Educational Research: A Guide to the Process

Educational Research: A Guide to the Process

Educational Research: A Guide to the Process

Educational Research: A Guide to the Process

Synopsis

Educational Research: A Guide to the Process is a different kind of research text. It emphasizes the process of research, that is, what researchers actually do as they go about designing and carrying out their research activities. Rather than passively reading about research operations, it promotes content mastery by using a three-step pedagogical model that involves: a manageable chunk of text, a comprehension or application exercise, and author feedback on the exercise. The text contains approximately 150 of these exercise-feedback units. The second edition has been thoroughly updated, expanded from 15 to 20 chapters, and reorganized into two parts. Part I covers basic aspects of the research process, provides an example of a student research proposal, and shows how to evaluate a research report. Part II provides a separate chapter for each research methodology, including two chapters on qualitative research. Other noteworthy changes include more annotated studies and more visual illustrations of statistical and research methods. THIS COPY USED FOR TEXTBOOK MAILER...NOT TO BE USED IN GENERAL CATALOGS Thoroughly class-tested for over 15 years with some 2000 students, this outstanding text features: *numerous thought questions that focus on important ideas, *actual studies, followed by author critiques so students can test their ideas against those of the authors, *activities that allow students to actually experience the research methodologies discussed, and *examples of how the various research methodologies discussed might be applied in real-life settings.

Excerpt

This text was motivated by our belief that many of the more traditional research texts currently available are either too difficult or too detailed (or sometimes both) for use in an introductory course. It is our view that those of us who teach the introductory course should strive to attain three fundamental objectives: to introduce and make understandable certain concepts that are basic to the conduct of educational research, to assist students in making sense out of the research literature they come across, and to give students some sense of what it is like to actually do research of immediate interest to them.

Although we are advocates of basic research aimed at developing a widely applicable knowledge base, we are increasingly skeptical that such an approach to knowledge generation is sufficient. Educational practice at the local level might well be improved dramatically if teachers, principals, counselors, and case workers (to name a few examples) were to carry out studies, individually or collectively, on questions of immediate importance to them. We think it quite realistic to expect these professionals to acquire the necessary expertise to initiate such studies themselves. Indeed, some of our own students have done so!

As a result, we have written a different kind of research text. It emphasizes the process of research—that is, what researchers actually do as they go about designing and carrying out their research activities. Moreover, throughout the book. we engage students in a series of questions and activities that allow them to experience what the research process is actually like. Thus, among other things, the student will learn to identify researchable issues, formulate and analyze research questions and hypotheses, prepare operational definitions, conduct library searches, locate or develop data collection instruments, analyze the adequacy of samples and the validity of conclusions drawn from such samples, examine research designs for alternative explanations for the outcomes of a study, and practice techniques for clarifying data. The emphasis throughout the book is on having students actively engage in the operations that researchers regularly perform rather than passively reading about such operations. As a result, we think that they will gain a much greater appreciation of what the process of doing research actually involves.

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