical in nature, going beyond simply describing the content of
the article. Responses that only include a ‘surface-level’ description which do not critically consider the content of the articles will fail this criterion.
3. Grammar and referencing (4 marks)
In order to pass criterion 3, you must present citations and referencing in accordance with the
University’s standard approach, and include references beyond class notes. Failure for this criterion will occur where students depart from the guidelines, implement the guidelines in a haphazard fashion, or do not include references beyond the class notes. Additionally, appropriate English should be used and writing should be coherent and free of grammatical and spelling mistakes. Responses that contain
multiple grammatical errors and are poorly organised will fail this criterion.


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