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Key Issues for Education Researchers

Key Issues for Education Researchers

  • Diana Burton - Professor of Education at the University of Wolverhampton
  • Steve Bartlett - Professor of Education Studies at the University of Wolverhampton

June 2009 | 192 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Doing a small-scale research project is a compulsory element of an Education Studies degree. This book will guide and support students through their research, offering practical advice on designing, planning and completing the research and on writing it up. It outlines the philosophical approaches underpinning research, and talks through techniques in both quantitative and qualitative methods, how to design research instruments, and the collecting and analyzing of data.

Chapters cover:

- Research paradigms and social perspectives

- Ethical approaches to research

- Research methods including interviewing, questionnaires, observation and experiments

- Research diaries and personal biography

- Writing up your research

Each chapter includes points for reflection, encouraging students to explore different perceptions on the whole research project. Tasks in each chapter take readers through the process of designing and justifying their own research project. Essential reading for education studies students, it will also be very suitable for those doing masters courses in education, students on initial teacher training programs and of interest to others, such as classroom assistants, studying education on foundation degrees.


The Development of Education Research
Research paradigms and social perspectives
An ethical approach to research
Getting Started: beginning a research project
Accessing and using literature
Research strategies: case studies and experiments
Research biographies and logs
Use of existing documents
Writing up and final conclusions

'In [this book], the clarity of the content organisation is strengthened by a simple, but not simplistic, exposition which makes [it] a valid educational support, suitable not only for students but also for all those who need some guidance to systematise their research activity and knowledge...I would certainly recommend [this book] to my students, since I find it a more complete, balanced and stimulating introduction to research than many other guides with similar aims that are currently available' -
British Journal of Educational Technology

'Burton and Bartlett comfortably, and with style, map out the "how to"s of research, while at the same time presenting a book rich in the "what it means", discussing with ease the philosophical and epistemological underpinnings of educational research….As leader of an MA Education programme, I will most certainly be putting it on my "Required Reading" list - ESCalate

'Of the growing number of introductions and guides to research, there are few which have both the breadth and depth of this book; the reader readily develops a critical geography of a very wide field whilst at the same time digging deep into the vital issues which irradiate educational policies and research practices. Of the two books I would urge researchers to buy, this is one...' - Professor Peter Clough, Liverpool Hope University

Burton and Bartlett's book is very useful, simple but comprehensive. It is therefore suitable for both academic and non-academic readers who need to gain knowledge and understanding in both quantitive and qualitative approaches in research. The chapters are clearly layout with some good examples of research practice.

Ms Heather Allison
Department of Education (North Campus), London Metropolitan University
January 5, 2016

A great introductory text with lots of helpful examples.

Dr Phil Kirkman
Faculty of Education, Cambridge University
May 27, 2016

This publication is a very good resource for those starting out in research. The authors provide clear explanations with excellent examples for students to complete activities to consolidate their learning and provide a clearer understanding of relevant methods to use within their projects.

Miss Tracey Canham
Health Care And Early Years, Swindon College
September 7, 2015

Broad issues discussed and useful for someone new to the topic.

Miss Alyson Lewis
Newport School of Education, University of Wales, Newport
October 1, 2014

The chapters of this book flow logically through the process of carrying out educational research.

The recommended reading list at the end of each chapter gives a summary of each, this will help the reader decide whether to access the material.

Activities within the chapters help put theory into practice and the chapter conclusions keep the points fresh in the mind of the reader.

Overall, a great book written in an accessible language.

Ms Ann Gravells
Teacher Training, Ann Gravells Ltd
April 17, 2014

A helpful resource for students and lecturers, to ensure that key issues are covered when discussing the different paradigms, approaches and instruments..

Mr Cathal Butler
School of Education, Bedfordshire University
October 23, 2013

There is useful information and pointers for all social welfare researchers here; the audience is wider that just academics.

Mr Dave Mason
Faculty of Health Sciences, Staffordshire University
September 11, 2013

very good for research, however to indepth for this course

Mrs Karen Cooke
Health & Care, Trafford College
August 30, 2013

For most Ctlls and Dtlls learners or those undertaking a PGCE in the PCE sector (lifelong Learning) will know that the research assignments always cause the most stress for fear of not knowing how to construct or conduct an action research report and or presentation.

The layout is inviting and not in the least forbidding to the inexperienced amongst those delving into the area of educational research. Chapters are broken up into ‘easily digestible chunks’ with the use of sub-headings. Also the introductions and conclusions that frame each chapter and the activities and case studies also add to the usefulness of the book.

The book covers each aspect of research by addressing it in an easy to read way for the new researcher through to one converse with research skills. Each aspect explored being addressed in an unambiguous way. Terminology is explained and kept as simple as possible in order to not lose or confuse its reader but not in a patronising way.

Additional recommended or further reading is minimal as the authors obviously felt they had covered the majority of the information needed in this text book.

A particular comprehensive chapter on how to conduct interviews and observations is included.

Overall the book provides a good reference tool to have at ones side whether for the valuable first report or as an experienced learner needing to use it as a reference.

Ms Eklaine Vatandoust
Institute of Education, Worcester University
June 14, 2012

Sage College Publishing

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