Research activity: scholarly and popular media


In this assignment, you will compare and contrast articles from research and the popular media and evaluate their applicability to early childhood practice.

Locate a peer-reviewed article related to early childhood development – a topic of interest to you, such as music and cognitive development. The article should be no older than 5 to 7 years.

A good place to search is the college database or Google Scholar. Peer-reviewed articles, also called scholarly sources, are written by experts in a field and written to keep others interested in that field up to date on the most recent research, findings, and news (see Module 1 Learning Objects).

Dissect the research article, paraphrasing the material found related to:

  • Purpose or hypothesis of the study
  • What the author(s) hoped to find
  • Issue being researched
  • Other research done on the topic
  • Theorists or theories used as a framework for the study
  • How participants were found or recruited
  • Demographics of the participants
  • Summary of the discussion and conclusions (the main points you took away from the reading)
  • Limitations
  • Recommendations for further research

Part 2: Dissecting a Popular Article

Locate an article in the popular media on the same topic as the research article.

A popular media article is not found in a scholarly journal. These are articles you would find in a magazine you can purchase at the book or grocery store; something online at sites such as The Huffington Post, CNN, or a parenting or teacher website. A rule of thumb: if the article does not have scholarly resources, it is considered popular media.

Compare and contrast the two articles. In the comparison and contrast, complete the following:

  • Synopsis of each article
  • Explanation of how the articles are the same
  • Explanation of the differences between the two (be specific). (For example, is one article more credible than the other? What makes this so?)
  • How comparing and contrasting the articles affects your feelings about and understanding of the topic
  • How each article applies to work in early childhood education
  • Complete, APA 7th edition formatted citations for both articles

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