An Education Research Primer: How to Understand, Evaluate and Use It / Edition 1by Patricia A. Lauer
Pub. Date: 03/31/2006
With efforts to transform education into a “research-based” field, educators are always on the watch for research to inform educational decisions. Whether it’s for making choices about class scheduling, instructional practices, or educational interventions, educators often rely on research studies to help them determine how and why particular
With efforts to transform education into a “research-based” field, educators are always on the watch for research to inform educational decisions. Whether it’s for making choices about class scheduling, instructional practices, or educational interventions, educators often rely on research studies to help them determine how and why particular programs might be effective, or what really works in the classroom. But what makes for quality research? Are research claims always justified? And how can educators identify research that’s useful or relevant to their needs?
Produced with the assistance of Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL), one of the nation’s foremost educational research and training organizations, An Education Research Primer gives educators a basic understanding of educational research, its guiding criteria, and its relevance to school-based decision-making. In clear and concise language the book summarizes the various types of educational research, explaining their diverse purposes and methods. For example, the difference between experimental research (studies involving control group trials) and descriptive research (based on descriptive information and relationships) is explained, including how each is designed to address different types of research questions, and why each might have different applications. The book also describes what’s involved in setting up a comparison control group and how some studies have randomized control groups while others do not. In addition, the book describes the different types of data collection methods used in research and how this can bear on the research findings.
Particular attention is given to the scientific criteria that support the research and why this is important to educators. The book then provides step-by-step information on how to evaluate, analyze, and assess the validity of research studies, whether it is experimental research, descriptive research, or research presented in a literature review. Educators learn to ask critical questions: Did the research design match the research question? Were the data collection methods reliable? How were the conclusions summarized? Were all the variables or rival explanations accounted for? In addition, the book provides tools for accessing relevant research, suggestions for reading research reports, and practical guidance for understanding statistics. The discussion includes extensive research examples and is linked to practical policy and programmatic questions throughout.
An Education Research Primer demystifies educational research and is an indispensable resource for practicing and aspiring educational researchers, for school leaders and teachers, and for educational policy makers who must comply with today’s educational standards.
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- New Edition
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- 8.50(w) x 10.80(h) x 0.70(d)
Table of Contents
1. The Purpose of Education Research 1
2. Scientific Criteria in Education Research 7
3. The Types of Education Research 13
4. Understanding Experimental and Descriptive Research 21
5. Understanding Data Collection in Education Research 33
6. Issues in Evaluating Education Research 41
7. Evaluating Experimental Research Studies 53
8. Evaluating Descriptive Research Studies 68
9. Evaluating Literature Reviews 83
10. Assessing the Relevance of Education Research 92
A. Tips on Reading Research Reports 102
B. Glossary of Education Research Terms 107
C. Finding Education Research 138
D. Statistics Tutorial 141
About the Author 162
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