A parent perceives a teacher does not like her child. A student perceives that a teacher is mean. A student perceives that another student is unfriendly. A teacher perceives that a student is out to intentionally disrupt class. You get the picture; perception brings a false sense of accuracy of judgment whether valid or not.
One major way perceptions are corrected in the educational world is through research. Research is a systemic investigation to establish novel facts; in other words it does not base its established facts on just sight, feeling or observations. It involves investigation- finding out, solving new or existing problems, proving new ideas or developing new ideas through the use of a variety of research methods. Research allows for discovery and interpretation aimed at advancing a body of knowledge to make positive impact or to make a difference. Research closes the door to perceptions- no room for assumptions. Research allows for “engagement and involvement” in the worlds been investigated.
The long-awaited IRB approval for the Barbara Bush Fellowship finally came and the work begins as I investigate the perceptions of family literacy among immigrant families. I am so excited about this opportunity to be a voice and advocate for literacy. For the next six months I will be immersed, fully engaged and involved in the “world of immigrant families” to discover and make interpretations on findings that will be beneficial not just to immigrants, but to family literacy circles and our society as a whole.
No matter the type of perception one may think about; involvement and engagement is a viable cure – it erases erroneous judgments.