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A Mixed-Methods Design in Educational Institutions: Gender, Teacher Praise and Criticism, and Student Motivation in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

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By: Published: 2017 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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Abstract

The gender achievement gap, where males demonstrate lower performance in academics, is not fully understood. This research was the first of its kind undertaken in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in 2012-2013. I employed a mixed-methods design for this research to reduce issues inherent in the use of each type of method, as well as to gather data from the most relevant stakeholders. Research questions, sample, and data collection modes were varied. Using a social psychological perspective, I investigated several questions under four research categories: (a) amount of praise and criticism, (b) types of praise and criticism, (c) interpretation of praise as criticism, and (d) source of praise and criticism. The sample consisted of Third Form secondary school students (aged 13-17 years). The data collection comprised classroom observations of four selected classes based on specific criteria, a student survey given to a total of nine classes (four from the initial selection and five others randomly selected from the secondary/high schools across the country), 48 random interviews of students, as well as end-of-term grades for mathematics and English, from the four initial classes. I concluded my research by creating a guide for the St. Vincent and the Grenadines teachers complete with research findings and suggestions.

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