I chose to base my studies on J. because we shared a lot in common; we are both Christians living in a predominantly Muslim country. He is eleven years old. His parents are Jordan nationals who have lived in Bahrain for at least two years. J goes to school at Naseem International School where I work. The school offers PYP programs. Lessons are conducted in English; however, Arabic lessons are also offered per week. Majority of kids in this school are Muslims most of whom are Bahrainis. Other nationalities making the student population are Saudis, Lebanese, Jordanians, few South Africans, and other Arabian Gulf countries. Teachers are a mixture of nationalities. Some of them are Arabs, others South Africans, while some are Europeans.
Different research methodologies were used to collect information on J's school progress and behavior. Some of the methodologies used were, to mention but a few, unstructured interviews, non-directed and focus interviews, and naturalist and participant observations.
I engaged a number of J's teachers and his school counselor in unstructured interviews at different stages during a six-week period. These interviews gave me some degree of freedom and flexibility with regard to posing my questions (Cannell and Kahn, 1968). The content, the sequence, and wording of the questions were entirely under my control (Kerlinger, 1970). The unstructured interview was, however, carefully planned. This was done to do away with a notion that unstructured interviews are casual affairs. It gave me freedom to identify J's behavior and learning problems as opposed to structured interviews where content and procedures are organized in advance (Tuckman, 1972). The sequence and wording of questions in structured interviews are determined by a means of a schedule. The investigator is left with little freedom to make modifications. Leeway may be granted to the investigator in structured interviews; however, this is specified in advance. Such conditions could not allow me the freedom of identifying student J's behavior and learning problems (Cohen, Manion, and Morrison, 2007, p. 355). Non-directed and focus interviews were used to elicit personal data from J. these were used in different stages of the six weeks research period.
The non-directed personal interviews elicited highly personal data from J. In fact, it increased his self-awareness and improved his skills in self-analysis. This method has a reputation for helping patients identify issues to do with their behaviors and leaning problems. With such kind of interviews, J was supposed to identify his behavior and learning problems and constructively change them. In focus interviews, I was able to construct an interview guide (Cohen, Manion, and Morrison, 2007, p. 378). This helped me in identifying some of the major areas of inquiry and hypotheses. These determine the kind of data to be obtained in an interview. Interviewee's responses enable an interviewer to test the validity of the hypotheses and ascertain unanticipated responses to the situation. This gives rise to further hypotheses. I chose focus interview because I could carry out prior analysis of J's situation. Through it I could understand and confirm J's behavior and learning problems prior to unconstructive interviews (Cohen et al., 2007, p. 378).
I also used naturalist and participant observation within the six weeks period. I particularly settled on participant observation because it is combined with other forms of data collection that elicit participant's definition of situations and their organizing constructs in accounting for situations and behavior. This helps ingeneration of thick descriptions of social processes and interactions which lead to accurate explanation and interpretation of events. In this regard a researcher own inferences are never relied on. Data obtained from such processes are strong on reality. The methodology helped me to collect a more honest significant context and a real outcome about J's learning outcomes and behaviors (Cohen et al., 2007, p. 405). I also collected historical data on J's grade, his discipline, his progress reports, and parent's phone call records.
My first unstructured interview was with Ms. Carlin. The interview was conducted with a view to identifying J's behavior and learning problems. The interview that lasted for 30 minutes was conducted on 8th November, 2012 in Ms. Carlin form class at Naseem International School. Ms Carlin was chosen because she was J's first teacher at Naseem International School. She was his form teacher the first year he arrived at the school. Ms. Carlin opined that…