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## A Problem Statement

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**Evaluate 4 Samples as - Good or Bad - Acceptable or**Not A Problem Statement**PROBLEM STATEMENT**Evaluate 4 Samples as - Good or Bad - Acceptable or Not SAMPLE #1 I will look at what effect after school programs have on improving math TAKS scores of my low socio-economic students. NO - Poor YES - Good Acceptable?**PROBLEM STATEMENT**SAMPLE #1 I will look at what effect after school programs have on improving math TAKS scores of my low socio-economic students. This is a Statement of Purpose… … it is what YOU intend to do. I will look at… NO - Poor And, written in FIRST PERSON voice… <<< always wrong. I will look … …of my… YES - Good**PROBLEM STATEMENT**SAMPLE #2 Why are minorities and low socio-economic students dropping out of school before graduation? NO - Poor YES - Good Acceptable?**PROBLEM STATEMENT**SAMPLE #2 Why are minorities and low socio-economic students dropping out of school before graduation? NO - Poor This is a QUESTION… >> it’s not a statement of anything. Why are… … besides, when else are students supposed to drop out if not before graduation?**PROBLEM STATEMENT**SAMPLE #3 Students fall behind in math and have to repeat their grade level because their parents are not involved in their school work. NO - Poor YES - Good Acceptable?**PROBLEM STATEMENT**SAMPLE #3 Students fall behind in math and have to repeat their grade level because their parents are not involved in their school work. NO - Poor Students fall behind in math have to repeat their grade level Because… parents are not involved in their school work. Compound Problem >> just pick one problem. Pure Speculation >> no need to explain why even if you can support it. Research is about finding answers not suggesting them in advance.**PROBLEM STATEMENT**SAMPLE #4 Students are not passing TAKS tests in math and need remedial instruction. This puts too much stress on teachers. NO - Poor YES - Good Acceptable?**PROBLEM STATEMENT**SAMPLE #4 Students are not passing TAKS tests in math and need remedial instruction. This puts too much stress on teachers. Convoluted… What EXACTLY is the problem? NO - Poor Not Passing - or - needing remediation? Stress? … Too much stress? … or - the fact that the stress is experienced BY TEACHERS?**PROBLEM STATEMENT**… from Preceding Samples … Each one is Acceptable • Students are not passing TAKS tests in math. • Students fall behind in math achievement. • Students are not learning math well-enough for adulthood. • Students need excessive remedial instruction. • Students have to repeat their grade level. • Minority students tend to drop out of school. • Many low socio-economic students do not finish school. • Teachers experience unreasonable stress. • Parents are not sufficiently involved in their child’s school work. YES - Good … simple, direct, short, - states what is wrong.**PROBLEM STATEMENT**… What does it NOT say ? … • Students are not passing TAKS tests in math. • Students fall behind in math achievement. • Students are not learning math well-enough for adulthood. • Students need excessive remedial instruction. • Students have to repeat their grade level. • Minority students tend to drop out of school. • Many low socio-economic students do not finish school. • Teachers experience unreasonable stress. • Parents are not sufficiently involved in their child’s school work. Not about learning more. Not about grade-level “fit.” Not about prep. for life’s needs. Not about advancement in grade. Not about learning better. > Only about a passing score.**PROBLEM STATEMENT**… What does it NOT say ? … • Students are not passing TAKS tests in math. • Students fall behind in math achievement. • Students are not learning math well-enough for adulthood. • Students need excessive remedial instruction. • Students have to repeat their grade level. • Minority students tend to drop out of school. • Many low socio-economic students do not finish school. • Teachers experience unreasonable stress. • Parents are not sufficiently involved in their child’s school work. Not about passing TAKS tests. Not about understanding math. Not about math problem solving. Indirectly about life’s needs. Indirectly about advancement. > About learning - more/better/too little.**PROBLEM STATEMENT**… What does it NOT say ? … • Students are not passing TAKS tests in math. • Students fall behind in math achievement. • Students are not learning math well-enough for adulthood. • Students need excessive remedial instruction. • Students have to repeat their grade level. • Minority students tend to drop out of school. • Many low socio-economic students do not finish school. • Teachers experience unreasonable stress. • Parents are not sufficiently involved in their child’s school work. Not about passing TAKS tests. Not about test scores.Not about math performance. Not about remediation. Not about teaching methods. Indirectly about math understanding. Indirectly about math problem solving. > About life’s demands in adulthood.**PROBLEM STATEMENT**… What does it NOT say ? … • Students are not passing TAKS tests in math. • Students fall behind in math achievement. • Students are not learning math well-enough for adulthood. • Students need excessive remedial instruction. • Students have to repeat their grade level. • Minority students tend to drop out of school. • Many low socio-economic students do not finish school. • Teachers experience unreasonable stress. • Parents are not sufficiently involved in their child’s school work. Not about school policy. Not about demands on teachers. Not about methods of remediation. Not about test scores.Not about teaching methods. Not about students needing special attention. > About students’ deficiencies. – pervasive & extreme**PROBLEM STATEMENT**… What does it NOT say ? … Not about passing TAKS tests. Not about learning more for life. May be about inadequate learning for grade level demands - quantity / quality. • Students are not passing TAKS tests in math. • Students fall behind in math achievement. • Students are not learning math well-enough for adulthood. • Students need excessive remedial instruction. • Students have to repeat their grade level. • Minority students tend to drop out of school. • Many low socio-economic students do not finish school. • Teachers experience unreasonable stress. • Parents are not sufficiently involved in their child’s school work. Not about demands on teachers. Not about demands on schools. Not about implications for curriculum. Not about becoming drop-outs. May be about policy & options for managing students’ remediation.**PROBLEM STATEMENT**… What does it NOT say ? … • Students are not passing TAKS tests in math. • Students fall behind in math achievement. • Students are not learning math well-enough for adulthood. • Students need excessive remedial instruction. • Students have to repeat their grade level. • Minority students tend to drop out of school. • Many low socio-economic students do not finish school. • Teachers experience unreasonable stress. • Parents are not sufficiently involved in their child’s school work. Not about passing TAKS tests. Not about test scores.Not about learning. Not about urban or low socio-econ. Not about African American students. • About students’ educational opportunity. • About influences that contribute directly. • About direct & real consequences.**PROBLEM STATEMENT**… What does it NOT say ? … • Students are not passing TAKS tests in math. • Students fall behind in math achievement. • Students are not learning math well-enough for adulthood. • Students need excessive remedial instruction. • Students have to repeat their grade level. • Minority students tend to drop out of school. • Many low socio-economic students do not finish school. • Teachers experience unreasonable stress. • Parents are not sufficiently involved in their child’s school work. Not about passing TAKS tests. Not about test scores.Not about learning. Not about minorities. May be about home-environment, family or survival conditions outside of school. • About students’ educational opportunity. • About influences that contribute directly. • About direct & real consequences.**PROBLEM STATEMENT**… What does it NOT say ? … • Students are not passing TAKS tests in math. • Students fall behind in math achievement. • Students are not learning math well-enough for adulthood. • Students need excessive remedial instruction. • Students have to repeat their grade level. • Minority students tend to drop out of school. • Many low socio-economic students do not finish school. • Teachers experience unreasonable stress. • Parents are not sufficiently involved in their child’s school work. Not about standardized tests or scores. Not about school policy. Not about quality of students. Not about teaching methods. Indirectly about policy.Indirectly about social perspectives. • About goals/expectations/assessment of teachers & job consequences. • About the physiological & affective consequences of experiencing stress.**PROBLEM STATEMENT**… What does it NOT say ? … • Students are not passing TAKS tests in math. • Students fall behind in math achievement. • Students are not learning math well-enough for adulthood. • Students need excessive remedial instruction. • Students have to repeat their grade level. • Minority students tend to drop out of school. • Many low socio-economic students do not finish school. • Teachers experience unreasonable stress. • Parents are not sufficiently involved in their child’s school work. Not about test scores. Not about student progress. Not about student learning. Not about teaching. Not school policy or environment. > About parents directly in student learning in school & homework.**Summary Conclusions…**• A research study addresses a Problem… a need – not a curiosity. • Everything is related. • Lots of things are problems. • Lots of things influence lots of other things. • Everything has implications for everything else. • A Problem Statement must isolate, within the endless hierarchy of relationships, a specific problem (bad thing) and reduce or narrow the scope of the study to only the most immediate and directly related issues. • A Problem Statement defines what is and is not the primary concern of the study. Answering a research question is your study’s contribute to problem solution. It does not solve the problem.