I finished my M.Ed. in 2010 but I still craved something more - I had been bitten by the research bug. The original topic I wanted to pursue for my final M.Ed. task was impossible to investigate because there was an insufficient amount of research done on the topic. Thanks to conversations with Dr. Elizabeth Lee, she helped me to formulate a potential research question. With further assistance and support from Dr. Marie-Claire Shananhan, Dr. Lee, JoAnne Gibson, and the wonderful folks at the Ontario Library Association, I created my data tool and conducted a survey. It took five months to get the survey questions just right! Now I am indebted to Dr. Bozena White as she analyzes the data to help me understand my findings. I've had to "take a pause" at this point to look for some external funding - my husband is very tolerant, but he began to get concerned when he learned that I planned on paying for the research analysis out of my own personal funds!
My love affair with academic research is not limited to my own study. Last year I answered questions for Stephen Smith for his research project on "Graphic Novels in the Ontario Social Studies Curriculum" written for his Research Methods Summer 2011 at Canisius College for the Masters of Education program. In 2011, I was a case study for Leo L. Cao's study called "Serious Play: An exploratory multiple-case study on the emerging practice of appropriating digital games for academic learning" for the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. (I wasn't so keen on the title or the idea of "appropriating", but it wasn't my study.) I've written academic papers a couple of times for Robert G. Weiner, an associate humanities and sequential art librarian for Texas Tech University. This year, I am delighted to be involved in two projects ... actually, both are still in the formative stage of things, so I can't say too much right now but I'm very excited to be possibly involved.
The wonderful thing I discovered recently is that my staff doesn't look at me like a freak when I get passionate about research. My inquiry topic with my primary division students focuses on control; their questions are "what is control?" "what can I control?" and "how can I keep control?". This links to the learning skill of self-regulation on our report cards. There's been a surge in interest on this topic and while reading about it, I heard about the Stanford University "marshmallow experiment". I decided that as one of my lessons, I'd recreate a version of this experiment to see what occured. I have three kindergarten classes in my school and the results were very interesting.
- The first class had 4 students that ate the one candy instead of waiting
- The second class had 0 students that ate the one candy instead of waiting
- The third class had 7 students that ate the one candy instead of waiting