Trying to find a Research Question

I am struggling (doesn’t everyone) with the details of my research and my research question. I think I know Why? and How? but not What?

The Why?

Addressing the BME student attainment gap but with a focus on staff and how we teach.

The How?

Qualitative methodology, probably either narrative inquiry or phenomenology or a mix of both!

The What?

This is the struggle. I am really interested in staff attitude to diversity, their diverse classrooms and how they plan for that diversity. One of my working hypotheses is that more experienced staff who are exposed to greater diversity are more able to adapt their teaching. So what are the implications for newer or less experienced lecturers?

So what about?

  • Gather information about teaching experience and level of racial / cultural diversity in their classrooms
  • Ask about how they plan for diversity in their teaching and assessment?
  • Gather examples of ‘stories’ of teaching culturally / racially diverse students.
  • Gather stories about their own life experiences of diversity (being specific about cultural or racial experiences.)
  • Gather information about individual views on cultural / racial diversity at university (I imagine this would be tricky so would need to be phrased around the benefits that culturally diverse groups bring to our teaching.)

I suppose in this there are a number of threads: do prior life experiences or work experiences make a difference in how you plan for and teach diverse student groups? To what extent is diversity planned for in teaching? How do our values impact on teaching? The more I think about it the fuzzier it gets!!!

I really need also to see what is out there of a similar nature in the literature, so if anyone knows of any papers they can direct me to that would be great.