A CHALLENGE TO STUDENTS OF EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SCIENCE: EVALUATING THE PROBLEM

Step 1: Write a clear statement of problem for research.

Step 2: Review your statement and ask yourself the following questions.

• Is the problem in a complete grammatical sentence or question?

• Is it clear how the area of my study will be limited or focused?

Step 3: On the basis of your answers to questions in number 2, edit your written statement.

Step 4: Examine your edited statement and reflect on the following questions:

• Do the answers to this problem have potentials for providing important information?

• Will the result be more than a simple exercise of gathering information?

• Is the problem focused enough to be accomplished with a reasonable allocated time, money and effort.

Step 5: Looking at the statement once more consider this – is the problem really what I want to investigate.

Step 6: Show other research students your work. Ask them to consider the questions listed above and give their comments. With all these feedbacks, rewrite your problem statement once again. The need to show others your work is to accept constructive criticism as they say “two good heads are better than one’. Also show to those who are more knowledgeable than you in carrying out research and accept their inputs, criticisms and even grammatical corrections.

Sample of statement of research problem in selected research methods

ACTION RESEARCH

Action research it is a type of applied research that focuses on finding a solution to a local problem in a local setting. For example; a teacher investigates whether a new spelling program she has adopted leads to improvement in her students’ achievement scores.

Statement of the problem – Declarative form. This study is to investigate whether flip chart program in spelling leads to improvement in primary three students’ achievement scores in English language.

Interrogative form: The study will answer the question: Does flip chart program in spelling improve students’ achievement scores in English language?

CORRELATION RESEARCH

Correlation research is statistical investigation of the relationships but does not necessarily probe for casual reasons underlying them. For example: a researcher might investigate the relationship between entrance (admission) examination scores of students and final grade point average(GP) of students in secondary school.

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM DECLARATIVE FORM

This study investigates the relationship between entrance examination scores of senior secondary students and the quality of final grade point average(GPA) in senior secondary examination in Kwara state of Nigeria.

SURVEY RESEARCH

This is a common research method in business, sociology and education. Surveys are used to describe the incidence, frequency and distribution of certain characteristics in a population. It also involves acquiring information about one or more groups of people about their opinions, attitudes characteristics or previous experiences by asking them questions and tabulating their answers. The idea is to learn about a large population by surveying a sample of that population. Sometimes it is called “descriptive survey or normative survey.” The researcher can use percentages, frequency counts or more sophisticated statistical index and then draws inference from the responses got from the sample. For example a researcher will want to find out why there are more female student drop outs in secondary schools in a particular district than male student drop outs in the same district.

DECLARATIVE FORM

The researcher proposes to identify and evaluate the existing discrepancy between female student drop-outs and male student drop- outs in Kuala district in Rwanda.

INTERROGATIVE FORM

The study will answer the question: Are there more female student drop outs than male student dropouts and in Secondary schools in Kuala district in Rwanda and why?

OTHER EXAMPLES OF INTERROGATIVE FORMS OF STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

1. To what extent does Hip hop music influence deviance behavior within the youths in new York?

2. How does funding affect internal efficiency of schools in Kwanya local government areas of Zanzibar in T anzania?

3. What is the relationship between grade points average of Senior Secondary Schools and their reading skill in Banda Secondary School in Yanana?

Problem statement and the title are often nearly identical for example “To what extent does Hip hop music influence deviant behavior of youths in New York City.”

Title: Hip hop music influence on deviant behavior of youths in New York City.