efficacy theory ( Telljohann, Everett, Durgin, & Price, 1996), social-class theory ( Goldthorpe, 1996), strain theory ( Farnworth & Leiber, 1989), value theory ( Foster, 1991), and far more.
Students and practitioners in the field of education and in allied disciplines (psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics, history) often appear to feel at a loss when they are expected to come up with ideas for research projects. The purpose of this chapter has been to assist them with that task by suggesting a diversity of sources and aims of research topics and by offering examples of topics. Research efforts often include the aim of interpreting events in terms of theories that help dictate the type of data to collect and the kinds of conclusions to draw from data analyses. In this chapter I have illustrated several types of theories that can be adopted to guide the conduct of comparative studies.
|1. From which (if any) of the following sources do I derive my research topic?|
|_____A teacher's (professor's) suggestion||_____A colleague's or friend's suggestion|
|_____The content of a speech or lecture||_____A debate or discussion||_____A television or radio program||_____A newspaper or popular magazine|
|_____An academic journal||_____A book (textbook, scholarly|
|_____A diary, biography, letters||publication)|
|_____A research report|
|2. Which (if any) of the following categories identify the general aim of my|
|_____To understand the nature of an aspect of education|
|_____To describe the aspect's status|
|_____To explain causes of the aspect's condition|
|_____To predict the aspect's future condition|
|_____To evaluate the desirability of the aspect|
|_____To propose constructive action for improving an aspect of education|
|_____To describe the status of the aspect as a foundation for adopting a|
|course of action|
|_____To explain what needs to be changed to improve the aspect|
|_____To predict the outcome of the aspect if certain action is taken|
|_____To evaluate the results of an action that has been taken|
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Publication information: Book title: Conducting Educational Research:A Comparative View. Contributors: R. Murray Thomas - Author. Publisher: Bergin & Garvey. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1998. Page number: 49.
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