Research in development of educational policy is the main issue under discussion. It should be noted that the federal government and especially the department of education has a department of statistics that is supposedly charged with researching on factors that may affect the development and implementation of educational goals (Thompson, Wood & Crampton, 2008). However, the nature of the policies that the government has developed do not in any way reflect a glimpse of research. The ideas and solutions brought up by the government are often aimed at addressing the consequences of the problems rather than the root causes.
One therefore tends to wonder what the statistics department mandate is and if the recommendations made by the research departments are ever implemented in the development of policies and structures that govern the education system (Thompson, Wood & Crampton, 2008). A number of issues are brought by the problem background that have directed the government policies and research process to directions that bear no benefit to the development of education and achievement of educational goals. Wrong Research Objectives
Government entities are known for their poor performance and delivery of goals. The educations system and the US. department of education are not exempted from this unfortunate state of affairs. How many students or teachers have in their educational life ever been respondent in research commissioned by the US department of education? The department of education has taken on a completely different approach to research where research is only commissioned after a problem has manifested itself to such an extent that its consequences are visible.
Therefore, objectives that are deterministic of the approach that the research will take on are often targeted at solving problems rather than identifying the cause of the problems. Prevention is therefore neglect at the expense of cure the difference being that what the research aimed at curing is not the disease rather the symptoms. Such poor objectives direct the research process in a course that recommendations made will not in any way address the root cause of the problem and may even be harmful to the education system.
Objectives in a research determines the significance of the research and methodology that will be employed to meeting the goals. Objectives that are aimed at addressing a problem lead to different approach to research as those that are aimed at finding problems. In fact to bring out the difference clearly, the former is restricted to particular areas of research and the latter is more exploratory. Innovation and creativity which are aspects important in the meet of both educational goals and development of research that will ensure problems faced by the education systems are addressed, lack in this approach (Manna, 2006).
A research approach that is restrictive minimizes the likelihood of detection of problems whose manifestation is yet to be determined and provide a small basis for explaining the nature of problems. Therefore, poor objectives in research commissioned by governments research agencies is to blame for the current problems that the education systems is faced with as they are accommodative of failure and fail to appreciate the benefits that prevention has over cure. Funding Research Research and development are some of the most costly operations in the development of any organization.
A well implemented research requires preparation and conclusive coverage of the target population and the subject being covered. In organizations that are seriously committed to research development and implementation of research findings in either addressing problems and harnessing opportunities the amount of resources allocated to research is always considerable (Ladson-Billings & Tate, 2006). The research process is also required to be independent of the management to ensure clarity in objectives and reduce the risk of interference.
The federal government is responsible for allocation of resources to research institution whose research affect the policies that the government will develop regarding education. If the government is traced to be the main problems in the education system, the entire research process and the implementation of recommendation is brought into disrepute. The double standards involved in the research where the resource providers is a key variable in the research brings disrepute to the entire research and there is little hope of any results representative of the conditions as they really are coming out of such a process.
Carrying out the Research The manner in which the actual research process is carried out determines the accuracy of data and recommendations that will result from the research. A sampling approach is the main approach to research that has been adopted in addressing issues that affect the education system. A few schools are sampled and findings made from such schools assumed to be applicable to others. These approach is made possible by the nationalization of the education system where policies are developed by the by the same entities, similar syllabus are used and teachers derived from similar institutions (Fuhrman & Azerson, 2005).
However, the homogeneity of the educational system in research is an assumptions that should never be made. The education system is a learning system where learners from varied background interact to gain information and knowledge. Learning from both psychological and social theories is greatly governed by attitudes and behavior which are a product of the interaction between personal attributes, family values and environmental influences. Simplification of the process of learning that is postulated by the implementation of a sampling approach to research results to wrong results.
Learning policies should be developed at the learner level rather than stakeholder level, thus the approach used in research by the federal aided agencies does not address learner needs rather it develops a national framework on what the problem in education systems could be (Fuhrman & Azerson, 2005). Implementation of Report Findings The federal government has over the years developed a single policy for handling problems relating to social systems: Allocation of additional resources to address the problem.
Money and resources are means through which objectives are met, the development of strategies that will ensure the means are used in the best way possible way is key to achievement of developmental objectives. In fact, in most cases recommendations formulated by research and corrective measures developed by the federal government bear little correlation. The basis of the educational system which is the making of the federal government is also to blame for the poor implementation of recommendations developed by research.
The educational system is viewed at the national levels and thus disparities in performance between different schools that combine to create a near normal performance are never realized. An education gap is slowly developing as the number of schools in the extreme ends of achievement and success in education is on the increase. Implementing similar recommendations for schools in the US makes an assumptions that the education system is based on its founding principle of equality while reality on the ground spells the contrary (Donaldson & Townsend, 2007).
Developing uniform recommendations for an unequal system not only adds to the inequality but effectively ensures failure of the system in meeting its social goals which are often based on equality. Recommendations Social constructivism theories dictate that issues relating to learning should be addressed at the learner level and that the social system, values, culture and environmental are all important to learner perception and should therefore be considered in the development of policies relating to education.
The development of educational policies and research should be decentralized and lowered to the school level rather than national level (Cohen, Fuhrman & Mosher, 2007). The role that the federal government play in controlling finances to research into education should be reallocated to an entity that does not hold much influence in the failure or success of education.
The federal government’s role in the development of the education system cannot be discounted however, the inefficiencies that have resulted from its unilateral control of areas key to the success of education can be avoided in future if a more distributed systems of control is introduced in research on issues relating to the education system. Reference List Cohen, D. K. , Fuhrman, S. & Mosher, F. (2007). The State of Education Policy Research. New Jersey: Routledge. Donaldson, J. F. & Townsend, B. K. (2007).
Higher Education Journals’ Discourse about Adult Undergraduate Students, Journal of Higher Education, 78, 32 Fuhrman, S. & Azerson, M. L. (2005). The Public Schools: The Public Schools. New York: Oxford University Press US. Ladson-Billings, G. & Tate, W. F. (2006). Education Research in the Public Interest: Social Justice. New York, NY: Teachers College Press. Manna, P. (2006). School’s in: Federalism and the National Education Agenda. Washington DC: Georgetown University Press. Thompson, D. C. , Wood, C. R. & Crampton, E. F. (2008). Money and Schools. New York: Eye On Education, Inc.