Trends in Educational Research in Turkey: A Content Analysis*

By Göktas, Yüksel; Hasançebi, Funda et al. | Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri, Winter 2012 | Go to article overview

Trends in Educational Research in Turkey: A Content Analysis*


Göktas, Yüksel, Hasançebi, Funda, Varisoglu, Behice, Akçay, Ahmet, Bayrak, Naci, Baran, Mukadder, Sözbilir, Mustafa, Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri


Abstract

This study focused on educational research papers published from 2005-2009 in journals listed in SSCI and the ULAKBIM database in Turkey. Study types, research methods, investigated specific topics, used data collection tools, employed data analysis methods, and utilized types of samples and sampling methods were analyzed. A total of 2115 papers published in 19 Turkish educational research journals (5 of them listed in SSCI and 14 listed in ULAKBIM) were subjected to content analysis by using the 'Educational Research Papers Classification Form (ERPCF)'. The results showed that most of the studies belonged to the disciplines of instructional technology, science education, guidance and counselling, and mathematics education. Regarding the research methods, it was found out that quantitative studies predominated within educational research. Turkish educational researchers commonly used quantitative data collection tools and descriptive analysis methods. The most frequently studied samples participants were undergraduate students and teachers. The comparative results for the papers published in the journals listed in SSCI and ULAKBIM showed that there was no significant difference in terms of either the research methods employed or the data analysis methods used between the two indices.

Key Words

Educational Researchs, Educational Research Trend, Research Trend, Content Analysis.

There has been a proliferation of educational research papers published recently. Educational research plays a major role in influencing and informing educational practice. Some of these published studies have been the basis of educational reform, while others were conducted following reforms. In general, educational researchers utilize previous research to develop their conceptual and theoretical frameworks, and to provide qualitative (e.g., content analyses) and quantitative (e.g., meta-analyses) reviews of the literature, from which key findings are summarized (Karadag, 2009). Mortimore (2000) suggested four tasks to undertake in educational research. These are to observe and record systematically, to analyze and draw out implications, to publish findings, and crucially, to attempt to improve educational processes and outcomes. Critiquing the quality of published research also helps other researchers and readers to make use of educational findings, and it tends to improve the quality of papers which are published (Karadag, 2009).

Many research studies are done in areas independent from each other. The recent increase in the number of research papers has led to new problems to overcome. For instance, when the number of papers increases, it becomes difficult for researchers, particularly newcomers to a field, to access all the papers in a particular area of study. Even if they can access the papers, they may experience difficulties when attempting to read and comprehend so many of them. Falkingham and Reeves (1998) suggested using content analysis to summarize large amounts of published studies in particular subject fields, in order to help readers digest the material more easily. Several content analyses (Greene, 1998; Jenkins, 1997; Liao, 2007) were subsequently performed to highlight the trends in particular disciplines. For instance, Jenkins analyzed 4918 papers in school psychology, published in five different journals between 1964-1995 to illuminate potential, future research topics in that field.

Turkish researchers have also started to perform content analyses and meta-analysis studies (Arik & Türkmen, 2009; Çalik, Ünal, Costu, & Karatas, 2008; Gülbahar & Alper, 2009; Sozbilir, Kutu, & Yasar, (in press); Simsek et al., 2008, 2009; Yildiz, 2004) to summarize the greatly increased amount of educational research papers published in the last ten years. Arik and Türkmen (2009) investigated papers published in educational journals in Turkey and also those listed in SSCI (Social Science and Citation Index®).

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