Comment on its growth rates over the period of last ten years about 300

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TASK DESCRIPTION:
For Australia
1. Comment on its growth rates over the period of last ten years about 300 words. 15 marks] 2. Critically analyze the reasons for the variation of growth rates in that time period about 1200 words 110 marks! 3. What are the major challenges Australia faces in enhancing its growth rates in about 500 words. 15 marks]

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#065

Need help fixing work that was turned in with errors…please see bottom comment

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Need help fixing work that was turned in with errors…please see bottom comment on what needs to be correctedInstructionsYou are currently working at NCLEX Memorial Hospital in the Infectious Diseases Unit. Over the past few days, you have noticed an increase in patients admitted with a particular infectious disease. You believe that the ages of these patients play a critical role in the method used to treat the patients. You decide to speak to your manager, and together you work to use statistical analysis to look more closely at the ages of these patients.You do some research and put together a spreadsheet of the data that contains the following information:You are to put together a PowerPoint presentation that explains the analysis of your findings which you will submit to your manager. The presentation should contain all components of your findings. For review, the components of the report should include:The calculations should be performed in your spreadsheet that you will also submit to your manager. You can find additional information on what to add to your PowerPoint presentation in this Word document. Use the questions in the worksheet as your guide for the contents of your presentation. For your final deliverable, submit your PowerPoint presentation and the Excel workbook showing your work.  ITEMS TO CORRECT: “the problem is a fundamental one. You are using z throughout your calculations, which is not applicable here. You need to use t instead. Because of this, your calculations are all incorrect. Plus, we are not talking about the average age of 60. Be sure to follow the problem instructions.”

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#065

Comment 1 Procreation is the bringing forth of an offspring while reproduction

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Comment 1Procreation is the bringing forth of an offspring while reproduction is Meilaender stated in his writing that “we should not hesitate to regard reproduction that makes use of third parties collaborators as wrong- even when collaboration seems to be in a good cause” (Meilaender, 2013). Meilaender referred to begotten as a child that is born in marriage and by natural means. In contrast to being made, which was presented as any child produced outside the of the traditional setting which being born from a marriage between man and woman by natural means. Being born out of wedlock, cloning, and other means of producing a child is seen as “being made.” I do not agree with his descriptions. An individual should not be made to feel like a failure in God’s eyes for wanting to become a parent using alternative methods and or for reproducing out of wedlock. If the child is loved and cared for, then how they came to be should not matter or have a name to describe it. For example, a cousin of  mine couldn’t conceive a child through natural means so instead she had to use IVF. She and her husband are caring people who love their daughter very much.Comment 2In this religious and scientific world, procreation and reproduction and being begotten or being made all are quiet complex questions. Procreation is the bringing your offspring to this world and reproduction is the process in which organisms are produced by their parents. However, with different schools altogether with different views they would have various different ways of approaching the same topic. Generally, cloning is replicating genetically identical organisms and replication is the power of science. However, all these issues are based on morality. According to Meileander, by following the Christian theology a child is the gift of God therefore, it holds a lot of importance and is valued a lot (Middletown, J.Richard. (1994)). Basically, I would tend to agree with the description on the basis of its analysis and precision but from the moral point of view it lacks its value.

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#065

Comment 1 Imago dei is the view of Christians as the human is made in the image

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Comment 1Imago dei is the view of Christians as the human is made in the image of God (Shelly & Miller, 1999).  This is important to healthcare as we should treat our patients as they are a gift from God and everyone has a purpose in life.  The complexity of a human body is a miracle in its self when a human being is created with cells and the multiplication of all those cells to create different organs, blood, and a body to house everything.  As we treat our patients medically and spiritually, we do it for the love and devotion we must aid in healing those that are sick or make a person comfortable at the end of life.  Every person has a place on this earth with a duty to perform, but it is up to that individual to create a compassionate or hateful life. “The fundamental goal of health care and medicine is healing and caring that results in physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being” (Clark, 2018).  This holds truth as to how healthcare and religion play a factor in caring for God’s people.  As nurses we are not to judge a person and the choices they have made and any events leading up to the reason for the hospital admission.  We are there to promote a better future and offer a hand to aid them in the right direction.  Nurses are never to cause harm and to view each individual as a miracle that has been created, will give a more nurturing care for each individual patient.Comment 2The concept of imago dei is the Christian understanding that we, and all human beings, are created in the likeness and image of God himself. Since we are created in the His image, every person no matter their mental, physical, social, or any other marker of status, has been bequeathed a certain dignity and honor (Allen-Shelley & Miller, 2006).This concept is the foundation of how Western society views and approaches human rights. It is present in our legal, health care, and social service systems. Thus, it is important in health care because it forms the basis for how we approach others. It is also important because it tells us that every human being is deserving of our care, no matter what their diagnosis may be, whether they have the ability to pay, or for any other reason (Allen-Shelley & Miller, 2006). It is relevant because, in health care we frequently experience situations in which medical care seems futile, like the example in Allen-Shelley & Miller (2006) of the infant born with a poor prognosis of life. We also frequently come across people who do not have the means to pay for their health care and/or do not have adequate health insurance. Per imago dei, these people are still deserving of care despite their inability to pay or their social status.

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#065

Comment 1 Scientism is based on the belief that only scientific claims are mean

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Comment 1Scientism is based on the belief that only scientific claims are meaningful. It is the broad based belief that the “assumptions and methods of research and natural sciences are equally appropriate to all disciplines, including philosophy, the humanities and the social sciences” (Basics, 2018).  Scientism can be seen as a faith that science has no boundaries, and that in due time all human problems and all aspects of human endeavors will be dealt and solved by science alone.When one is thinking of their own personal religious beliefs, only a minority of adults perceive a conflict between science and their own personal religious beliefs.  According to Funk & Alper, 2015, thirty percent of Americans would say that their own religious beliefs conflict with science while sixty eight percent say that science and their religious beliefs do not conflict.In my opinion, religion and spirituality embraces the idea of God’s creation with the involvement of science. Science can not explain everything and there are some things that can not be proven with facts alone. Spirituality and religion will the gaps of the facts that can not be proven with science. Personally, scientism does not conflict with my religion. As nurses, (hopefully), we all chose this career path because we love God and we want to help people. Nurses should be providing compassionate care to everypatient and their loved ones. Nurses should also be providing compassion to every person they come in contact with outside of the hospital or work place. I feel privileged to call myself a nurse. I worked hard to obtain my degree and have been practicing for fifteen years now. Now God has led me back to school to achieve more for myself, my family, and my patients.Comment 2Being a nurse, I have seen the tension that science and religion has a few times. Patient who made the decision that they are placing their “health” into Gods hands get confronted by the doctors who will try  to convince the patient to go for another treatment or sign consent for surgery.Body and spirit cannot be separated in our understanding of human beings; yet, because of the two-sidedness of our nature, we can look at the person from each of these angles. Understanding our nature in this way, we learn something about how we should evaluate medical “progress.” It cannot be acceptable simply to oppose the forward thrust of scientific medicine. That zealous desire to know, to probe the secrets of nature, to combat disease—all that is an expression of our created freedom from the limits of the “given,” the freedom by which we step forth as God ’s representatives in the world. But a moral vision shaped by this Christian understanding of the person will also be prepared to say no to some exercises of human freedom. The never-ending project of human self-creation runs up against the limit that is God.

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#065

150 Word Comment That Summarize Chapter 6,7,8,9 Of Wallace And Wray (2011)

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College essay writing servicePurchase the answer to view it.
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#075

150 Word Comment On Chapter 9 Of Wallace And Wray (2011)

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College essay writing serviceKeywordsCritical Analysis exercise; Critical Analysis QuestionsThis chapter focuses on how you can use your mental map in developing an in-depth analysis of any text from the front-line literature. The framework we put forward and exemplify in use is an elaboration of the Critical Summary based on the five Critical Synopsis Questions that you met in Part One. Completing a Critical Analysis of a text takes a lot of effort. But you will reap some very valuable rewards if you make that effort for the texts that are of most central significance for your work. First, you will get to know the texts extremely well and will have quite comprehensively evaluated them. Second, you will have assembled, in a structured format, the basis for writing an incisive Critical Review of each text individually, or a Comparative Critical Review of multiple texts (to be discussed in Chapter 11). Most importantly, the more Critical Analyses you do, the more familiar you will become with the key and components of your mental map, and with the Critical Analysis Questions that can be asked of a text. Eventually, using the map and asking the Critical Analysis Questions will become automatic. Then you will be in a position to use your mental map and Critical Analysis Questions selectively, without necessarily having to check whether you have forgotten to ask any questions, or needing to write your responses down.We now introduce our structured approach for undertaking a Critical Analysis of a text. At the end of the chapter, once you have read through these ideas, we invite you to conduct your own full Critical Analysis of Wallace’s article in Appendix 2, referring as you go along to the various sources of guidance we have provided. (In the following chapter, we will offer our own Critical Analysis along with comments on our reasoning at each step, so that you can compare your responses with ours.)The five Critical Synopsis Questions introduced in Chapter 3 encouraged you to:The ten Critical Analysis Questions do the same job (Table 9.1), but in more detail. The first expansion, in Critical Analysis Questions 2 and 3, helps you analyse what the authors are doing (and so alerts you to potential limitations of their work that might affect how convincing you find their claims). The second expansion, in Critical Analysis Questions 5 to 9, helps you evaluate the claims in a more sophisticated way.We will presently introduce a form that is completed as part of the process of conducting the structured Critical Analysis. The form contains ideas to guide your critical thinking at three levels:We suggest you carry out your Critical Analysis at the same time as you read a text, rather than afterwards. The Critical Analysis Questions are grouped to form a sequence:Table 9.1 Linking Critical Synopsis Questions with Critical Analysis QuestionsCritical Synopsis QuestionAssociated Critical Analysis Question(s)A Why am I reading this?1 What review question am I asking of this text?B What are the authors trying to do in writing this?2 What type of literature is this?3 What sort of intellectual project is being undertaken?C What are the authors saying that is ? relevant to what I want to find out?4 What is being claimed that is relevant to answering my review question?D How convincing is what the authors are saying?5 To what extent is there backing for claims?6 How adequately does any theoretical orientation support claims?7 To what extent does any value stance affect claims?8 To what extent are claims supported or challenged by others’ work?9 To what extent are claims consistent with my experience?E In conclusion, what use can I make of this?10 What is my summary evaluation of the text in relation to my review question?Below, we set out all the Critical Analysis Questions, sub-questions and prompts in the order that they appear on the blank Critical Analysis form. Beneath each of the ten Critical Analysis Questions, we have offered our rationale (shaded) for why we consider it important to ask this question of the text.We suggest you now read carefully through the explanations, checking that you understand the rationale for each Critical Analysis Question.1 What review question am I asking of this text?(e.g., What is my central question? Why select this text? Does the Critical Analysis of this text fit into my investigation with a wider focus? What is my constructive purpose in undertaking a Critical Analysis of this text?)Rationale for Critical Analysis Question 1. It is crucial to begin by identifying a review question. In an essay, this question may map onto a central question, while in a longer piece of work it will probably reflect one aspect of the central question. The review question provides you with a rationale for selecting a particular text and a constructive purpose for reading it critically. Any text you select should potentially contribute to addressing your review question.2 What type of literature is this?(e.g., Theoretical, research, practice, policy? Are there links with other types of literature?)Rationale for Critical Analysis Question 2. Identifying the main type of literature that the text belongs to will help you to predict what its features are likely to be. The type of literature will indicate the main kind of knowledge embodied in any claim, enabling you to check whether typical limitations of claims to this kind of knowledge may apply. (See the section in Chapter 8 on types of literature, including Table 8.1.)3 What sort of intellectual project for study is being undertaken?Rationale for Critical Analysis Question 3. Establishing the authors’ intellectual project will clue you in to what they are trying to achieve, why and how. You will be aware of whom they are seeking to convince of their argument and associated claims to knowledge. You will then be in a good position to evaluate what they have done. (See the section in Chapter 8 on different sorts of intellectual project, including Table 8.2.)Sub-questions(a) How clear is it which intellectual project the authors are undertaking? (i.e., Knowledge-for-understanding, knowledge-for-critical evaluation, knowledge-for-action, instrumentalism, reflexive action?)(b) How is the intellectual project reflected in the authors’ mode of working? (e.g., A social science or a practical orientation? Choice of methodology and methods? An interest in understanding or in improving practice?)(c) What value stance is adopted towards the practice or policy investigated? (e.g., Relatively impartial, critical, positive, unclear? What assumptions are made about the possibility of improvement? Whose practice or policy is the focus of interest?)(d) How does the sort of intellectual project being undertaken affect the research questions addressed? (e.g., Investigation of what happens? What is wrong? How well a particular policy or intervention works in practice?)(e) How does the sort of intellectual project being undertaken affect the place of theory? (e.g., Is the Investigation informed by theory? Generating theory? Atheoretical? Developing social science theory or a practical theory?)(f) How does the authors’ target audience affect the reporting of research? (e.g., Do the authors assume academic knowledge of methods? Criticize policy? Offer recommendations for action?)4 What is being claimed that is relevant to answering my review question?Rationale for Critical Analysis Question 4. As a basis for considering whether what the authors have written is convincing, you will need to identify any argument that they are putting forward in the text and establish what main claims to particular kinds of knowledge underlie it. Concentrate on identifying a small number of major ideas by summarizing the content of the text. Try to avoid getting distracted by minor details. (See the section in Chapter 8 on kinds of knowledge, including Figure 8.1.) As further preparation for a critical consideration of the authors’ claims, it is helpful to work out the degree of certainty with which any knowledge claim is asserted and the degree to which the authors generalize beyond the context from which the claim to knowledge was derived. (See the section in Chapter 7 on dimensions of variation among knowledge claims, including Figure 7.1.)Sub-questions(a) What are the main kinds of knowledge claim that the authors are making? (e.g., Theoretical knowledge, research knowledge, practice knowledge?)(b) What is the content of each of the main claims to knowledge and of the overall argument? (e.g., What, in a sentence, is being argued? What are the three to five most significant claims that encompass much of the detail? Are there key prescriptions for improving policy or practice?)(c) How clear are the authors’ claims and overall argument? (e.g., Stated in an abstract, introduction or conclusion? Unclear?)(d) With what degree of certainty do the authors make their claims? (e.g., Do they indicate tentativeness? Qualify their claims by acknowledging limitations of their evidence? Acknowledge others’ counter-evidence? Acknowledge that the situation may have changed since data collection?)(e) How generalized are the authors’ claims – to what range of phenomena are they claimed to apply? (e.g., The specific context from which the claims were derived? Other similar contexts? A national system? A culture? Universal? Is the degree of generalization implicit? Unspecified?)(f) How consistent are the authors’ claims with each other? (e.g., Do all claims fit together in supporting an argument? Do any claims contradict each other?)5 To what extent is there backing for claims?Rationale for Critical Analysis Question 5. It is important to check the extent to which the main claims to knowledge upon which any argument rests are sufficiently well supported to convince you, whether through evidence provided by the authors or through other sources of backing. (See the section in Chapter 7 on dimensions of variation amongst knowledge claims, including Figure 7.1, and the section in Chapter 8 on types of literature, including the potential limitations of claims to knowledge listed in Table 8.1.)Sub-questions(a) How transparent are any sources used to back the claims? (e.g., Is there any statement of the basis for assertions? Are sources unspecified?)(b) What, if any, range of sources is used to back the claims? (e.g., First-hand experience? The authors’ own practice knowledge or research? Literature about others’ practice knowledge or research? Literature about reviews of practice knowledge or research? Literature about others’ polemic? Is the range of sources adequate?)(c) If claims are at least partly based on the authors’ own research, how robust is the evidence? (e.g., Are there methodological limitations or flaws in the methods employed? Do the methods include cross-checking or ‘triangulation’ of accounts? What is the sample size and is it large enough to support the claims being made? Is there an adequately detailed account of data collection and analysis? Is there a summary of all data that is reported?)(d) Are sources of backing for claims consistent with the degree of certainty and the degree of generalization? (e.g., Is there sufficient evidence to support claims made with a high degree of certainty? Is there sufficient evidence from other contexts to support claims entailing extensive generalization?)6 How adequately does any theoretical orientation support claims?Rationale for Critical Analysis Question 6. Any text must employ certain concepts to make sense of whatever aspect of the social world is being discussed. Many texts will feature an explicit theoretical orientation as a framework for understanding and possibly as a basis for the authors’ recommendations for improvement. You will need to decide whether the claims being made are clear and coherent, and whether you accept the assumptions on which they rest. To assist your critical reflection, check which concepts and other tools for thinking have been used, what they are taken to mean and how they frame the claims being made. (See the section in Chapter 6 on tools for thinking, the section in Chapter 8 on types of literature, including the potential limitations of claims to knowledge listed in Table 8.1, and the section on different sorts of intellectual project, including Table 8.2.)Sub-questions(a) How explicit are the authors about any theoretical orientation or conceptual framework? (e.g., Is there a conceptual framework guiding the data collection? Is a conceptual framework selected after the data collection to guide analysis? Is there a largely implicit theoretical orientation?)(b) What assumptions does any explicit or implicit theoretical orientation make that may affect the authors’ claims? (e.g., Does a particular perspective focus attention on some aspects and under-emphasize others? If more than one perspective is used, how coherently do the different perspectives relate to each other?)(c) What are the key concepts underpinning any explicit or implicit theoretical orientation? (e.g., Are they listed? Are they stipulatively defined? Are concepts mutually compatible? Is the use of concepts consistent? Is the use of concepts congruent with others’ use of the same concepts?)7 To what extent does any value stance adopted affect claims?Rationale for Critical Analysis Question 7. Since no investigation of the social world can be completely value-free, all claims to knowledge will reflect the value stance that has been adopted. So it is important to check what values have guided the authors of a text, how these values affect their claims and the extent to which the value stance makes the claims more or less convincing. (See the section in Chapter 6 on tools for thinking, the section in Chapter 8 on types of literature, including the potential limitations of claims to knowledge listed in Table 8.1, and the section on different sorts of intellectual project, including Table 8.2.)Sub-questions(a) How explicit are the authors about any value stance connected with the phenomena? (e.g., A relatively impartial, critical or positive stance? Is this stance informed by a particular ideology? Is it adopted before or after data collection?)(b) How might any explicit or implicit value stance adopted by the authors be affecting their claims? (e.g., Have they pre-judged the phenomena discussed? Are they biased? Is it legitimate for the authors to adopt their particular value stance? Have they over-emphasized some aspects of the phenomenon while under-emphasizing others?)8 To what extent are claims supported or challenged by others’ work?Rationale for Critical Analysis Question 8. It is unlikely that any study of an aspect of the social world will be wholly unrelated to others’ work. One valuable check is therefore to examine whether authors make links with other studies. Another is to consider, from your knowledge of other literature, how far the claims being made are supported by work that others have done. So you may wish to refer to other texts that address phenomena related to the text you are analysing.Sub-questions(a) Do the authors relate their claims to others’ work? (e.g., Do the authors refer to others’ published evidence, theoretical orientations or value stances to support their claims? Do they acknowledge others’ counter-evidence?)(b) If the authors use evidence from others’ work to support their claims, how robust is it? (e.g., As for 5(c).)(c) Is there any evidence from others’ work that challenges the authors’ claims and, if so, how robust is it? (e.g., Is there relevant research or practice literature? Check any as for 5(c).)9 To what extent are claims consistent with my experience?Rationale for Critical Analysis Question 9. Your own experience of the social world will probably not be identical to that being studied in the text but it is still relevant. In considering how convincing the claims made in a text may be, it is worth checking whether these claims have significant similarities with your experience and evaluating whether they sound feasible or unrealistic, given what you know from experience.10 What is my summary evaluation of the text in relation to my review question?Rationale for Critical Analysis Question 10. What you have learned from your answers to Critical Analysis Questions 2–9 provides the basis for your overall, well-informed and balanced judgement about how convincing are the claims being made that relate to your review question (Critical Analysis Question 1). All your answers will now be available for you to draw upon selectively as you write an account of the text when addressing the review question that has driven your critical reading activity.Sub-questions(a) How convincing are the authors’ claims and why?(b) How, if at all, could the authors have provided stronger backing for their claims?Appendix 3 is a blank Critical Analysis form. You may wish to photocopy it and then complete one form for each text that you analyse in detail. If you have access to a computer, you may prefer to create a master file by typing in the content of the blank form, then using it as a template. (You can also download a Critical Analysis template from the SAGE website: www.sagepub.co.uk/wallaceandwray.) You will find it useful to save each completed Critical Analysis form as a separate file on your computer. Computerizing the form enables you to write as much as you like in answering each question. If you print out a completed Critical Analysis form, keep it with the original text if possible. Then you can quickly refer back to the text if necessary.To make the exercise work, we will specify the two review questions that you should ask of Wallace’s text. (We have done this so that you can compare your responses with ours, which we will provide in the next chapter.) The review questions are:Remember that you can refer, as necessary, to:(We have indicated above that knowledge of other relevant literature is needed to complete Critical Analysis Question 8, sub-question (c). However, if our example paper is not within your subject area, you do not need to refer to other texts in this exercise.)Students embarking on a detailed Critical Analysis like this for the first time often encounter difficulties in finding answers to one or more questions, but it is important not to give up too soon. Always think carefully about how the text might, in fact, contain the information, perhaps implicitly, that you need. Expect to read the text with great attention in order to detect some of the indicators that you are looking for. Now complete your own Critical Analysis of Wallace’s article in Appendix 2 (for which you may wish to use the blank form in Appendix 3).Once you have completed your Critical Analysis, turn to the next chapter. You will be able to check your responses to each Critical Analysis Question or sub-question against ours, to see what our rationale was for each of our responses and to decide whether you agree or not.Purchase the answer to view it.
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#075

150 Word Comment On Chapter 8 Of Wallace And Wray (2011)

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College essay writing serviceKeywordsaction; critical evaluation; instrumentalism; intellectual projects; knowledge; literature; policy; practice; reflexive action; research; theory; understanding; value stancesIn the last two chapters, we first introduced the idea of a mental map for navigating the literature plus the tools for thinking that represent the key to this map. We then looked at the first map component: the two dimensions of variation amongst knowledge claims. Here we complete our introduction to the mental map by describing its other three components:Figure 8.1 Tools for thinking and the creation of three kinds of knowledge about the social worldThe three kinds of knowledge that we distinguish are theoretical, research and practice. We describe each below and show how they relate to the set of tools for thinking summarized in Chapter 6. Figure 8.1 represents that relationship, showing that the tools for thinking play a central role. They are employed both to generate and to question the three kinds of knowledge.The tools for thinking are most obviously reflected in theoretical knowledge – you cannot have a theory without a set of connected concepts. We define theoretical knowledge as deriving from the creation or use of theory, in the following way. On the basis of a theory about the social world, we make claims to knowledge about what the social world is like. The theory itself may or may not be our own and will have been developed on the basis of patterns discerned in that social world, whether through general observation (armchair theorizing), through specific investigations (empirically based theorizing) or a mixture of the two.For example, in order to provide warranting for the claim that all children should be given the chance to learn a foreign language before the age of eight, an author might offer as evidence the theoretical knowledge that there is a ‘critical period’ for language acquisition. The theory upon which the author is drawing for this knowledge has been built up over the years by various theorists (beginning with Eric Lenneberg). The theorists have used both general observation about what happens when people of different ages learn a language and a range of empirical studies that have sought to establish what the critical age and determining factors are. Bundled up in the theory are potential claims about roles for biology, environment and motivation. The author would need to unpack these roles if the fundamental claim were to be developed into an empirical research study (to see how well it worked to offer foreign language tuition to eight-year-olds) or into practice or policy-based recommendations (about whether, and how, foreign language teaching should be introduced into schools).So-called armchair theorizing can involve reflecting on personal experience in an area of practice. Normally one would also expect such theorizing to be supported by reflection on what the author has read in the literature, so that it draws on others’ theoretical, research or practice knowledge. Where the links with other kinds of knowledge are weak, armchair theorizing can lead to explanations or prescriptions for practice that are not backed by evidence. Anyone can dream up a theory. However, without the support of evidence, why should others accept it?Empirically based theorizing entails the abstraction of generalities from specific evidence. Characteristically, existing theory is used to make predictions. The predictions are tested through experimentation, survey or observation. If the results fail to support the predictions and are considered robust enough, adjustments may be made to the theory (see Figure 2.1). Empirically based theoretical knowledge is thus knowledge that, potentially, can be critically evaluated by returning to the studies upon which it was based. However, theorizing necessarily entails abstraction. Some aspects of a claim to theoretical knowledge may be weak, not because of the original evidence but due to the degree of generalization that has been made from it.Theoretical knowledge needs to be conceived of in the same terms as other kinds of knowledge. It is a form of evidence that is used by authors to justify their claims. Therefore, it can be critically questioned in the same way. How might you engage with a claim such as: ‘Lenneberg’s theory holds that there is a critical period for language acquisition, therefore children should receive foreign language teaching before the age of eight’? There are two basic approaches. One is to question the validity of the theory itself, by finding reasons why you believe that the ‘critical period’ hypothesis is illogical or ill-founded. The other is to challenge the claim to theoretical knowledge that has been derived from the theory, by offering counter-evidence from other domains: empirical studies and practice. Thus, one might ask: ‘what evidence is there that teaching foreign languages to eight-year-olds matches the predictions of the critical period hypothesis?’ and ‘what do foreign language teaching initiatives introduced in primary schools around the world tell us about what can be done?’Research in the social world entails the focused and systematic empirical investigation of an area of experience or practice to answer an explicit or implicit central question about what happens and why. Sometimes the domain is extended to normative questions about how to improve practice. Research knowledge consists of claims about what happens, supported by empirical evidence gathered through data collection and analysis in the course of an investigation. As described in the previous section, research is often based on predictions made by a theory. However, it can also be atheoretical, where it is not explicitly linked with any perspective, theory or model. In either event, because research cannot be conducted without using tools for thinking, it is inevitable that some concepts will be employed. They may be undefined and used unsystematically, but concepts are bound to inform choices about what evidence to gather and how to interpret findings.The research approach may vary, from an investigation by professional researchers who do not attempt to intervene in the phenomenon they study, through an intervention study where researchers work in partnership with those they study to help them improve their practice, to practitioners’ action research where they investigate their own practice.The research process proceeds through the application of particular methods or techniques for focusing the investigation, collecting data as the basis of evidence, analysing and reporting the results, and drawing conclusions about what they mean. These detailed methods tend to reflect a particular methodology, that is, the researchers’ philosophical assumptions about the nature of the social world and how it can be investigated (including whether social phenomena are or are not subject to universal laws).The conclusions drawn, based on the results of an investigation, embody the researchers’ claims about what happens and why, and possibly about how to make improvements. These claims are typically made public by publishing an account of the research in the literature. The account may be more or less descriptive, explanatory or evaluative, depending on what explicit or implicit central question the researchers were attempting to answer.You know a great deal about practice in your domain of the social world, but you may not be aware of just how much you know. We define ‘practice’ to mean ‘everyday activity’. Those engaging with practice knowledge interpret and evaluate their practice, guided knowingly or unknowingly by tools for thinking that are related – however loosely – to theoretical knowledge. Part of practice knowledge is largely unconscious: the know-how entailed in the skilful performance of practical tasks. Some know-how can be raised to consciousness by reflecting on practice, informed either by theories or by investigating and challenging habitual activity, as in some versions of action research. Practice knowledge that is made explicit embodies claims about what does or should happen in the practical domain concerned. This explicit practice knowledge is commonly summarized in the literature, as when experienced practitioners write an account of their practice, or where informed professionals (such as inspectors) report on their work in evaluating practice.Practice knowledge claims in the literature are open to critical questioning for the same reasons as the other kinds of knowledge. Anyone can hold a view about good practice. However, you can always question what meaning is being given to the concepts used, whether the concepts are used coherently, how logically the concepts are linked together, and whether the claims are supported by evidence.A HIERARCHICAL MIX OF DIFFERENT KINDS OF KNOWLEDGEAny piece of literature may relate to one or more kinds of knowledge. Wallace’s article (Appendix 2) is clearly concerned with research knowledge generated by his empirical investigation as a professional researcher. Early on he states (pages 222–3): ‘I wish to explore empirical factors connected with the contexts of schools and consequent risks – especially for headteachers – that may inhere in their endeavour to share leadership’.But his research focus is also informed by his combined cultural and political perspective, which channels his attention towards those empirical factors connected with uses of power as determined by different cultural allegiances. He both draws on theoretical knowledge and generates a model of his own to synthesize his findings. Further, his explicitly normative argument culminates in practical prescriptions, designed to influence the development of practice knowledge by school managers and trainers.So this example of academic literature relates unequally to all three kinds of knowledge. At the top of the hierarchy is research knowledge. But theoretical knowledge is both drawn on and developed, and profitable directions are advocated for practitioners to develop more effective practice knowledge.It is theoretical, research and practice knowledge, written down and published, that constitutes the bulk of front-line literature. As you would expect, each kind of knowledge is commonly expressed through its associated type of literature. You will recall, however, that in Chapter 2 we distinguished four types of front-line literature, not three. The fourth type is policy literature. The different types of literature are characterized as follows:Policy literature tends to emphasize practice knowledge, since policy-makers are essentially concerned with improving some practical domain. To a varying extent, policy literature may also draw on research knowledge and theoretical knowledge. A frequent point of discussion in professional groups is whether policy should be built upon, or at least informed by, these types of knowledge. In policy literature, authors will tend to base their vision for improvement on their evaluation of the present situation and this evaluation will be according to the values and assumptions underlying their political ideology. (They may or may not provide warranting from research knowledge for their evaluation of what is wrong with the present situation, and predictions about what will work better.)When you first come across a text, it is worth identifying what type of literature it conforms most closely to, because each type tends to emphasize claims to particular kinds of knowledge. Each type of literature is prone to specific limitations affecting the validity of the knowledge claims it contains. By identifying the type of literature at the outset, you can alert yourself to what you should look for in the text to help you decide how convincing claims are, including any generalization about the extent of their applicability to different contexts.Table 8.1 indicates some limitations of the four types of front-line literature. For each type, we have included an indicative list of features to look out for, which may affect the extent to which you find the claims convincing.Table 8.1 Types of literature and indicative limitations of claims to knowledge expressed in themThese potential limitations underline how open to challenge and alternative interpretation our knowledge of the social world can be. Becoming a critical reader entails developing the habit of questioning whether such limitations have a bearing on claims made in the literature you encounter. Becoming a self-critical writer involves habitually checking whether your own claims might be subject to such limitations, then addressing those that you can resolve or work around, and acknowledging those that you cannot. (In the next chapter, we explain how you might react to these limitations when developing a Critical Analysis of a text.)A HIERARCHICAL MIX OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF LITERATUREJust as the three kinds of knowledge relate to each other, so do the four types of literature. Our distinctions between types of literature are crude and many texts actually give unequal emphasis to more than one kind of knowledge. Combinations include:There are often sufficient clues in the title of a text alone for you to work out which type of literature you are dealing with (italicized in these fictional examples):Failing that, you may get clues from an abstract, the blurb on the cover of a book, or the introduction and conclusion of the text. Theoretical literature will have a strong emphasis on one or more tools for thinking. Research literature will include a report or discussion of empirical evidence, whether gathered by professional researchers or by practitioners investigating their own work. Practice literature will focus on experience in some practical domain. Policy literature will tend to assert that existing practice needs improving or that a new practice should be implemented.A SHORTCUT FOR IDENTIFYING THE TYPE OF LITERATURELook at the abstract for Wallace’s article (Appendix 2). Within it, certain key words indicate what type of literature it is: empirically backed … findings … research … model.Wallace is developing an argument about how leadership should be shared. His conclusion about sharing is backed by warranting that consists of findings from empirical research, which he reports. In the light of the research, he develops a model which uses patterns in the findings as a means of supporting his argument about the value of a contingent approach to sharing school leadership. This piece of research literature is therefore providing evidence to support a model, which itself legitimizes a conclusion. By this means, Wallace aims to convince the target readers of the paper that his conclusion is valid.Elements of research and theoretical literature are being combined here. But this is research literature because the empirical investigation underpinning the model is the central feature of the author’s work. Whether the conclusion is convincing rests on the adequacy of the claims made possible by the investigation.An author’s intellectual project is the nature of the enquiry that she or he undertakes in order to generate the desired kind of knowledge and resultant type of literature. We identify five sorts of intellectual project, named for the outcome that they offer:As a critical reader, identifying the sort of intellectual project that authors have undertaken gives you an overview of what they are trying to do and how they are trying to convince their target audience. It provides clues about how they are likely to go about achieving their purpose and what the strengths and limitations of their approach may be. The type of literature that they have produced, the kind of knowledge claims they are making and the assumptions and values that lie behind these claims will all be linked to their intellectual project for studying. So once you are clear about the authors’ intellectual project, you will be in a strong position critically to assess the extent to which the claims are convincing.INHERENT VALUES IN INTELLECTUAL PROJECTSIs the investigator relatively impartial, positive or negative about the issues under investigation?Postgraduate students are themselves engaged in an intellectual project as they develop work for assessment or publication. Their training commonly emphasizes knowledge-for-understanding, knowledge-for-critical evaluation and knowledge-for-action. In all three of these intellectual projects, critically reviewing the literature plays a central part in supporting or challenging claims to knowledge.Whichever intellectual project you identify in a text, certain features should be discernible: the author’s rationale for undertaking the study, the typical mode of working, the value stance that the author takes, the questions that are typically asked, the way that theoretical knowledge is viewed, the type of literature that is characteristically produced and the typical target audience. In Table 8.2, the five intellectual projects head the columns. Each row indicates one feature and shows how it is manifested in that particular intellectual project. When reading literature, you can identify an author’s intellectual project by considering each feature in turn to check which project it best fits. In other words, the realization of these features can be used as an indicator:Bear in mind that these categories are simplistic and that, in reality, intellectual projects are not always pursued separately. You may expect to come across authors whose activity spans more than one intellectual project. For instance, an account of social science-based research, designed mainly to generate knowledge-for-understanding, may include in the conclusion some recommendations for improving policy and practice (reflecting a knowledge-for-action agenda). However, even in such cases, you will probably be able to identify a study as being primarily connected with a single intellectual project.Table 8.2 Five intellectual projects for studying aspects of the social worldA SHORTCUT FOR IDENTIFYING THE INTELLECTUAL PROJECT BEING PURSUEDThe title and abstract of Wallace’s article (Appendix 2) offer indications of the sort of intellectual project that he is undertaking. The following words suggest to us that Wallace is pursuing knowledge-for-action: justifiable … normative … should … risks … implications for training.We judge that Wallace’s research and model-building are explicitly value-laden: developing a normative argument to justify a claim to knowledge about how leadership should be shared, on the basis of a study of what happens in British primary schools. His knowledge claim is directed towards informing senior school staff, trainers who design training programmes on school leadership and possibly policy-makers who commission them. Wallace points to the implications of his research, along with the model for improving training that he presents, as relevant to the improvement of school leadership practice. The centrality of his explicitly stated values about practice, his focus on implications for training and the absence of a critique of related policy and practice, all point towards a knowledge-for-action intellectual project.Using Table 8.2 as a checklist, here is the emerging evidence for this conclusion, using just the title and abstract of Wallace’s paper:Approaching the reading of the published literature with a mental map will help you identify landmarks that indicate the purpose and nature of the material. Understanding what authors are trying to do, why and how, is a necessary prerequisite for making a fair critical assessment of their success in doing it. Selecting and commenting on arguments out of context can easily distort one’s view. A responsible critical reader aims to consider not only what is said but also the authors’ purposes, assumptions and intentions in saying it, along with an appreciation of whom the authors are primarily saying it to. Where you detect, by this means, that you are not a typical member of the authors’ target audience, it is still legitimate to indicate what information you would require in order to be satisfied (e.g., a stronger line of evidence to back up claims). You will be able to make this assertion in a manner appropriate to your understanding that the authors made choices on the basis of a different readership.The mental map will be equally useful as a way of informing your writing where you develop your own argument evaluating what you have read. You may consciously deploy particular tools for thinking in constructing this argument, ensure that your claims are well-matched by the warranting you marshal in support of them, draw on and develop a form of knowledge or a mix of them, contribute to your chosen type of literature and be driven by your own clearly articulated intellectual project.Let us, finally, recap on the relationship between the key to the mental map (Chapter 6) and the four map components (Chapter 7 and this chapter):You are now ready to employ the mental map as an aid to becoming a more critical reader of the literature and a more convincing self-critical writer of texts for assessment by other critical readers. To demonstrate how this is done, we offer next a structured approach that can be used to conduct a Critical Analysis of a text.Purchase the answer to view it.
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#075

150 Word Comment On Chapter 6 Of Wallace And Wray (2011)

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College essay writing serviceKeywordsassumptions; concepts; ideologies; mental map; metaphors; models; perspectives; theoriesIn Part Two, we further develop the ideas from Part One by demonstrating how to critically analyse texts in greater depth. As you embark on reading a range of literature using the Critical Synopsis Questions in Part One, you will probably identify a small number of texts as being particularly central for your topic. These are the texts with the greatest potential to inform your thinking and your subsequent writing. So it will be a good investment of time to scrutinize these texts in greater depth. Doing so successfully and efficiently requires a refined grasp of how academic enquiry works and a more extensive array of questions to guide your critical engagement.To help you sharpen your in-depth critical analysis skills, we show you how to develop a mental map that can guide your thinking as you explore the social world. The map will enable you to find patterns in the ways that authors discuss their topics and in how they develop their argument in trying to convince their target audience. For many of our illustrations, we draw on the abridged version of the journal article by Wallace (2001) in Appendix 2.The present chapter introduces the mental map, which consists of a key and four components, by exploring the key in detail. Chapter 7 discusses the first component: the detailed warranting of arguments. We pay special attention to checking how well the claims made in the conclusion of an argument are matched by the warranting employed to try and make them convincing. Chapter 8 sets out the three other components in turn: the main kinds of knowledge that authors may claim to have, the types of literature they produce and their ‘intellectual projects’ or reasons for studying the social world. We show how, in principle, they can be used to inform an analysis. Then, in Chapter 9, the mental map is put to work on a real example. We use it in demonstrating a structured approach to the Critical Analysis of Wallace’s article, inviting you to try it out for yourself. In Chapter 10, we provide our own completed Critical Analysis of this article as an illustration. It includes an accompanying commentary explaining our reasons for each step we have taken. Finally, in Chapter 11, we begin by exploring how a Critical Analysis of this kind can be used as the platform for writing a Critical Review of a particular text. By way of illustration, we offer our own Critical Review of Wallace’s article, drawing on the earlier Critical Analysis. Thus, we mirror, with an in-depth analysis, the procedures we illustrated in Part One using the five Critical Synopsis Questions to create a less-detailed Critical Summary. As in Part One, the approach that we first describe and illustrate for one text can be expanded to cover multiple texts. We end the chapter with structured advice on how to conduct a Comparative Critical Review, making the transition from one text to several at the in-depth level. We suggest you turn now to Appendix 2 and read the abridged article by Wallace once through, before you tackle Part Two.A mental map simply means a way of thinking about the social world, so that different aspects can be considered and evaluated independently. You can use the mental map we describe to explore and account for patterns in what you read, and also to understand the nature of your own work. The map has a key and four related components (which elaborate on ideas introduced in Part One). Between them, the key and components help you see not only what authors have done in their research and why but also how they are attempting to convince their readers about it.Of course, no mental map is definitive and a philosopher could offer something much more detailed and discriminatory than we use here. We offer an approach that is sufficiently defined to navigate by, while being streamlined enough to be usable. Here we focus on the key (leaving the four components to subsequent chapters).Tools for thinking are necessary for understanding the social world because our experience of it, and our ability to communicate that experience, do not rest on our senses alone. The social world is only ‘real’ in so far as we create a conceptual reality that gives meaning to interaction between people and the social structures that they create to facilitate or control that interaction. Furthermore, we can share these concepts only through language.The notion of ‘education’, for example, is a social construct. ‘Education’ is an idea employed conventionally to refer to various experiences and activities, and even to the state of being of an educated person. There is no one-to-one correspondence between whatever social world might exist ‘out there’ and people’s interpretation of it in their minds. It is common to find that other people understand a social phenomenon differently from the way that we do. One person’s ‘valuable educational activities’ (say, opportunities for children to learn through play) might be another person’s ‘deplorable waste of time’ (if such activities are interpreted as merely playing around without learning).The tools for thinking that we describe are embedded in the language of the literature you read, as they will also be in the literature that you produce when writing for assessment or publication. Therefore, what we are introducing here is not new but a way of focusing your attention onto something that you have already encountered and used. By becoming more conscious of concepts that you have an implicit familiarity with, you will be able to ask questions that reveal hidden features of a text, including unspoken assumptions, logical flaws and unwarranted conclusions.TOOLS ARE CONSTRUCTS TOO!Be warned – these tools are themselves constructs that rely on the interpretation of language. As you will see, authors differ in what they mean when they talk about them: how they intend a term to be defined, how they employ it, how they conceive of the relationship between the tools. No idea, even a tool for thinking, has a fixed and universally agreed definition. All the same, since academic communication fundamentally depends on common understandings of the discourse, there is an area of general agreement and shared meaning for most terms, which we have aimed to capture in our descriptions. Compare your existing understanding of each term against the way that we define it. Any differences may shed light on things that have puzzled you up to now (for instance, where your understanding of a term has been rather narrower, or rather broader, than is customary in academic usage).The tools for thinking that comprise our key are: concepts, perspectives, metaphors, theories, models, assumptions and ideologies.Ideas like ‘education’ are concepts. The word (or term) education is used as the bridge between the abstract concept ‘education’ in the minds of the author and the reader. Using the term to refer to the concept, we can write about how we classify, interpret, describe, explain and evaluate aspects of the social world. One concept will be defined in relation to other concepts, so ‘education’ might be defined in relation to concepts like ‘instruction’, ‘creativity’, ‘training’ or ‘skill formation’.It follows that the extent to which concepts can be successfully shared by an author and a reader depends on the extent to which they both interpret the term in the same way. Suppose an author states an opinion about a concept (e.g., adult education is of little benefit to the economy) and the reader disagrees with it. This could be for one of at least three reasons:If no one has a monopoly on the definition of concepts, there is great potential for confusion. This will result in a failure to communicate, one major reason why authors may not convince a reader about some issue that seems obvious to them. In order to see things through the author’s eyes, the reader needs to find a way of working out what the author means by the terms used. What authors can do to help the reader is to offer an explicit ‘stipulative definition’ of the main concepts they are dealing with. In this way, readers can see where their own understanding is different and also make a deliberate, if temporary, change to their own conceptualization, so as to see things through the eyes of the author.EXPLICIT AND IMPLICIT DEFINITION OF CONCEPTSWallace’s (Appendix 2) definition of power (page 228) is explicit:Following Giddens (1984), a definition of power as ‘transformative capacity’ – use of resources to achieve interests – is employed.Definitions can also be implicit, yet are easily detected if the first mention of the concept is followed by detail that contributes an account of what is meant by it. Wallace (Appendix 2) indicates what ‘senior management teams’ are by describing their role, typical membership and involvement in decision-making (page 223):… senior management teams (SMTs) in British primary schools, whose role is to support the headteacher in leading and managing the institution. Typically, they consist of the headteacher, deputy head and other teachers with the most substantial management responsibility. Team members are variably involved in making policy and routine management decisions on behalf of other staff, whose views are represented in some measure.Just as you, as a reader, need authors to define their key concepts, as a writer you risk confusing your readers unless you give a stipulative definition of the key concepts that you employ.Since the social world is infinitely complex, concepts are used by an author to focus the attention of the reader on particular features, while others are backgrounded. Furthermore, where several concepts are to be considered together, it is often useful to bundle them under a single label. A researcher interested in the impact on literacy of poverty, family instability and parental drug abuse might variously discuss them individually and also bundle them under the group heading ‘social problems’. There they do not need to be differentiated, because the earlier discussion has indicated what the term ‘social problems’ is intended to cover.Grouping concepts has the advantage of enabling us to attend to patterns in the phenomenon. But it will also obscure other patterns, which a different grouping would have drawn to our attention. This compromise is inevitable, since no one is capable of attending to everything at once. The key thing is to be aware when a group concept is being used and to expect the author to provide sufficient information for you to know what is encompassed within it.Sets of concepts are often combined to form perspectives. A perspective is a device for filtering an examination of social events and processes, so that certain things are excluded, while others appear particularly prominent. A cultural perspective, for example, brings to the fore facts, values, assumptions and codes governing what is, and can be done within, a culture. But the adoption of a cultural perspective will tend to push out of the way other factors, such as the individual’s psychological motivations, even though they, too, will determine how a person behaves. A writer can pick out different features of the social world using different filters but nobody can look at something from all possible perspectives simultaneously.The university degree ceremony provides an illustration. A behavioural perspective would draw to our attention the actions and words of the participants. A social relations perspective would examine the reasons why students elect to attend, perhaps in order to share one last special day with their friends and so that their parents can come and watch. A motivational perspective might reveal why individuals feel that it is ‘worth’ attending and how it affects their sense of identity and achievement to participate in the event. A cultural perspective could examine how, through ritual, the academics symbolically acknowledge their students’ achievements and the vice chancellor formally accepts them into the ranks of graduates of the institution.Although multiple perspectives are difficult to manage, it is possible to combine perspectives to a limited extent. A common approach is to examine a phenomenon first from one perspective, then from another. However, difficulties can arise when the two perspectives embody concepts that are incompatible with each other. If a cultural perspective on what happens in meetings emphasizes how people share beliefs and values to reach consensus, but a political perspective on the same meetings emphasizes how individuals use power to achieve their personal goals at others’ expense, which explanation are you to accept? A solution is to combine the different perspectives rather than deal with them independently by adopting compatible stipulative definitions of the key concepts. That is, the analyst makes a choice from within the range of possible definitions for a concept, in order to home in on one that is shared across the perspectives being used.COMBINING PERSPECTIVESWallace (Appendix 2) employs a combined cultural and political perspective on teamwork within the senior management teams that he researched. He justifies the combined approach as follows (page 228).The cultural and political perspective guiding the research integrates concepts about teacher professional cultures and micropolitics. It focuses on the reciprocal relationship between culture and power: cultural determinants of differential uses of power and uses of power to shape culture …In order to make the combined perspective work, Wallace has selected stipulative definitions of the core concepts ‘culture’ and ‘power’ that are compatible with each other. His stipulative definition of ‘culture’ is: ‘the way we do things around here’, and allows for the possibility that different people may hold overlapping or contradictory beliefs and values about the culture. Equally, his stipulative definition of power as ‘transformative capacity’ is neutral and so allows for power to be used collaboratively or conflictually.A metaphor is a way of describing one unfamiliar or complex phenomenon in terms of another, more familiar or simpler one. The characteristics of something familiar and easy to understand are used to explore, by analogy, the nature of the more difficult phenomenon. In the previous section, we likened the ‘perspective’ to a filter. A light filter selects certain wavelengths and excludes others. A particle filter holds back large particles while allowing small ones to pass through. Using these images, it becomes easier to think about the ‘perspective’ as something that allows certain aspects of a phenomenon to be seen while others are left aside.A GRAPHIC METAPHOR: THE ‘GARBAGE CAN’ IMAGE OF DECISION-MAKINGMarch and Olsen (1976) used the metaphor of a ‘garbage can’ to characterize how ambiguity and unpredictability feature in organizational decision-making. The ‘garbage can’ metaphor captures the idea of various types of input (such as individuals’ presence and interest, issues that need deciding or local conditions) being ‘thrown’ into the decision-making process in a rather haphazard, unpredictable way. What comes out of the decision-making process is a product of that mix.(March, J. and Olsen, P. (1976) Ambiguity and Choice in Organizations. Bergen: Universitetsforlaget.)A metaphor maps onto the concept that it describes, but not exactly. There are aspects of the concept that lie outside the bounds of the metaphor and also aspects of the metaphor that lie outside the bounds of the concept. In our ‘garbage can’ example, the metaphor draws attention away from the possibility that decision-making will sometimes be orderly and predictable. Conversely, a garbage can is periodically emptied out, whereas decision-making tends to be built on accumulated past decisions.The boundaries marking where the metaphor and concept no longer overlap are important. Pushing at them can be useful for exploring the phenomenon in new ways, but over-extending them will lead to ‘shoehorning’ things into unhelpful images. Consider what would happen if one explored an aspect of garbage can usage that March and Olsen could scarcely have included back in 1976: recycling. Would it help us understand more about decision-making in organizations if we thought metaphorically about how some items in a garbage can could be rescued and recycled? Or would that be an unhelpful step too far?As a critical reader, you will often find yourself engaging with an account in which a metaphor has been adopted. It is important for you to reflect on which aspects of the social phenomenon being discussed are highlighted and which underplayed or ignored, and how the metaphor could be further exploited or is already being pushed beyond its usefulness.The terms ‘theory’ and ‘model’ refer to explanatory and often evaluative accounts of one or more aspects of the social world, incorporating a bundle of related concepts defined in a particular way. Theories and models may or may not be informed by research or practical experience.Theories are widely viewed as a coherent system of connected concepts, lying within one or more perspectives. They may be used to interpret and explain what has happened and to predict what will happen. In some fields, theories can be employed normatively, to prescribe what should be done to improve an aspect of the social world. Thus, a ‘progressive theory of education’ will make proposals about how education ought to be. It might be couched within a psychological perspective on individual development and employ the metaphor of ‘nurturing growth’.Models generally entail a small bundle of concepts and their relationship to each other. They tend to refer to a specific aspect of a phenomenon, which may form part of a broader theory. It is common, therefore, to see a specific phenomenon being modelled on the basis of the predictions or prescriptions of a more general theory.MODELLING INTERACTION: CLARITY VERSUS COMPREHENSIVENESSWallace (Appendix 2) develops a model of interaction between headteachers and other members of their senior management teams (pages 232–3). The core concepts are represented diagrammatically as a simple ‘two by two’ matrix of cells and arrows:The four cells contain descriptions of the different outcomes of each combination, and they fall along a continuum from no synergy between the headteacher and other team members (when the headteacher subscribes to a belief in a management hierarchy and the other SMT members do not), to high synergy (when everyone adopts the norm of equality in the contribution to teamwork). Moderate and low synergy outcomes are also represented in the other two cells.Note how Wallace has deliberately simplified even this quite specific aspect of teamwork by contrasting the headteacher’s position with that of all the other members of the senior management team lumped together. The advantage of clarity that is gained through this simplification comes at a price. It ignores the possibility that amongst the other SMT members, individuals may differ over which norm they subscribe to at any given time. A more realistic model would have to consider multiple subgroups of team members, more linkages and more positions – but doing so would sacrifice clarity.Any interpretation of the social world rests on certain assumptions: taken-for-granted beliefs of which the writer may be fully aware or quite unaware. The validity of any assumption is always open to question, often by considering whether there is evidence to support or challenge it, or by checking whether the assumption is logically consistent with the claims being made.IDENTIFYING AND CHALLENGING ASSUMPTIONSWallace (Appendix 2) identifies assumptions which, he claims, underlie normative theories of educational leadership (page 224).He challenges these assumptions, developing the argument that they are unrealistic for the context of schools in the UK. As his warranting, he draws on evidence from policy and research literature. Then he reports his own research findings and uses these as a warranting for his further conclusions (pages 234–5).Authors tend not to justify their own assumptions because those assumptions are the starting point for whatever argument they wish to develop. But critical readers may identify and challenge assumptions in the literature, in order to develop their own counter-argument, as Wallace does. (Whatever assumptions Wallace makes are, of course, just as open to challenge as those of the authors whose claims he criticizes.)The term ideology implies a system of beliefs, attitudes and opinions about some aspect of the social world, based on particular assumptions. An ideology guides action towards the realization of particular interests or goals. Ideologydriven action may prevent others from realizing their own interests. Many teachers and lecturers espouse an ‘educational philosophy’. This is an ideology built upon their beliefs, attitudes and opinions about education. One such ideology might be that ‘education is about developing a lifelong love of learning’. It is intrinsically value-laden because it cannot be based on facts alone. Rather, the ideology draws in addition upon views about the purposes, content and methods of education, and about the ideal balance of control between the different participants in deciding what should and should not be done.IDEOLOGY AS A NEUTRAL OR A CRITICAL TERMThe notion of an ideology is often employed neutrally, referring to any system of beliefs whether true or false. However, it is sometimes used critically to imply a false or distorted set of beliefs, representing a partisan interest that is not being made fully explicit. For instance, Marxists point out that the superficially neutral educational philosophy that ‘the purpose of formal education is to provide the skilled workforce necessary for our nation’s economic competitiveness in a global economy’ is not, in fact, neutral. The Marxist identifies this ideology as one that protects the employers’ position of advantage, by deflecting employees from a recognition that they could better their economic position.In your critical reading, it is important first to identify when authors’ claims about the social world reflect their ideology, and then to question the assumptions and values that underlie the ideology itself.We have introduced the prospect of developing your own mental map for making sense of the literature that you come across. Our metaphor of a map draws attention to the possibility that you can find your way around what can otherwise be a bewildering variety of material. So far we have concentrated on the key, the set of tools for thinking. As you engage with these tools, you will quickly see how authors use them to build up different arguments and how the tools’ limitations can affect the robustness of an argument. You will gradually sharpen your ability to question critically whether the tools have been put to convincing use or not (e.g., whether core concepts have been adequately defined). In the next chapter, we introduce the first of four components of the mental map to which the tools for thinking are applied in making and justifying claims to knowledge. It is time to get into an argument.Purchase the answer to view it.
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#075

150 Word Comment On Chapter 7 Of Wallace And Wray (2011)

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College essay writing serviceKeywordsarguments; certainty; generalization; mental map; variation amongst knowledge claimsHaving presented the key to the mental map (a set of tools for thinking), we now briefly introduce the mental map components, before focusing in detail on the first component: the match between claims and warranting in arguments. How do the components relate to the tools? The authors whose work you study will have employed the tools for thinking in order to develop a convincing argument. The four components of the mental map will help you evaluate a range of factors that contribute to the content and robustness of that argument (Table 7.1).In short, your mental map will enable you to home in on what authors were trying to do, why and with what success. In this chapter, we discuss the component that focuses on the match between authors’ claims and the quality of the evidence supporting them.In Part One, we saw that an argument is constructed from one or more claims to knowledge – assertions that something is, or normatively should be, true.Table 7.1 Components of the mental mapMental map componentAspect of authors’ argument that it helps you examine Two dimensions of variation amongstTwo dimensions of variation amongst knowledge claims about the social world, affecting their vulnerability to criticismAuthors’ tentativeness or certainty about their claims and their willingness to generalize, relative to the amount of appropriate evidence availableThree kinds of knowledge that are generated by reflecting on, investigating and taking action in the social worldThe basis of their claims, as relevant to theory, new research evidence or experienceFour types of literature that inform understanding and practiceWhether the account aims to inform theory, research knowledge, practice or policy, and some common weaknesses that can render each type less than convincingFive sorts of intellectual project that generate literature about the social worldAuthors’ reasons for undertaking their work: aiming to understand, evaluate, change others’ action directly or through training, or improve their own actionThese claims form the conclusion, which is one half of the argument. The claims are supported by some form of warranting: the half of the argument that justifies why the conclusion should be accepted. Claims vary along two important dimensions, according to the amount of appropriate evidence contained in the warranting. If there is a mismatch, we see the warranting as inadequate.In Chapter 3, we saw how warranting can be provided, and be appropriate, but still be inadequate – not sufficiently convincing for the critical reader. An inadequately warranted claim often fails to convince because:Knowledge claims are made with varying degrees of certainty and it is possible to question whether the degree of certainty that the author asserts is justified. The academic literature is not short of highly speculative claims to knowledge of the social world, made with enormous confidence that they are certain truths. Yet, as we have already seen, no knowledge of the social world can ever be beyond all doubt. It is always appropriate for the critical reader to ask whether there is sufficient evidence to support the degree of certainty with which a claim has been made.How sure authors are that they really have found out what they claim will be reflected in the degree of certainty with which they make the claim. An example of a highly certain claim is: ‘Trainee managers demonstrably learn more effectively when they are praised than when their efforts are criticized’. Often the degree of certainty expressed in a claim is left implicit, as in the version we saw in Table 3.1: ‘Trainee managers learn more effectively when they are praised than when their efforts are criticized’. Removing the word ‘demonstrably’ means there is no explicit indication of the high degree of certainty. But the certainty of the claim is still there: the authors simply state that praise does help trainee managers learn more than criticism – not that it may do so, or that it may sometimes do so in particular circumstances.From time to time you will probably come across claims made with a level of certainty that you feel is unwarranted. Such claims are vulnerable to being rejected once you scrutinize the match between the evidence provided in the warranting for them and the certainty with which they are proposed. The more confident a claim, the stronger the evidence required adequately to warrant it. The more tentative the claim, the less the evidence required, because much less is actually being claimed. As a critical reader, you can scrutinize any argument by first checking that it actually has both a claim and a warranting, and then checking the match between the degree of certainty of the claim and the strength of the evidence offered as warranting. Remember each time to ask yourself:In our example above, the certainty of the claim could be justified if the researcher had studied a very large number of trainee managers and always got this result. Some kinds of claims are compatible with strong certainty. The claim that ‘the earth is round’ could be warranted by the evidence that whenever you fly westwards for long enough you end up in the east, and that satellite photographs of the earth reveal its curvature. Little knowledge about the social world is that certain, so you are unlikely to find experienced social science researchers stating that their evidence proves a claim. You are much more likely to come across authors who state that their evidence suggests or is consistent with a claim. They may fine-tune such an explicit indication that they are not wholly certain by saying may suggest or strongly suggests.There are other ways in which authors may signal their own lack of certainty. One is by stating that their claims are tentative or cautious. A formal means of signalling tentativeness is through hypotheses. A hypothesis is a claim consisting of a proposition or statement that something is the case but which is as yet unproven. It will often be predictive (as we saw earlier in Figure 2.1), implying that a particular outcome will flow from a particular action. An enquiry into an aspect of the social world might begin with a hypothesis, the validity of which is then tested by checking whether evidence supports it or not. Alternatively, an enquiry may produce hypotheses as outcomes, amounting to predictions that could be tested in future. However, many hypotheses in the study of the social world are so general that they are not amenable to straightforward testing. For instance, how could we convincingly test the hypothesis that ‘learning how to learn is a more effective preparation for adult life than learning lots of facts’? What would count as sufficient evidence warranting the conclusion that the hypothesis was supported or should be rejected?Claims are also made with varying degrees of generalization. The issue here for you, as a critical reader, is checking the extent to which findings from within the context studied also apply to other contexts. Some level of generalization is normally expected in research: one examines a phenomenon in a limited way in order to find out something that is likely to be true in other similar circumstances. Generalization, in part, is about how one judges what counts as a similar circumstance. A claim about, say, the effectiveness of an approach to supporting teenage mothers might be made on the basis of studying five social service units which offer such support in the UK. A judgement must then be made about whether it holds true for all UK social service units providing such support, and whether it might be extended to all social service units and other support arrangements for school-age mothers anywhere.Frequently, when sweeping generalizations are made, the author is not explicit about the range of contexts to which the claim applies. Rather, the extent of the claim is implied rather than stated, as in our example ‘Trainee managers learn more effectively when they are praised than when their efforts are criticized’, which is not only presented with high certainty but is also implicitly highly generalized. By implication, the claim is asserted to have universal applicability – to all trainee managers everywhere, past, present or future. But generalizations are, in themselves, just claims that something is known, not proof that it is known. If you scrutinize the evidence offered for warranting this claim (in Table 3.1), you are likely to find it unconvincing. It comes from a survey of only female trainee managers in just one sector: retail. So, as a critical reader it is always appropriate for you to check the match between the degree of generalization of the claims made and amount of evidence used to back that generalization. Make a habit of asking yourself:As a critical reader, you can scrutinize any argument by first checking it actually has both a claim and a warranting, and then checking the match between the degree of certainty of the claim and the strength of the evidence offered as warranting for the degree of generalisation.The broader the range of contexts to which a claim is generalized, the more it may affect the level of abstraction. The issue here is the extent to which the intricate details of the specific context that was directly examined can be set aside, so that a greater range of contexts becomes eligible for the generalization. The broader the generalization, the more likely it is to be at a high level of abstraction, glossing over details of individual contexts to make a claim about some quite abstract feature that is supposedly common to them all. The generalization ‘learning how to learn is a more effective preparation for adult life than learning lots of facts’ glosses over the multiplicity of details that may vary between different contexts. They include learning environments (does it matter if you have a computer-equipped classroom or just an open space?), the characteristics of learners (is the claim equally true of adventurous and quietly reflective learners?) or purposes for promoting learning (can the learning be for its own sake or must it be aiming to contribute to society?)When claims are generalized to many or all contexts, they are likely to be made at a high level of abstraction. The authors abstract – or ‘zoom out’ – from the details of the context studied, to capture something common to a much wider range of contexts. The issue here is the extent to which, in this particular case, the intricate details of the specific context that was directly examined really can be set aside, so that a greater range of contexts becomes legitimately eligible for the generalization.An assumption underlying any generalized, abstract claim is therefore that the detailed factors differentiating each context are not significant enough to affect the applicability of the claim across a wide range of contexts. As a critical reader evaluating such a claim, you have to judge how far this assumption is warranted by the evidence presented. (You will have to take into account all the evidence that the authors provide, which may include both their own empirical findings and their account of other relevant literature.) The claim that ‘trainee managers learn more effectively when they are praised than when their efforts are criticized’ glosses over the possibility that contextual differences (such as trainees’ gender, age, work sector, past training experience or cultural background) might affect how far praise works better than criticism. The claim also implies that different kinds and amounts of praise and criticism, or the balance between them, have no major impact either. The degree of abstraction entailed in this highly generalized claim leaves it vulnerable to being rejected, because the authors have not shown that various contextual differences actually have no significance. (Contextual factors tend to affect the findings of social science research. Two researchers, dealing with different contexts, could easily get different results for this reason. If both over-generalized their claims, the critical reader might find that each had predicted incorrectly what the other would find.) Overall, the more generalized the claim, the more warranting it needs, to indicate how the claim applies across different contexts. Conversely, the more specific the claim, the less of such warranting is needed.Figure 7.1 shows how the degree of certainty and generalization of claims interact. Each operates along a continuum, thus varying gradually: either from low to high certainty or from low to high generalization. The degree of certainty is independent of the degree of generalization so any combination is possible. The situation depicted in the bottom right-hand corner of Figure 7.1 is that of our example: a claim made with a high degree of certainty and a high degree of generalization. We have already seen how, for such a claim to convince a critical audience, it must be warranted by evidence which is adequate to justify the boldness of the claim.So, as a critical reader, be alert to high certainty, high generalization claims – whether explicit or left implicit. Not every such claim will begin ‘It is always the case that …’, and the generality or certainty associated with the claim may not be stated close to the main concluding statements. The signal might be a brief remark near the end of the text, or something said or not said in the abstract. Subtler cases might build certainty and generalization into a new claim, as in: ‘The results of our study demonstrate that future training policy should focus on promoting the praise of trainee managers and minimizing criticism’. Here, the policy proposal is sweeping. It reflects the authors’ assumption that the study’s evidence adequately warrants a high degree of generalization and certainty. Whenever you identify a claim, first evaluate its degree of certainty and generalization. Then set your expectations accordingly about the extent of warranting you must find in the account if you are to accept the claim.Figure 7.1 Dimensions of knowledge claims and their vulnerability to rejectionHIGH-RISK WRITING: HIGH CERTAINTY, HIGH GENERALIZATIONIf as a critical reader you require extensive warranting to be convinced when claims are made with high certainty and high generalization, the same is likely to be true of the critical readers who assess your written work. Beware of making such claims unless you are sure that you have adequate warranting, whether from your own research or the wider literature. Otherwise your claims will be vulnerable to rejection as unconvincing. One way of reducing the vulnerability of high certainty claims is to make them conditional, as in ‘If these results are reliable, this is definitely the case’. Similarly, high generalization claims can be made conditional, as in ‘What I have discovered may also apply in other contexts, to the degree that this one is similar to them’. But critical readers might then question why you don’t seem sure that your results are reliable or that other contexts are like yours. A more effective writing strategy is to judge for yourself just how reliable and generalizable you consider your findings to be, and then to adopt a clear and defensible position along each continuum.The top left-hand corner of Figure 7.1 represents low certainty and low generalization, where a claim is tentative and is not held to apply to contexts other than the specific context studied. Such claims have low vulnerability to being rejected because of inadequate warranting. Since they are so tentative, only a modest amount of evidence is needed to warrant them. Further, as the claims are not generalized to other contexts, evidence can come solely from the context investigated.You may already have noticed that a low certainty, low generalization claim is not vulnerable to the criticism of being under-warranted precisely because there is not much of a claim in the first place – a modest claim needs only modest warranting. But a claim that is both tentative and confined to a specific context is not likely to be of much interest to most readers, because they are trying to establish the reliability of the claim in relation to the contexts that they work in themselves. Having identified a low certainty, low generalization claim, you may set your expectations about warranting correspondingly low. But of course the claim will not be much use in establishing what is definitely known, let alone how far this tentative knowledge can be applied to diverse contexts.So, as a critical reader, be alert to low certainty, low generalization claims. Telltale signs are qualifiers like ‘it may possibly be the case that …’, ‘it might be applicable only here’, but authors may be more subtle. Sometimes only the absence of a more confident or generalized claim indicates how limited specific claims must be. Yet even when the claims are of low vulnerability, they still bear checking for adequacy of warranting. Unusually, you may judge that the authors have been more modest than they need be. Perhaps you know from your reading of the literature that evidence from other studies corroborates their findings. Collectively, that information may enable you, when you come to write, to express a greater level of certainty and generalization than they did.UNDER-AMBITIOUS WRITING: LOW CERTAINTY, LOW GENERALIZATIONAs a self-critical writer developing your argument, beware of playing too safe. You risk your work being dismissed as under-ambitious and so failing to find out anything important. Critical readers will be most interested in claims with wide significance for the area of enquiry. If you are writing a paper for presentation at an academic conference or your dissertation, you may be expected to demonstrate robust claims to important new knowledge. So your claims need to be every bit as certain and generalized as you can adequately warrant using the evidence you can produce in support, both from your own investigation and from other literature. Gathering that evidence, of course, involves designing a study to take into account from the beginning your eventual need to make claims with the highest warrantable degree of certainty and generalization (addressed in Part Three of this book). But bear in mind that you can also predetermine the level of vulnerability of your eventual claims to an extent by careful choices in the way you word claims, since the degree of vulnerability changes as one moves along the continuum in each dimension.We have already noted how the two dimensions portrayed in Figure 7.1 vary independently. So a claim could conceivably be of low certainty and high generalization (‘might be the case and applies universally …’), or high certainty and low generalization (‘is clearly the case in this context but its wider applicability has yet to be demonstrated’). Such claims are moderately vulnerable to rejection because they are ambitious along one dimension and play safe on the other. Equally, claims may reflect other positions, such as moderate generalization.SIGNALLING THE DEGREE OF CERTAINTY AND GENERALIZATIONWallace (Appendix 2) makes explicit both the level of certainty with which he makes his claims about effective sharing of school leadership and the extent to which he is prepared to generalize beyond the few settings in his research.Early on, he raises questions about the risks that headteachers face when sharing leadership and about the justifiability of headteachers varying the extent to which they share according to the evolving situation (page 227). He then states: ‘The remainder of the paper seeks a tentative answer to these questions … ’. Tentativeness implies a relatively low degree of certainty over his claims to knowledge.Later, having presented his findings, Wallace refers (page 234–5) to ‘… two features of the real world, at least in Britain’. Further, ‘The research implies that prescriptions for school leadership should be informed by evidence, and so rest on principles that are context-sensitive: the approach advocated will therefore be contingent on circumstances’. He articulates three such principles for the UK, then claims that: ‘These principles would justify British headteachers working toward the most extensive, equal sharing of leadership possible to maximize potential for synergy, while allowing for contingent reversal to hierarchical operation to minimize the risk of disaster’. Wallace generalizes to all schools in the UK but not to those in other countries, nor to any organizations other than schools.In combination, his claims are tentative and are only moderately generalized beyond his own research settings – to other schools that he judges to be affected by the same contingent circumstances. His assessment about the limit of this generalization reflects his belief that central government reforms affecting all UK schools (but not, of course, non-UK schools or any organizations other than schools) played a critical role in the outcomes he observed. In Figure 7.1 his position might be located between the upper and lower left-hand cells: low certainty, but a moderate degree of generalization.Claims to watch out for are those embodying recommendations for improving practice. They tend to make the strongest claims to knowledge, often combining a high degree of certainty with a high degree of implicitly or explicitly expressed generalization, at a high level of abstraction. As you would by now expect, they fall into the lower right-hand cell of the diagram. Popular ‘how to do it’ management books typically make high certainty, high generalization claims along the lines of ‘effective managers are visionaries who inspire others to go the extra mile to realize corporate objectives’. But whatever the position of a particular claim along the two continua, it will have some level of vulnerability to rejection. So, in sum, an incisive way to evaluate the major claims you come across as a critical reader is to:Conversely, as a self-critical writer, you will wish to make your writing robust to the demands and expectations of the critical readers of your work. Be cautious about asserting greater certainty over your claims to knowledge than you have evidence to support and about making broad generalizations – except perhaps at a high level of abstraction.Armed with a sense of how to check for the match between claims in a conclusion and the warranting used to try and make them convincing, it is time now to get out of an argument. Let us move on to describing the other three components of your mental map.Purchase the answer to view it.
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