Research Methods in Education

By Louis Cohen; Lawrence Manion et al. | Go to book overview

22

Recent developments

As we saw in the introduction to this fifth part of the book, what can be observed in recent developments in educational research is the importation of ideas and methods from spheres outside education, furthering the notion that interdisciplinary inquiry is both a developing trend and, indeed, the way forward at the cutting edge of research. The frontiers of new knowledge are no longer hidebound by disciplines (for example in the discussions of needs analysis and needs assessment in this chapter). This trend can be coupled with the use of information technology for research activity (for example the discussions of simulations and modelling as we shall see). In this chapter these examples, in turn, draw on the disciplines of mathematics (e.g. chaos theory, complexity theory and fuzzy logic) and geography (Geographical Information Systems). The role of information technology has enabled researchers to break out of disciplinary boundaries and move forward with speed and success. Previous chapters have indicated the role that information technology software can play at all stages of research. This chapter discusses four such applications: the Internet, simulations, fuzzy logic, and Geographical Information Systems (GIS).


The Internet

The storage and retrieval of research data on the Internet play an important role not only in keeping researchers abreast of developments across the world, but also in providing access to data which can inform literature searches to establish construct and content validity in their own research. Indeed some kinds of research are essentially large-scale literature searches (e.g. the research papers published in the journal Review of Educational Research). On-line journals, abstracts and titles enable researchers to identify the cutting edge of research and to initiate a literature search of relevant material on their chosen topic. Websites and e-mail correspondence enable networks and information to be shared. For example, researchers wishing to gain instantaneous global access to literature and recent developments in research associations can reach Australia, East Asia, the UK and America in a matter of seconds through such websites as:

http://www.aera.net (the website of the American Educational Research Association);

http://www.laic.k12.ca.us/catalog/providers/185.html (also the website of the American Educational Research Association);

http://www.acer.edu.au/index2.html (the website of the Australian Council for Educational Research);

http://www.bera.ac.uk (the website of the British Educational Research Association);

http://scre.ac.uk (the website of the Scottish Council for Research in Education);

http://www.eera.ac.uk/index.html (the website of the European Educational Research Association);

http://www.cem.dur.ac.uk (the website of the Curriculum Evaluation and Management Centre, probably the largest monitoring centre of its kind in the world);

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Research Methods in Education
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Boxes xi
  • Acknowledgements xiii
  • Introduction xv
  • Part One - The Context of Educational Research 1
  • 1 - The Nature of Inquiry 3
  • Part Two - Planning Educational Research 47
  • 2 - The Ethics of Educational and Social Research 49
  • 3 - Research Design Issues- Planning Research 73
  • 4 - Sampling 92
  • 5 - Validity and Reliability 105
  • Part Three - Styles of Educational Research 135
  • 6 - Naturalistic and Ethnographic Research 137
  • 7 - Historical Research 158
  • 8 - Surveys, Longitudinal, Cross-Sectional and Trend Studies 169
  • 9 - Case Studies 181
  • 10 - Correlational Research 191
  • 11 - Ex Post Facto Research 205
  • 12 - Experiments, Quasi-Experiments and Single-Case Research 211
  • 13 - Action Research 226
  • Part Four - Strategies for Data Collection and Researching 243
  • 14 - Questionnaires 245
  • 15 - Interviews 267
  • 16 - Accounts 293
  • 17 - Observation 305
  • 18 - Tests 317
  • 19 - Personal Constructs 337
  • 20 - Multi-Dimensional Measurement 349
  • 21 - Role-Playing 370
  • Part Five - Recent Developments in Educational Research 381
  • 22 - Recent Developments 383
  • Notes 396
  • Bibliography 407
  • Index 438
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