An Education Research Primer: How to Understand, Evaluate and Use It / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $13.98
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 58%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (7) from $13.98   
  • New (6) from $23.20   
  • Used (1) from $28.05   


With efforts to transform education into a“research-based” field, educators are always on thewatch for research to inform educational decisions. Whetherit’s for making choices about class scheduling, instructionalpractices, or educational interventions, educators often rely onresearch studies to help them determine how and why particularprograms might be effective, or what really works in the classroom.But what makes for quality research? Are research claims alwaysjustified? And how can educators identify research that’suseful or relevant to their needs?

Produced with the assistance of Mid-continent Research forEducation and Learning (McREL), one of the nation’s foremosteducational research and training organizations, An EducationResearch Primer gives educators a basic understanding ofeducational research, its guiding criteria, and its relevance toschool-based decision-making. In clear and concise language thebook summarizes the various types of educational research,explaining their diverse purposes and methods. For example, thedifference between experimental research (studies involving controlgroup trials) and descriptive research (based on descriptive information and relationships) is explained, including how each isdesigned to address different types of research questions, and whyeach might have different applications.  The book alsodescribes what’s involved in setting up a comparison controlgroup and how some studies have randomized control groups whileothers do not. In addition, the book describes the different typesof data collection methods used in research and how this can bearon the research findings.

Particular attention is given to the scientific criteria thatsupport the research and why this is important to educators. Thebook then provides step-by-step information on how to evaluate,analyze, and assess the validity of research studies, whether it isexperimental research, descriptive research, or research presentedin a literature review. Educators learn to ask critical questions:Did the research design match the research question? Were the datacollection methods reliable? How were the conclusions summarized? Were all the variables or rival explanations accounted for? Inaddition, the book provides tools for accessing relevant research,suggestions for reading research reports, and practical guidancefor understanding statistics. The discussion includes extensiveresearch examples and is linked to practical policy andprogrammatic questions throughout.

An Education Research Primer demystifies educationalresearch and is an indispensable resource for practicing andaspiring educational researchers, for school leaders and teachers,and for educational policy makers who must comply withtoday’s educational standards.

Read More Show Less

What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
“The examples of how to critique published research—especially research using quasi-experimental designs—are the clearest and most detailed I have every read. My students found it very helpful.”—Martin L. Tombari, professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, University of Denver


“Finally, Dr. Lauer has written a book for all educators, parents, and policy makers that provides all of the information and explanation needed to easily understand and interpret educational research.”—Charles DeRemer, assistant superintendent for instructional services, Fargo Public Schools, Fargo, North Dakota


“Teachers, principals, superintendents, policy makers, and anyone new to educational research will find An Educational Research Primer an invaluable resource. It demystifies basic research principles and methods by providing numerous examples and other clarifying materials.”—Vickie Grant, director of school improvement and assessment, Shannon County Public School District #65-1


“The book provides a useful and usable resource for everyone who needs to use research for improving educational policy and practice. It is a clear, coherent, user-friendly guide to understanding scientifically based research at all levels of education. This primer should part of an educator’s professional library.”—Joseph H. Simpson, deputy executive director, Council of Chief State Schools Officers

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787983239
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 3/31/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 184
  • Sales rank: 726,187
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Patricia A. Lauer, Ph.D., is a former principal researcher withMid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) inAurora, Colorado. Currently, she is the evaluation director for theRocky Mountain Center for Health Promotion and Education inLakewood, Colorado.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Lauer, An Education Primer



1. The Purpose of Educational Research

2. Scientific Criteria in Educational Research

3. The Types of Educational Research

4. Understanding Experimental and Descriptive Research

5. Understanding Data Collection Approaches

6. Issues in Evaluating Education Research

7. Evaluating Experimental Research Studies

8. Evaluating Descriptive Research Studies

9. Evaluating Literature Reviews

10. Assessing the Relevance of Research Studies


A. Tips on Reading Research Reports

B. Glossary of Education Research Terms

C. Finding Education Research

D. Research Statistics Tutorial


Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)