Effects of Globalization and Cross-Cultural Experiences in Education Sector’ Introduction I wonder if we can assume that the growing trend of people choosing to study abroad is a consequence of globalization. Furthermore I am interested in understanding the globalized educational culture and its’ associated issues on a local and international basis. The main objective of my research is to acquire as much information as possible and develop extensive knowledge of the research subject. Therefore employing a mixed method approach seemed appropriate.
Going forward using a flexible investigatory technique through combined deployment of systematic research review and documentary research, could enable addressing a wide range of research questions and quantitative analysis as well as qualitative study of the research data gathered. Henceforth implementing a pragmatist approach, following Onwuegbuzie and Leech (2005) account ‘pragmatists are simply those who learn to utilize and to appreciate both quantitative and qualitative research’ (Robson, 2011:171). Research Questions: What are the effects of international student’s influx on local students and higher educational institutions, in terms of annual openings and introduction of foreign cultures in the educational system? * Has the concept of globalization encouraged cross-cultural integration to reduce challenges faced by the international students? Research methods: ‘Systematic review’ and ‘Documentary research’ Use of documentary research alongside the systematic research review presents an opportunity for empirical research, allowing me to assemble data providing additional material needed for triangulation.
Although the two techniques are essentially different in nature and application, for instance various research studies to be assessed in a systematic review would be a product of primary research whilst the documents to be studied might not have been produced for any research purposes. Robson explains, ‘systematic reviews are a specific way of identifying and synthesizing research evidence’ and Gough, associating systematic research reviews to scientific methods, clearly indicates that the epistemology of systematic reviews is “Objectivist” and the theoretical perspective as “Positivist” or “Post-positivist”.
On the other hand documents mainly represent facts (quantitative content) or people’s understanding and interpretation of their social environment (qualitative content), thus the associated epistemology could be “Positivistic” or “Subjectivist”, depending on the nature of the documents. Similarly the theoretical perspective could be referred as “Realistic” or “Post-structuralist” respectively.
In spite of this being a contrasting combination, I feel it serves the purpose since the qualitative aspects I wish to investigate can only be revealed through the analysis of research studies with similar characteristics, whilst quantitative data can be collected mostly by searching through relevant documents and some to be found in research studies. So the focus is on gathering as much relevant information as possible. The table below shows how the two research methods are employed in relation to the research questions. Table 1: Measures applicable to the Research Questions?
Measures| Quantitative| Research Methods| Qualitative| Research Methods| | Number of educational institutions offering programmes for international students| Statistical analysis of data from systematic review of relevant studies and analysis of relevant documents| Awareness of globalization| Systematic review| | Growth of international students| | Trend of studying abroad| | | Number of incidents of locals protesting against foreign cultures| | Universities trying to keep a balance between openings for international student and local students | | | Number of cross-cultural programmes offered by universities| | Knowledge of foreign cultures| | | Number of anti-racism programmes offered by the governments. | Understanding of foreign cultures| | | Fee structure of local students| Documentary analysis| Acceptance of foreign cultures| | | Fee structure of international students| | Intermingling efforts by the locals| | | Number of international student applications| | Reactions of locals against foreign cultures| | | Number of local student applications| | Reaction of international students as a result of racial discriminations| | | Number of accepted local students | | Any cultural integrations programmes offered by educational institutions| | | Number of rejected local students on the basis of lack of vacancies| | Any anti-racism programmes offered by the governments| | | | | People’s attitude towards global culture| | Advantages and Disadvantages of Systematic Review & Documentary Research In addition to the most recognizable advantages of systematic research review and documentary research, such as low cost and time invested to gather high quality data, which can provide opportunities for longitudinal analysis and possibly with new interpretations, one most relevant benefit is the readiness of existing research data particularly suited for small scale research projects to be conducted by research students.
Admittedly as a student I will have limited access to research studies and any form of documents, except the ones published for public use possibly leading to biased sample selection, though in recent years the Freedom of Information Act (2000) has made a lot more information accessible. A possible tactic could be to make a formal request in advance to authorities since a tentative list of relevant studies and required documents would have been created at the outset. This would be especially necessary in case the required material has to be retrieved from archives; however modern computerized archival systems have made that task relatively easier.
Reliability and authenticity of data should not become a limitation relating to my research because relevant research studies and documents both would be obtained from official and published authentic sources. Coming across a mix of contrasting, biased and unbiased studies is expected; a potential disadvantage of systematic review; however the comparative analysis of research findings, based on coherent grouping and logical synthesis is what provides greater confidence in the validity and limitations of published arguments. The challenge would be that the task of quality and suitability assessment is not to be carried out by any expert team but will depend on my recently gained knowledge of the research techniques.
To minimize implementation errors, I have tried an explicit approach in outlining the process for both research methods and kept it coherent with the research questions. Also a study based on exhaustive inclusion criteria and comprehensive understanding of the research subject can significantly improve its validity. Generally researchers who adopt an interpretative approach to understanding the social sciences find the systematic review more problematic for the purpose of qualitative research. Nevertheless this research method is being extensively used both for quantitative and qualitative studies, although precision of execution is the important condition in order to obtain minimally biased and valuable results.
One key advantage of documentary research is its unbiased and unobtrusive nature, specifically when the research is focused on accumulating factual information; however the restricted availability of the documents and information lapse could be a likely disadvantage concerning my project. Most documents examined would be in relation to the quantitative analysis so concrete readings will be used to compare statistical data; hence original purposes of the document’s production should not impact deductions. The study of the same documents however using an interpretative approach, reading between the lines can reveal a qualitative perspective, yet another benefit of using documents analysis. Conclusion
Robson comments, systematic review, ’has recently gained a more specific meaning in the context of evidence-based approaches and the synthesis of research findings’ and documentary research ‘involves systematically identifying, locating, and analysing documents containing information related to the research problem’ (Robson, 2011:51). Thus it is evident together the two research methods can serve a corresponding purpose, and like any other research technique have to be applied with a clear focus and scope; principled and precise methodology and strong connection with the research questions to fulfil the purpose of the research. References * Denscombe M. (2010), The Good Research Guide: For small-scale research projects, Fourth Edition, Open University Press. * Sarantakos S. (2005) Social Research, Third Edition, Palgrave Macmillan, New York. * Dowling P. amp; Brown A. (2010), Doing Research/ Reading Research, Second Edition, Routledge, London * Cohen L. Manion, L. & Morrison K. (2007), Research Methods in Education, Sixth Edition, Routledge, London * Research Methods, ‘Unit 5 Systematic Reviews by Rees R. (2007). ’- Lecture Pack, Institute of education, University of London * Research Methods, ‘Unit 6 Documentary Research by Cowan S. (2007)’- Lecture Pack, Institute of education, University of London * Robson C. (2011), Real World Research, – Third Edition, Wiley, United Kingdom * May (2003), Perspectives on Social scientific Research. * Creswell (2007), Philosophical, Paradigm, nd Interpretive Frameworks * Punch (2006), A General Framework for Developing Proposals * Bryman A. (2012), Social Research Methods, Fourth Edition, Oxford University Press * Crotty M. (1998), The Foundations of Social Research: Meaning and Perspective in the Research Process, SAGE Publications Ltd. Appendix A Research Area: ‘Globalized Educational Culture’ Research Topic: ‘Effects of Globalization and Cross-Cultural experiences in Education Sector’ Purpose of the Research: The main objective of my research is to acquire as much information as possible and develop extensive knowledge and understanding of the research subject. Going forward, I aspire to pursue my interest in the study of global educational-culture.
Since I have exuberantly experienced teaching in different cultures and that is what inspired me to join a research study course, I would like to stay engaged in this field even for long term future research. Therefore I am using this as an opportunity to start my research, although within limited capacity nevertheless in a systematic and logical manner. The information and knowledge gathered through my research will certainly help me and hopefully be useful to others who are interested in this speciality, whether they are other students or additional members of the public. Appendix B Specific Research Questions: * Influx of international students may generate higher revenues for the local education institutions.
Would it also happen to limit the number of positions available in these institutions for the local students? * Do the financial benefits mitigate the eventualities of the influx? * Influx of international students may promote cross-cultural integration. Would it also stimulate the locals with not much knowledge, understanding or willingness to mingle with other cultures, resulting in demonstrating low tolerance for the outsiders? * Would such conditions threaten the international students and compel them to change their preferences of coming abroad to study, or could they take comfort in the hope that the concept of ‘globalization’ has taught societies to accommodate foreign cultures? Indicators in relation to research questions: Collect any available information on the identified indicators, ranging from most recent to within the last 20 years. * Mark the evolution of globalization and the trend of people choosing to study abroad. * Compare Fee structure of International students against local students. * Number of local students applied for admission in local institutions and denied due to lack of available positions. * Is there a system in place to secure positions for local students, irrespective of the increasing number of international students? * Do local institutions work towards keeping a balance? * Indicate the level of Knowledge, Understanding, and Acceptance and Intermingling efforts by the locals over the years? Explore incidents of low tolerance demonstrated by the locals for the outsiders? * Study of international students reactions to racial threatening conditions. * Do institutions make an effort to encourage their societies in promoting a global culture? * Study of peoples convictions in the phenomenon of Global Culture. * Any suggestions to resolve potential problems with the locals while promoting the idea of globalization? * Any suggestions to resolve potential problems with the locals while promoting the idea of globalization? Appendix C Data Collection Questions: As Punch states, ‘they are questions at the most specific level’ (Punch, 2006:24).
So a set of data collection questions can help define the parameters of the research, clearly identifying what relevant data (such as, concepts, factors, target samples, contextual information and etc. ) needs to be explored and how can it be sourced. According to Cherryholmes (1992) and Murphy (1990), ‘Pragmatists agree that research always occur in social, historical, political and other contexts’ (Creswell, 2007:23). The data collection questions are aimed at exploring those contexts. * What is the concept of globalization and what are the years to mark increasing trend of globalization? * What are the nationalities of people among whom most frequently choose to study abroad and which foreign countries are their preferred destinations? * What time period can we mark for our analyses, or instance studies conducted from what year up-till what, documents to be included between what and what year? * Students from what level of educational programmes and under which disciplines are to be considered? * Are we only considering local public educational institutions or private ones as well? * What documents to examine in order to track any financial and other registration activities of the educational institutions? * What documents could be the source of relevant statistical data? * What are the indicators of social and cultural activities? Appendix D Research Parameters Research studies from the last twenty years. Published research studies and documents are to be included.
Gathered data should include evidence for both quantitative and qualitative aspects. Appendix E Systematic Review The two methodologies I selected for my review process are ‘Use of a protocol ;amp; Strategies for comprehensive searching that also reduce biases inherent in publication (Rees, 2007:73;amp;74). Complete List of Categories for the Data search Main Categories * Globalization ;amp; Education * International Students * International Educational Institutions * Local v/s International students * Social attitudes towards international students * Experiences of International students Sub-categories * Globalization in relation to educational activities, Educational reports in relation to international students, * Reviews of educational institutions, * Economic reports in relation to higher educational sector, * Social reports in relation to educational participants ;amp; institutions, * Global trend of foreign education, * World-recognized educational Institutions, * Resource systems in educational institutions, * Thriving international universities, * Trends of growing countries, * Educational facilities in developing countries, * Racism in educational institutions * Social issues faced by international students Appendix F Research Sources Internet search for Published studies and looking through research journals for any relevant information.
Research Studies Relevant studies of both quantitative and qualitative nature with a wide range of outcomes will make up the research sample. Appendix G Figure 1: Process of ‘Systematic Research Review’ Appendix H Advantages ;amp; Disadvantages of Systematic Review Author| Advantages| Author| Disadvantages| Rees, 2007:70| Systematic reviews have the potential to produce fuller, more nuanced analyses of social phenomena. | Bryman, 2012:108| Systematic reviews can lead to bureaucratization of the process of reviewing the literature since it is concerned with the technical aspects of how it is done rather than the interpretations generated by it. Rees, 2007:70| The comparative analysis of findings in systematic reviews is characterized as providing greater confidence in the validity and limitations of published findings and arguments. | Cohen 2007:293| It is difficult to draw logical conclusions from studies that use different interventions, measurements, definitions of variables, and participants. | Fitz-Gibbon, 1985:46| Small scale research conducted by the students and lecturer will be valuable since meta-analysis provides a way of coordinating results drawn from many studies without having to coordinate the studies themselves. | Cohen 2007:293;amp; Bryman 2012:108| Published research is favoured over unpublished research ;amp; lack of panel for review assessment or cross evaluation both can effect reliability and validity of the research findings. Fitz-Gibbon, 1985:46| For historians, a whole new genre of studies is created- the study of how effect size vary over time, relating this to historical changes| Bryman, 2012:108| Research questions are not capable of being defined in terms of the effects of a particular variable or when the subject boundaries are too fluid or open to subject to change. | McGaw 1997:371| Quantitative meta-analysis replaces intuition, which is frequently reported narratively, as a means of synthesizing different research studies transparently and explicitly (a desideratum in many synthetic studies: Jackson 1980), particularly when they differ very substantially. | Glass et al. 1981:22 ;amp; McGaw 1997:372| Meta-analysis risks attempting to synthesize studies which are insufficiently similar to each other to permit this with any legitimacy other than at an unhelpful level of generality. Cooper and Rosenthal, 1980| Meta-analysis, is a means of avoiding Type II errors (failing to find effects that really exist), synthesizing research findings more rigorously and systematically, and generating hypotheses for future research. | Hedges ;amp; Olkin, 1980 and Cook et al. , 1992| However, show that Type II errors become more likely as the number of studies included in the sample increases. | Bryman 2012:102| The proponents of systematic review are likely to generate unbiased and comprehensive accounts of the literature. | Glass et al. , 1981| Although there is a risk in meta-analysis of dealing indiscriminately with a large and sometimes incoherent body of research literature. | Tranfield et al. , 2003| Review provides a more reliable foundation on which to design research, because it is based on a more comprehensive understanding of what we know about a subject. Bryman, 2012:108| The systematic approach assumes that an objective judgement about the quality of an article can be made however there is little consensus on how the quality of qualitative studies should be carried out. | Bryman, 2012:105| Proponents also recommend the approach for its transparency; in other words, the grounds on which studies were selected and how they were analysed are clearly articulated and are potentially replicable. | Cohen 2007:293| Results from poorly designed studies take their place alongside results from higher quality studies. Multiple results from a single study are used, making the overall meta-analysis appear more reliable than it is, since the results are not independent. Interaction effects are overlooked in favour of main effects. Bryman, 2012:312| Advantages of secondary analysis are low cost ;amp; time invested to gather high quality data, which can provide opportunities for longitudinal, sub-group and cross-cultural analysis also the reanalysis may offer new interpretations. | Bryman, 2012:312| Disadvantages could be the lack of familiarity with data, complexity of the data, no control over data quality and absence of key variables. | Appendix I Documentary Research A common approach to documentary analysis is content analysis, the quantitative analysis of what is in the document. Neuendorf (2002) defines it as ‘the systematic, objective, quantitative analysis of message characteristics’ (p. 1).
Krippendorff (2004) views it as ‘a research techniques for making replicable and valid inferences from texts (or other meaningful matter) to the context of their use’ (p. 18). The context includes the purpose of the document as well as institutional, social and cultural aspects. Whilst content analysis of documents is essentially quantitative measure of the various features present in the text, it can also involve the qualitative analysis of some types of text-based documents (Robson, 2011:349 ;amp; 350). List of Organizations as Keepers of Relevant Documents Educational institutions, student councils, research organizations, research institutions, media agencies, survey organizations, various government bodies, non-government organizations and international organizations. List of Relevant Documents
Research study reports, official government reports ;amp; records, demographic survey, newspaper articles, published surveys, published statistics, reviews relevant to the topic, national and international reports (immigrating populations and economic growth), International agency reports, social survey reports(for quantitative data plus interpretation could support qualitative inferences), university records and even digital documents such as media reports and documentaries. Appendix J Figure 2: Process of ‘Documentary Research’ Appendix K Advantages ;amp; Disadvantages of Documentary Research Author| Advantages| Author| Disadvantages| Bailey, 1994| Documents enable the researchers to reach inaccessible persons or subjects, as in the case in historical research. | Cohen, et al 2007:203| It is often difficult to disentangle fact from interpretation in a document and the research that is conducted using it. | Sarantakos, 2005| Documents are quick and easy to access without the risk of rejection, non-response, bias or any other respondent based problems. Cohen, et al 2007:203| Raises the concerns of validity of documents for use in research and yet their purpose might not coincide with the research purpose. The authors also point to the likely issues of bias, selectivity, attrition and selective survival of documents. | Denscombe, 2010| Documents are easy and inexpensive to access and that vast amounts of data can be obtained depending on the nature on the research. | Robson, 2011| The documents available may be limited or partial. | Robson, 2011| Documentary analysis is an unobtrusive measure, which is non-reactive, in that the document is not affected by the fact that you are using it. | Sarantakos, 2005| Can be biased since they represent the view of the authors. Sarantakos, 2005| Documentary study enables research that is, low cost, less time consuming, sole source and high quality of information. | Sarantakos, 2005| Documents are not usually representative of their kind and therefore, do not allow generalisations. | Sarantakos, 2005, Denscombe, 2010| Possibility of replication of the study given that documents are permanent. | Bailey, 1994| Indeed, attrition and ‘selective survival’, together with selective interpretation by the writer, may mean that they may present an incomplete record of the situation under concern. | Sarantakos, 2005| The act of measurement does not affect the results. | Cohen et al 2005:2003 cites Giddens 1979| Researchers have to live in a world that is already nterpreted and subject it to another interpretation in which the reader will also place an interpretation. No doubt that such interpretation is subjective and open to bias. | Geertz, 1973| A major strength in HDR is the content, context rich information they provide that can produce “thick description”. | Bailey, 1994| Validity may be strong in first person documents or in documents that were written for a specific purpose. However, that purpose may not coincide with that of research, thereby undermining its validity for research purposes. | Robson, 2011| The unobtrusiveness, flexibility of HDR is a positive along with the fact of pre-existing material that cannot be altered and thus removes an element of bias. Denscombe, 2010| Documents are at times perceived as social constructions that owe more to the interpretations of those who produce them rather than the objective reality. | Cowan, 2007| However as we have seen in recent years with laws such as the Freedom of Information Act (2000) information is becoming more readily available to the public. However when information pertains to an individual the restrictions of research ethics are of as much importance, as with any form of research. | Cowan, 2007| Document availability can either facilitate or hinder the work of researchers who may rely on documents for information. | ——————————————– [ 1 ]. Please refer to Appendix A for details of research topic and purpose of research. [ 2 ].
As Creswell explains that ‘the individual using multiple methods of data collection to best answer the research question, will focus on the practical implications of the research and will emphasize the importance of conducting research that best addresses the research problem’ (Creswell, 2007:23). [ 3 ]. ‘Systematic review turns existing research literature into the site of empirical investigation’, ‘to gain a sense of what has already been ‘found out’ about a given topic’, to serve varied purposes since ‘the value of working with more than one piece of research is widely recognized’ (Rees, 2007:69). [ 4 ]. ‘Documents are a representation of some view, practice, process, attitude or institutional function, and can be treated as rich empirical resources’ (Cowan, 2007:81). [ 5 ].
Research approaches applied by realists also have in their capacity to embrace both quantitative and qualitative ways of carrying out social research, as in the words of Lipscomb (2008) and McEvoy and Richards (2006), ‘realism as a natural partner for multi-strategy research’ (Robson, 2011:171). [ 6 ]. Please refer to Appendices B;C for further details of the research questions. [ 7 ]. Please refer to Appendix I-K for details of documentary research process, advantages and disadvantages. [ 8 ]. Please refer to Appendix D-H for details of systematic research review process, advantages and disadvantages. [ 9 ]. ‘Such comparison may be conceptualized in various ways: as a way of testing the reliability or authenticity of the elicited responses (or of the documents even)’ (Cowan, 2007:85). [ 10 ].
Robson explains, ‘systematic reviews are a specific way of identifying and synthesizing research evidence’ and tries to justify the reliability and validity of the findings based on the quality of evidence, comprehensive coverage of literature and the transparent, rigorous and explicit approach, the detailed process of data synthesis follows in a systematic review (Robson, 2011:103). [ 11 ]. Gough, associating systematic research reviews to scientific methods explains as the approach to synthesize primary research data using a systematic and explicit methodology to conduct secondary research, ‘is applicable to virtually all research questions’ (Gough, 2004:52). [ 12 ].
As cited by Creswell, ‘There is a concern with applications-“what works”-and solutions to problems (Patton, 1990). Thus, instead of a focus on methods, the important aspect of research is the problem being studied and the questions asked about this problem (Rossman & Wilson, 1985). (Creswell, 2007:22). [ 13 ]. A systematic review that includes only a quantitative study is a Meta-analysis’ and ‘Meta-ethnography is an approach to the synthesis of qualitative findings’ (Bryman, 2012:102). [ 14 ]. In many instances analysis involves trying to get below the surface of what is said within a document and to understand why something was said or why it was said in that way’ (Cowan, 2007:85).