Conducting Educational Research: A Comparative View

By R. Murray Thomas | Go to book overview

efficacy theory ( Telljohann, Everett, Durgin, & Price, 1996), social-class theory ( Goldthorpe, 1996), strain theory ( Farnworth & Leiber, 1989), value theory ( Foster, 1991), and far more.


CONCLUSION

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.


RESEARCH PROJECT CHECKLIST
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
_____Other (specify)__________
__________
2. Which (if any) of the following categories identify the general aim of my
research?
_____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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