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Once a research on a certain subject is completed, the researchers enter into the step of compiling their results inform of writings. This gives them an easy way of examining their findings further, if need be.
They can also use the written materials for future references and studies among others. Of worth noting is that, every research paper has to meet some requisites in order to appear standard; however, regardless of the researchers’ efforts to achieve this, the paper will bear both strengths and flaws, owing to some ineluctable causes.
This is where critical analysis comes in to reveal some of these weaknesses and strengths to enhance quality in future work. This revelation is based on some employed research parameters like the research content and structure, as well as methods used. Among the researchers are Maurice Taylor and Ali Abasi.
The two have cooperated in producing the research, Collaborative Learning in Communities of Literacy Practice. This paper critically analyses this research. As the title hints, Taylor and Abasi seek to unravel the mystery behind the collaboration pictured by Canadian adult students in their process of learning ‘in both formal and informal adult literacy programs.’
Based on the authenticity of the research, the article is well written, as Taylor and Abasi bring out the impact of collaborative learning to the community showing clearly the components involved in enhancing adult learning. They also include neat diagrams, which enhance the quality and the validity of their work.
In addition, the article is rich in sense that, the reader gets to realize the underlying reason behind its publication. “The need for action on a pan-Canadian literary strategy” (Taylor & Abasi, 2007, p. 4) turns out to be the force behind the article. This clarification makes it easy for the reader to see the sense in adult literacy, which initially is hard to realize.
Following the way Taylor and Abasi base their opinions on well-documented evidence; the article is all-round interesting. The depth of the literature review of the article compels the reader to go on and on to establish what other scholars have said about this topic in the past, giving him/her the chance to modify it, if need be.
The identification of the research question comes early in the paper particularly in the abstract. The reader knows early enough the problem that Taylor and Abasi are trying to address. The question under study is, “how Canadian adult students collaboratively learn with peers in both formal and non-formal adult literacy programs” (Taylor & Abasi, 2007, p. 2). From the research question, these writers provide the reader with the objectives of their study.
They want to come up with brainstorms of how improvements of the current literacy programs can be realized following the adult learning and tuition strategies. Moreover, the research question stands out as the writers’ hypothesis whose validity forms the basis of the research. As Taylor and Abasi (2007) posits, “there is much potential for peer collaboration that encourages learning in a community process” (p. 5).
This stands out as an explicit hypothesis since it addresses the objective of the research. Other questions arise in the research to reveal the writers’ objectives to the reader.
Taylor and Abasi justify the relevance of their research topic. They incorporate the claims of other researchers relating to a similar study. For instance, they employ the claim of the Canadian statistics which says, “40% of Canadians do not have literacy skills they need to meet the ever-increasing demands of our information based economy and society” (Statistics Canada, 2005).
Since statistical findings are only valid within a given period, they change to assumptions later, calling for further testing. Therefore, this assumption, coupled with others pointed out in this article, form the work of Taylor and Abasi, who have set out to justify the then findings.
Through their laid down hypothesis, the rigorous procedure involved, before a stand is realized concerning the hypothesis, is enough to justify the relevance of their topic. Therefore, Taylor and Abasi use the prevailing assumptions concerning their study, to unravel the truth behind the topic.
The authors have extensively reviewed previous researches and literature available pertaining to this topic. They review theoretical literature and this seems appropriate given the nature of the topic under discussion. After looking into the available literature, the authors synthesize it adequately.
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For instance, Taylor and Abasi review the works of Selman, Selman, Cooke, and Dampier, who showed that, ” adult education is organized in terms of the content and the relationship between the learner and the sponsor of the activity, and can be divided into three main approaches: formal, non-formal, and informal” (Taylor & Abasi, 2007, p. 4).
This literature is relevant to the topic since the writers seek to find out how the adults collaboratively learn these formal and informal curricula. This is just but one of the literature reviewed relating to the topic
The writers conduct a literature review research. They extensively review the existing literature to draw comparisons and differences about what has been said about this topic. They employ an interpretive case study; for instance, the multisite case study used by Creswell in 1998.
They study the case where “They involved both formal and non-formal adult literacy programs offered by people, words, and change, a community tutorial literacy program; the Ottawa-Carleton Catholic School Board; the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board; and Algonquin College Career…” (Taylor & Abasi, 2007, p. 5). The data used here is purely theoretical which is appropriate for this kind of study.
In literature review research, there is no use of empirical data. Theoretical data is usually sufficient because this forms the basis of this type of research. The data is collected from both archives and libraries to compare ancient data and contemporary one to come up with informed conclusions. Moreover, the writers go to the field to collect data. They use observations, video recordings, interviews, notes, among others, as the data sources, which foster the accuracy of their conclusions.
There are no statistical or qualitative methods employed for this research topic. However, the authors have managed to answer the research question posed. The writers draw the conclusion that, ‘collaborative learning becomes the foundation that supports the various building blocks in a community of literacy practice” (Taylor & Abasi, 2007, p. 6).
This conclusion makes sense in that, the learning on study is known to brace up every event, or activity that results as one joins a literacy program. The research stands out as relevant and compelling since the writers have achieved the intended results of their research and the reader can now confirm true some the issues, which were initially assumptions.
Based on the aforementioned findings, the reasons for the past educational failures have been realized and a better way of learning has found its way. However, the writers do not give a room for further investigations concerning the topic thus leaving the reader to assume that the results revealed here are absolute. This stands out as a weakness of this research; otherwise, it is an informative and an obliging one.
Creswell, J. (1998). Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Statistics Canada. (2005). Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey: Learning a Living. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.
Taylor, M., & Abasi, A. (2007). Collaborative Learning in Communities of Literacy Practice. London: London University.