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The choice of research questions is an important step that should be taken because it defines a further research design (Vogt, Gardner, & Haeffele, 2012). Regarding the project topic “The Role of a Leader in an Educational Process: Gender Differences and Importance of Leadership Qualities Being Developed by Students”, the following research questions can be offered:
- What are the main qualities of a good leader in an educational process?
- Do the differences between male and female leaders play an important role in the sphere of education?
Hypotheses for Research Questions
Each research question may have a null and an alternative hypothesis. The null hypothesis contains a statement that introduces a possible not expected outcome; the alternative hypothesis is the idea that is expected to be supported in research (Hensher, Rose, & Greene, 2005). The first research question may have the following types of hypotheses:
- Alternative: It is expected to prove that the rule of 3C’s is effective for students as leaders: every leader should learn the importance of communication, confidence, and commitment, and know-how to develop these skills in regards to a particular educational process.
- Null: A good leader has to work hard and know how to give orders, coordinate people, and make them listen.
The second research question may have the following hypotheses:
- Alternative: A gender role is not important in an educational process because students are not usually bothered by their gender differences.
- Null: The importance of gender roles has to be considered due to the fact that male students are better at coordinating students and giving orders, and female students demonstrate good skills in explanation and communication.
The form and focus of the first research question and its hypotheses are clear: it is necessary to understand what qualities a leader should possess to be a good one in the sphere of education. The question is open-ended because the results of the interviews and surveys define the answer (Mitchell & Jolley, 2012).
The second research question and its hypothesis are close-ended and help to realize if educational leadership and gender differences can be combined (Northouse, 2010).
Types of Alternative Hypotheses
A non-directional alternative hypothesis should prove a wrong aspect of the null hypothesis but does not consider the reference value, and a directional hypothesis considers the reference value of the null hypothesis. Considering personal guesses and predictions, it is possible to say that all alternative hypotheses are of a directional nature due to the possibility to detect the specific effect of the issue the researcher is interested in.
Types of Research Hypotheses
A one-tailed hypothesis makes a prediction in one certain direction (Greene & D’Oliveira, 2005), and a two-tailed hypothesis makes it possible to spread the impact of an independent variable (a gender of a leader) in several directions (the satisfaction of students and the quality of an educational process). That is why the hypothesis of a second research question may be defined as two-tailed because of the possibility to analyze the level of student satisfaction in an educational process and the impact of a leader on students’ results. The second research hypothesis can be defined as one-tailed because the results should help to identify the qualities of a leader and prove that all of them are crucial for an educational process (Kouzes & Posner, 2003).
Greene, J. & D’Oliveira, M. (2005). Learning to use statistical tests in psychology. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
Hensher, D.A., Rose, J.M., & Greene, W.H. (2005). Applied choice analysis: A primer. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Kouzes, J. & Posner, B. (2003). Leadership practices inventory (“LPI”) Self-Scoring Instrument. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Mitchell, M. & Jolley, J. (2012). Research design explained. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.
Northouse, P. (2010). Leadership: Theory and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
Vogt, W.P., Gardner, D.C., & Haeffele, L.M. (2012). When to use what research design. New York, NY: Guilford Press.