The Research Journey: Introduction to Inquiry

The Research Journey: Introduction to Inquiry




Designed to foster "inquiry-mindedness," this book prepares graduate students to develop a conceptual framework and conduct inquiry projects that are linked to ongoing conversations in a field. The authors examine different ways of knowing and show how to identify a research question; build arguments and support them with evidence; make informed design decisions; engage in reflective, ethical practices; and produce a written proposal or report. Each chapter opens with a set of critical questions, followed by a dialogue among five fictional graduate students exploring questions and concerns about their own inquiry projects; these issues are revisited throughout the chapter. Other useful features include end-of-chapter learning activities for individual or group use. Useful pedagogical features include:
• Framing questions for exploration and reflection.
• Chapter-opening dialogues that bring in perspectives from multiple disciplines.
• Example boxes with detailed cases and questions for the reader.
• End-of-chapter activities and experiential exercises that guide readers to develop their own inquiry projects.
• Suggestions for further reading.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781462505142
Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
Publication date: 03/28/2012
Pages: 190
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Sharon F. Rallis is Dwight W. Allen Distinguished Professor of Education Policy and Reform at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she is also Director of the Center for Education Policy. Dr. Rallis has coauthored 10 books, including several on leadership. Her interests include research and evaluation methodology, ethical practice in research and evaluation, education policy and leadership, and school reform. A past president of the American Evaluation Association, Dr. Rallis has been involved with education and evaluation for over three decades as a teacher, counselor, principal, researcher, program evaluator, director of a major federal school reform initiative, and an elected school board member.


Gretchen B. Rossman is Chair of the Department of Educational Policy, Research and Administration and Professor of International Education at the Center for International Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her work focuses on qualitative research design and methods, mixed methods monitoring and evaluation, and inquiry in education, including the analysis and evaluation of educational reform initiatives both in the United States and internationally. She has coauthored nine books, including the major qualitative research texts Learning in the Field (with Sharon F. Rallis) and Designing Qualitative Research (with Catherine Marshall).

Table of Contents

1. Inquiry as Learning: Beginning the Journey


What Is Inquiry?

The Learner as Knowledge Generator

Drawing on Values and Passion

Your Journey into Systematic Inquiry

For Further Reading

2. Ways of Knowing: Finding a Compass

Ways of Knowing

Fundamental Assumptions

Mapping Perspectives

Back to Ontology and Epistemology

For Further Reading

3. The Cycle of Inquiry: More Than One Way to Get There

Inquiry in Action/Inquiry as Practice

The Systematic Inquiry Cycle

Validity, Credibility, and Trustworthiness

For Further Reading

4. Being an Ethical Inquirer: Staying Alert on the Road

Ethics in Inquiry

The Inquirer as a Moral Practitioner

Standards for Practice and Procedural Matters

Ethics, Trustworthiness, and Rigor

Ethical Theories

Ethics and Reflexivity

For Further Reading

5. Constructing Conceptual Frameworks: Building the Route

What Is a Conceptual Framework?

Building an Argument

Entering the Conversation: Your Community of Practice

Entering the Conversation: Your Engagement

Entering the Conversation: The Communities of Discourse

Ways of Organizing

Chapter Summary

For Further Reading

6. Designing the Inquiry Project: Finding “True North”

Moving from the Conceptual Framework into Design

Considering Various Designs

Samira’s Research Questions and Possible Designs

A Short Course on Research Methods

Planning for Analysis and Interpretation

The Research Proposal: Bringing it All Together

An Example of Connecting the What and the How

Chapter Summary

For Further Reading

7. Things to Consider in Writing: Staying in the Right Lane

Writing Introductions

The Nasty Problem of Plagiarism

Using Proper Citation Format

For Further Reading

8. Knowledge Use: Arriving at Your Destination

Using What You have Learned

Who Cares?: Potential Audiences

Communicating for Use

Passions and Closing the Loop

For Further Reading


Graduate students and instructors in education, social work, psychology, and human development and family studies; applied researchers who want to improve their proposals. Will serve as a core or supplemental text in master's- and doctoral-level introduction to research or inquiry courses, and in the capstone course in degree programs.

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