Conducting Educational Research: A Comparative View

By R. Murray Thomas | Go to book overview

Preface

Most research in the field of education is of a comparative nature. Comparisons are drawn between nations, regions of the world, schools, classrooms, teachers, individual students, ethnic groups, religious denominations, males and females, methods of instruction, teaching materials, learning goals, evaluation techniques, testing programs, and much more. Comparisons are also drawn across time-- early events compared with later ones, yesteryear compared with today and tomorrow.

Although there are many books about educational research and many about comparative education, I have not found any that focus precisely on the process of conducting comparative education research. The purpose of the present volume is to help fill that gap in the professional literature.

The book is comparative in an additional sense as well, in that the chapters compare diverse sources of research topics, aims of research projects, methods of gathering and classifying data, ways of interpreting the outcomes, and options for reporting and publishing the results.

The contents have been designed chiefly for two kinds of readers--for students who are planning research projects and for staff members of such organizations as ministries of education, school systems, bureaus of educational research, and educational-aid agencies. To achieve its purpose, the book describes the principal steps in designing and implementing research, illustrating each step with a host of examples of comparative studies.

Finally, I wish to express my appreciation to T. Neville Postlethwaite, who, over the years, has generously shared with me his rich fund of knowledge of educational research, and to Mark Bray who inspired me to write this book. I am also grateful to Paul Pedersen for his support and to the members of the Greenwood Publishing Group's editorial staff for the care and precision they invested in producing this volume.

-xiii-

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