This is my final entry in the blog. Although my entries have been rather erratic, nevertheless, I have found it a useful way of pacing my work and expressing my ideas on paper like this has helped my design thought process. This year has been very hectic but gratifying as well because of the success I have had with my product.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Having completed the main body of the dissertation, I checked out the more technical side of it i.e. the referencing and bibliography which I did by using the "Harvard Method". There was some point at one time whether we should use the APA or the Harvard system but it was finally agreed to be the Harvard. I carefully checked all my footnotes, which numbered 12 in the end with all the other quotes to make sure they were properly referenced. I also referenced all my interview transcripts and various pictures I had used to show how my board looked in a classroom. I then put all my references into a bibliography which also contained other books which I had read but not used.
Finally I did a brief conclusion setting out my concept followed by the Methodology of how I achieved my concept quoting the various interviews etc and what I had actually constructed. I then spoke about the total agreement and support for the project that I had received from all the stake-holders, particularly, from the teacher who had carried out the test for a week. I finished off with some ideas I was toying with to extend my project into a complete educational tool, for example, "Early Numbers", "Early Letters", "Early Colours" etc.
Moving from the findings to the discussion of findings I wrote comparing the answers I received from the teachers and the various experts, discussing how they influenced me and, in some cases, how their answers confirmed what I already believed to be true, for example, how important colour was for my signs. I also compared some of the information I received with quotations I had received from the books I had read in the Literature Review. It was encouraging that I was able to compare present day thinking on the influence there had been in the past. A good example was John Dewey's "Pedagogic Creed" which stated that "Life in school should represent life outside the school". This was an interesting theory on which to hang my ideas of the use of signs and symbols in school.
After I had completed a breakdown and comparison of answers from the teachers, I turned to the interviewees and moving from paragraph to paragraph as I had done with the questionnaire, compared the answers from the various experts as I did with the teachers. I quoted answers directly from the transcripts and put references next to their names referring the reader to the relevant appendix where the transcript is. I wrote a whole paragraph giving the synopsis of my interview with the teacher who carried out the test.
Having decided on the main lay-out of the two chapters, I began to complete each section starting with the questionnaires and extracting quotations from the various teachers to complete the section. For example, "The importance of colour" was the first heading. All 22 teachers agreed it was important and then I quoted for example, one teacher commented colour "gives and insight to their emotional and psychological state". I did this throughout the various sections, at all times referring the reader to the relevant appendix e.g. (appendix 1.1). I did this throughout both chapters.
I laid out the chapter of the Finding by, first of all, tackling the questionnaire and then moving on to the interview but I decided to, basically, use some of the questions in the questionnaire making their subject the heading for the section and keeping them through the interviews and also the discussion of the findings so that suitable comments and comparisons would be easy to make. The main general headings were:
The importance of colour
Response to stimuli such as pictures or shapes
Use of signs and symbols in class
I added for the interviewees to extract more technical information:
The psychological and emotional development of children