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Quantitative Research in Education

Quantitative Research in Education
A Primer

Second Edition

August 2015 | 176 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

The book provides a reference point for beginning educational researchers to grasp the most pertinent elements of designing and conducting research…

Megan Tschannen-Moran, The College of William & Mary


Quantitative Research in Education: A Primer, Second Edition is a brief and practical text designed to allay anxiety about quantitative research. Award-winning authors Wayne K. Hoy and Curt M. Adams first introduce readers to the nature of research and science, and then present the meaning of concepts and research problems as they dispel notions that quantitative research is too difficult, too theoretical, and not practical. Rich with concrete examples and illustrations, the Primer emphasizes conceptual understanding and the practical utility of quantitative methods while teaching strategies and techniques for developing original research hypotheses.


The Second Edition includes suggestions for empirical investigation and features a new section on self-determination theory, examples from the latest research, a concluding chapter illustrating the practical applications of quantitative research, and much more. This accessible Primer is perfect for students and researchers who want a quick understanding of the process of scientific inquiry and who want to learn how to effectively create and test ideas.

Chapter 1: The Nature of Research and Science
Ways of Knowing


The Nature of Science

The Scientific Approach

Theory: A Scientific Concept

Components of Theory

The Nature of Scientific Research

Types of Quantitative Research

Chapter 2: Concepts, Variables, and Research Problems


Operationalizing Concepts

Research Problems

Chapter 3: Conceptual Foundations of Statistics
Measures of Central Tendencies

Measures of Variability

Normal Distribution

Populations and Samples

Statistical Tests

Chapter 4: Analyzing the Structure and Substance of Hypotheses

Kinds of Hypotheses

Imposter and Misconceived Hypotheses

Finding Hypotheses in Research Studies

Analyzing and Diagramming Hypotheses

The Invisible Condition: “Other Things Being Equal”

Chapter 5: Generating Hypotheses
Ideas for New Hypotheses

Observing, Conceptualizing, and Hypothesizing

Searching for Theoretical Underpinnings

More Theory: More Hypotheses

Chapter 6: Practical Applications
Collective Trust

Organizational Climate

Guidelines for Improvement


“This text will definitely be useful in providing students with a solid orientation to research design particularly in quantitative research”

Gail T. Schneider
University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee

“Precision, precision, precision! I think this is a must have companion text for graduate students who have to complete a thesis or dissertation. The author does an outstanding job of cataloging and describing difficult research methods terms in a clear and concise way.”

Farzin Madjidi
Pepperdine University

“Greatest strength is the comprehensiveness of the treatment”

Barbara Y. LaCosta
University of Nebraska - Lincoln

“A reference point for beginning educational researchers to grasp the most pertinent elements of designing and conducting research”

Megan Tschannen-Moran
The College of William & Mary

Provides all the essential information for quantitative research in a concise book.

Mrs Sharon Gayter
Business School, Teesside University
August 30, 2022

A book on research in education but quite well can be accommodated into other social science areas. A great easy to follow publication especially if someone is new to statistical analysis.

Mr Jahangir Wasim
Strategy, Enterprise and Innovation, Portsmouth University
June 19, 2017

There are two strong chapters in this publication that are clearer and more relevant that the sources presently being used by my students. Chapter 3 is particularly well written and clear and builds a progression in terms of understanding statistics. Chapter 4 is also effective however I would probably place this before Chapter 3. In terms of detail there is probably too much in Chapter 4 on Hypothesis whereas Chapter 3 could be developed perhaps by the inclusion of more examples.

Mr Stephen Francis Hannon
Recreation , Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology
March 2, 2016

Very helpful book that provides a basis for students undertaking education based research.

Mr Nigel Roberts
youth and schools, centre for youth ministry
December 8, 2015

For those that are interested in doing research that is quantitative in nature, this book is useful, although we tend to advise a more qualitative approach. Therefore I can see myself dipping in and out of this book as it provides some good explanations and there is follow through. I would have welcomed more working examples as this would have concretised everything a lot more.

Dr deesha chadha
King's Learning Institute, King's College London
October 29, 2015

This is a good supplement to the research methods module, especially for those students who are entering into the field of education. The quantitative methods discussed are also transferrable to other subjects.

Mrs Linda Marron
Centre For International Education , Edge Hill University
December 8, 2015
Key features


  • A new chapter devoted to the practical applications of education research uses the concepts of collective trust, organizational climate, and improvement science to illustrate the utility of a quantitative approach. It also offers guidelines for analyzing and improving the practice of research in education.
  • New hypotheses found in a variety of research studies are available for readers to analyze and diagram.
  • A new section on self-determination theory has been added to demonstrate the relation between theory and practice.
  • A new section on self-regulatory climate gives readers an opportunity to explore an exciting new area that they are likely to encounter in practice.  
  • A conceptual description of Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) has been added to help readers understand statistical data organized at more than one level.    


  • Education-specific concrete examples bring concepts to life and engage readers with relevant, meaningful illustrations.
  • Check Your Understanding exercises and questions assess the reader’s ability to understand, value, and apply the content of the chapter.  
  • Strategies and techniques for generating hypotheses help readers understand the process of creating their own hypotheses.
  • Key Terms are highlighted in the text when they first appear and then summarized in a list at the end of the chapter to help reinforce key concepts.
  • A Glossary concisely and clearly defines all the key terms in the text so readers have immediate access to ideas and concepts needing review.
  • Charts throughout the text allow readers to select appropriate statistical techniques for given scenarios.
  • The Diagramming Table (in Chapter 4) enables readers to diagram and dissect hypotheses by ensuring the key elements of a hypothesis are considered, analyzed, and understood.
  • An Elements of a Proposal section (Appendix A) gives readers directions for developing a quantitative research plan and motivates readers to get started—the most difficult step for many.
  • The A Few Writing Tips section (Appendix B) lists a number of salient writing suggestions to help readers avoid common mistakes found in formal writing.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Title Page

Chapter 1

Chapter 3

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