The purpose of the Social Research and Educational Studies series is to provide authoritative guides to key issues in educational research. The series includes overviews of fields, guidance on good practice and discussions of the practical implications of social and educational research. In particular, the series deals with a variety of approaches to conducting social and educational research. Contributors to this series review recent work, raise critical concerns that are particular to the field of education and reflect on the implications of research for educational policy and practice.
Each volume in the series draws on material that will be relevant for an international audience. The contributors to this series all have wide experience of teaching, conducting and using educational research. The volumes are written so that they will appeal to a wide audience of students, teachers and researchers. Altogether the volumes in the Social Research and Educational Studies series provide a comprehensive guide for anyone concerned with contemporary educational research.
The series includes individually authored books and edited volumes on a range of themes in education including qualitative research, survey research, the interpretation of data, self-evaluation, research and social policy, analysing data, action research and the politics and ethics of research.
Among the volumes that have contributed to our understanding of social research methodology in the last 20 years have been those devoted to research autobiographies where researchers are encouraged by editors to 'tell it as it is'. Such accounts have helped to extend our understanding of the research pro cess and the ways in which research problems have been handled. They have also highlighted the ways in which the context of research has changed over time. It is for this reason that autobiographical essays need to be regularly commissioned if we are to understand the preoccupations of contemporary researchers. Geoffrey Walford's collection of essays examines the ways in which researchers working on education in the 1990s face a diverse range of social, political and methodological issues in the delivery of high quality work.
Robert G. Burgess
University of Warwick