discussion question 549

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200 words or more reply with resources

Research Question: What assessment tools are school officials using to determine the mental health status of children?

The research design I chose to use is Descriptive Design. I think this design would best answer the what, who, and the why of my question. I want to know what assessments tools are being used, who are performing the assessments, and why they felt the assessments needed to be given to certain students. In addition, with this design, a definite answer to your research question is not always a given. Looking at my research question, you may think that it’s a simple answer. However, if you take into consideration that there are thousands upon thousands of schools in the U.S. that possibly all have different assessment methods, then there’s really no cut and dry answer. There’s more than just knowing the types of assessments, it’s knowing about HOW those assessments were conducted because that is definitely a factor.

I felt that a Qualitative approach would best fit this design because I would be interviewing school officials and would hopefully get to know the participants and subjects of the study on a more personal level; all of which the Qualitative approach encompasses. From my understanding, the Qualitative approach is when you are trying to gain an understanding of “why” something is the way it is or “why” did something happen by using observations and interviews to collect data. Quantitative, to me, on the other hand is asking “what” happened instead of trying to determine the “why”. My research question doesn’t need just a “what happened”. It needs a, “why did this happen and what are some possible ways we can resolve?”

If I were choosing the Qualitative approach to help answer my research question, I would obtain my data by first speaking with the school guidance counselor/therapist or nurse at the school. I would ask questions about the frequency of incidents caused by mental illness or what may be perceived as a mental illness. I would also ask about the number of children at the school with a mental illness as well as examples of specific types of mental illness within the school, without retrieving personal identifying information. Interviewing the children, in a blind fashion, with a multiple-choice questionnaire about their life experiences would also be a way to capture data. If possible, I would also like to conduct focus groups because children tend to talk more openly when they see another child is open to communicate as well. Clearances and permission would need to be granted by the school and parents, so all of this would be completed at least 2-3 months prior. If permission were granted, I would record the interviews and focus groups through audio recording while disguising any actual names. Field notes would also accompany my recordings so that I am able to describe certain aspects of the


Gall, M. D., Gall, J. P., & Borg, W. R. (2015). Applying educational research: How to read, do, and use research to solve problems of practice (7th ed.). Boston: Pearson.

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