Descriptive research involves collecting data in order to test hypotheses or to answer questions about the opinions of people about some topic or issue. This kind of research is also called survey research. Salkind(1997) states that descriptive research is used in most of the fields, including education, political science, sociology, and economics. A high percentage of all research studies are descriptive in nature. Descriptive data typically are collected through a questionnaire survey, interview or observation. Descriptive research is not as simple as it appears. It is, guided by the basic steps of the scientific and disciplined inquiry approach. The classification of the descriptive research depends on how the data are collected, through self-report of observation. The most common self-report approaches are questionnaires, telephone surveys, and interviews. This kind of research requires the collection of standardized, quantifiable information from members of a population or sample. Gay (1996) also, states that descriptive research is categorized in terms of cross-sectional or longitudinal. The cross-sectional research collects data at one point in time, while the longitudinal research collects data at more than one time in order to measure growth or change. Descriptive research uses the Meta-Analysis, which is a statistical approach to summarizing the results of many studies that have investigated a similar topic problem. This gives a numerical way of expressing the average” result. In descriptive research, the most commonly used statistics are the mean, which indicates the average performance of a group on a measure of some variable, and the standard deviation, which indicates how spread out a set of scores are, that is, whether the scores are relatively close together and clustered around the mean, or spread out covering a wide range of scores. In hypothesis testing, the most commonly used inferential statistics are the independent t-test, which is used to see if there is a significant difference between the means of two groups; analysis of variance, which is used to see if there is a significant difference between three or more groups, and the chi-square test, which is used to compare group frequencies, that is, to see if an on event occurs more frequently in one group than another (p.238). Descriptive research usually is not an in-depth research study. This kind of research includes, conducting a questionnaire, stating the problem, selecting the participants, and constructing the questionnaire.
In this study the population consists of students attending evening classes at, Bowie State University, TLC building location. The sample of the population included the amount of 30 students assigned randomly to fill out an attitudes survey. In this opinion survey, a null hypothesis on Bilingual Education is introduced: “Bilingual Eduucation is not different than Multicultural Education.” The population is culturally diverse and it is made up of two groups. The demographics part includes: gender, age, educational level, and ethnicity. The gender groups of this attitude survey consists of, 15 males and 15 females with ages ranging from nineteen to fifty-five.
The educational level consists of, 80% working towards graduate degree and 20% undergraduate students, with an ethnical make up of 85% African Americans, 10% Caucasian, 4% Hispanic, and 1% Asian. The University is located in Bowie, and the majority of students are from medium income levels. The representative
sample drawn from the target student’s population consisted of n=30 subjects, (two groups of fifteen). Gender was equally represented (male n=15, female n=15). The mean subject age was 31.06 with a range from 19 to 55 years of age. A total of 20 subjects were African American, the remaining were 6 Caucasian, 3 Hispanic, and 1 Asian. The Likert scale on attitude survey is administered and each subject completes the survey independently.
The subjects were instructed to circle their choice one answer for each row of the 4 rows. In the Likert scale, statements are written expressing an opinion or feelings about an event, object, or a person, Salkind (2000). In this attitudes survey, the items have clear positive and negative values. The statements are listed, and to the right of each statement is a space for the respondent to indicate degree of agreement or disagreement, using a four-point scale and from 1 to 7. Respondents are asked to circle or check their level of agreement and feelings with each item, about Bilingual Education. The Likert scale is, scored by assigning a weight to each point along the scale. Items that are unfavorable are negatives and are reversed in their scoring so that 1 represents the positive rating and the highest, being assigned an score rating of (7) points. The lowest is the negative 7,being assigned an score rating of
(1) point. All the scores are summated (negatives and positives) then, subtracted minus the negative rating, divided between the 4(point scale),and multiplied by 10. Individual score is the average across all items. Response choices have values attached to them varying from 1 to 7.