EER500 – Introduction to Educational Research

I loved this subject!  So much about HOW to research, HOW to refine the research question — it is SO good to be able to help my Year 12 Extended Essay students from a well-grounded, authoritative and experienced space!

I have included some of my emails to my lecturer – Bev Moriarty, a wonderful teacher:

From: Antoinette Simon <>
Date: December 28, 2012 12:18:13 PM
To: Bev Moriarty <>
Subject: Fwd: [ EER500 201290 D D – Announcement ] EER500 201290 Message 22: 1b papers are now returned

Dear Bev
I am so grateful for your detailed feedback and very helpful comments, which I hope to put to good use in Assignment 2 and in future writing.
As you might have guessed, i am really enjoying this course: not only is the step-by-step approach revealing some of the mysteries of the world of the researcher, but your extra notes and the required readings are filling the gaps and broadening my knowledge about good process.  Now, about the missing conclusion …  truth be told, I forgot all about it: I was so caught up with making my points and keeping within the word count that the formal requirement for a conclusion didn’t enter my headspace.  (I will make sure that I don’t leave anything important out in Assignment 2!)
I hope you had a lovely Christmas and I wish you all the best for New Year and the year ahead!
Kind regards

From: “Antoinette Simon” <>
Date: January 14, 2013 5:37:50 PM
To: Bev Moriarty <>
Subject: EER500 201290 Message 25: Extended date on Assignment 2

Dear Bev, Again, thank you – this is so helpful!  I  completed the first draft of my assignment late last evening and was just about to return to it with some refinements but, after reading your email I realise that I have gone overboard with my design methods!  My research question is now: “How do high school Principals in Australia perceive the role of school libraries and Teacher Librarians in the education of students?”I had planned to do a content analysis of documentation written by Teacher Librarians to extract what they perceived their roles to be and the analysis of these roles would be the basis for the next phase.  The second phase was to be a self-completed questionnaire sent out to all high school Principals in Australia: the statements would be something like, “Teacher Librarians say that one of their roles is blah blah blah.  How important would you say this role is at your school?” and Principals would be asked to rate the role using a 4 point Likert scale from “not important” through to “very important”.  They would then be asked to answer a multiple choice question as to who currently performs this role at their school.  The data from the survey would feed into the third phase, which was to be focus groups at selected schools, where the participants would be the Principal and the Heads of Department.  The task of the focus group was to discuss the results of the self-completed questionnaire including the similarities and differences at their school.I promise I started small, but small wasn’t going to answer my research question!  Given that I am resigning from my current school at the end of the year to make a seachange to Narooma and I don’t yet have a job to go to – could I get away with my design?  Or would you advise that I cut it back as the task you set was a small-scale piece of research?  Kind regards

From: Antoinette Simon <>
Date: February 02, 2013 8:22:47 AM
To: Bev Moriarty <>
Subject: Fwd: [ EER500 201290 D D – Announcement ] EER500 201290 Message 26: Update on A2 Marking

Dear Bev
I am hoping you can see the biggest smile on my face as I read and respond to your email – i loved EER500 and I loved the way you delivered it!  
I teach Theory of Knowledge and assist with the early stages of the Extended Essay in the IB Diploma Program and I thought I knew what I was doing before: but your course and your teaching highlighted and addressed many gaps in my understanding (especially about refining questions; deductive and inductive knowledge; and research paradigms) so i can see that I am a much better teacher for my students now than I was three months ago – thank you!  
I hope I get to meet you one day in the not too distant future – in the meantime, and in your honour, I commit to try to keep smiling!

From: Antoinette Simon <>
Date: February 11, 2013 5:09:14 PM
To: Bev Moriarty <>
Subject: Re: [ EER500 201290 D D – Announcement ] EER500 201290 Message 27: Final important message

Hi Bev
You have made my day – I am thrilled with my mark and even more grateful for your detailed, thoughtful comments and recommendations!  (I aim to model the example you have set to my own students.)  The online academic writing course is a great idea and one I will be following up.
I look forward to keeping in touch and hopefully meeting you later in the year.
Meantime, I smile!

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