Reading Educational Research: How to Avoid Getting Statistically Snookered / Edition 1

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Overview

Gerald Bracey's primer on statistics comes out exactly when we need it most: when school folks are being driven crazy by the bureaucrats' insistence on "data-driven" everything. But Bracey makes clear that data is rarely what it seems, and that both its producers and its users need to be much more sophisticated about what it is and isn't.
- Susan Harman, Principal, Growing Children School, California
Stats, stats, stats. It seems everything written about education today is full of stats. Stats about reading and writing competency; stats about graduation and retention rates; stats comparing U.S. students to other countries' students; stats about how many students meet state education mandates. With so many numbers in education these days, how do you discern what's data and what's dada?

With Reading Education Research, nimble-minded number cruncher and award-winning researcher Gerald Bracey takes your hand and walks you through the process of figuring out the meaning behind the figures. You don't need to be a math whiz to follow Bracey because he writes with clarity and humor, explicitly defining statistical terminology in easy-to-understand language and even offering you thirty-two specific principles for assessing the quality of research as you read it.

Reading Education Research includes four major themes that every classroom teacher will find helpful as they read research and talk about it with colleagues, parents, or administrators, including:

  • understanding data and how it is used-and misused
  • uncovering how variables are used in the construction of scientifically based research-and manipulated in politically motivated research
  • drawing conclusions about a study and deciding whether the data presented is meaningful
  • assessing the data that comes from standardized testing.
Don't be numbed by the numbers or get hung up on histograms. Before you read another piece of educational research, get Reading Education Research and let Gerald Bracey guide you to a firm understanding of the story behind the stats.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780325008585
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 2/9/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 658,147
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Since 1984 Gerald W. Bracey has written a monthly column for Phi Delta Kappan making research accessible to teaching practitioners. In 2003 the column received the Interpretive Scholarship Award from the American Educational Research Association. Bracey spends about half his time as an independent researcher and writer and splits the rest between George Mason University and the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation. He has a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Stanford University and has held positions in private firms, local school districts, universities, and state departments of education.
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Table of Contents

1 Data, their uses, and their abuses 1
2 The nature of variables 36
3 Making inferences, finding relationships : statistical significance and correlation coefficients 68
4 Testing : a major source of data - and maybe child abuse 102
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  • Posted May 14, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    How often have you ever heard that a book on RESEARCH is a good read? This one is!

    I am a college teacher and I have read quite a lot of texts on research. This is not big on "how to conduct research" - but it is GREAT at breaking down and accurately interpreting data.

    This book makes for some interesting conversations and touches on topics in education from testing to global differences and frequent misunderstandings of data such as how information can be lost when aggregated and comparisons of groups that are not similar...

    Lots of current useful information that will still be current in 10 years as the same (sometimes wrong-headed) conclusions tend to get repeated and the same mistakes of interpretation happen year after year.

    I highly recommend this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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