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Research Methods in Education

Research Methods in Education

First Edition

October 2011 | 440 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc


Research Methods in Education introduces research methods as an integrated set of techniques for investigating questions about the educational world. This lively, innovative text helps students connect technique and substance, appreciate the value of both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, and make ethical research decisions. It weaves actual research "stories" into the presentation of research topics, and it emphasizes validity, authenticity, and practical significance as overarching research goals.

The text is divided into three sections: Foundations of Research (five chapters), Research Design and Data Collection (seven chapters), and Analyzing and Reporting Data (three chapters). This tripartite conceptual framework honors traditional quantitative approaches while reflecting the growing popularity of qualitative studies, mixed method designs, and school-based techniques. This approach provides a comprehensive, conceptually unified, and well-written introduction to the exciting but complex field of educational research.

Part I. Foundations of Research
1. Science, Schooling, and Educational Research
Learning About the Educational World

The Educational Research Approach

Educational Research Philosophies


2. The Process and Problems of Educational Research
Educational Research Questions

Educational Research Basics

The Role of Educational Theory

Educational Research Goals

Educational Research Proposals, Part I


3. Ethics in Research
Historical Background

Ethical Principles


4. Conceptualization and Measurement

Measurement Operations

Levels of Measurement

Evaluating Measures


5. Sampling
Sample Planning

Sampling Methods

Sampling Distributions


Part II. Research Design and Data Collection
6. Causation and Research Design
Causal Explanation

Criteria for Causal Explanations

Types of Research Designs

True Experimental Designs

Quasi-Experimental Designs

Threats to Validity in Experimental Designs



7. Evaluation Research
What Is Evaluation Research?

What Can an Evaluation Study Focus On?

How Can the Program Be Described? Creating a Program Logic Model

What Are the Alternatives in Evaluation Design?

Ethical Issues in Evaluation Research


8. Survey Research
Why Is Survey Research So Popular?

Errors in Survey Research

Questionnaire Design

Writing Questions

Survey Design Alternatives

Combining Methods

Survey Research Design in a Diverse Society

Ethical Issues in Survey Research


9. Qualitative Methods: Observing, Participating, Listening
Fundamentals of Qualitative Research

Participant Observation

Intensive Interviewing

Focus Groups

Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Methods

Ethical Issues in Qualitative Research


10. Single-Subject Design
Foundations of Single-Subject Design

Measuring Targets of Intervention

Types of Single-Subject Designs

Analyzing Single-Subject Designs

Ethical Issues in Single-Subject Design


11. Mixing and Comparing Methods and Studies
Mixed Methods

Comparing Reserch Designs

Performing Meta-Analyses


12. Teacher Research and Action Research
Teacher Research: Three Case Studies

Teacher Research: A Self-Planning Outline for Creating Your Own Project

Action Research and How It Differs From Teacher Research

Validity and Ethical Issues in Teacher Research and Action Research


Part III. Analyzing and Reporting Data
13. Quantitative Data Analysis
Why We Need Statistics

Preparing Data for Analysis

Displaying Univariate Distributions

Summarizing Univariate Distributions

Relationships (Associations) Among Variables

Presenting Data Ethically: How Not to Lie With Statistics


14. Qualitative Data Analysis
Features of Qualitative Data Analysis

Techniques of Qualitative Data Analysis

Alternatives in Qualitative Data Analysis

Computer-Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis

Ethics in Qualitative Data Analysis


15. Proposing and Reporting Research
Educational Research Proposals, Part II

Reporting Research

Ethics, Politics, and Research Reports


Appendix A: Questions to Ask About a Research Article
Appendix B: How to Read a Research Article
Appendix C: Finding Information, by Elizabeth Schneider and Russell K. Schutt
Appendix D: Table of Random Numbers
Author Index
Subject Index
About the Authors

This book clearly supports the student in helping them to understand research methods in education with easy to understand diagrams and illustrations that help to clarify understanding.

Mrs Jayne Daly
Faculty of Buisness Law and Education, Staffordshire University
October 30, 2012

This is an excellent book for the complete beginner and I particularly like the writing style.

Miss June Fairclough
NEET, Darlington College
June 30, 2012

excellent reference book to guide students through the process of research in education

Mrs Mary Brown
School of Nursing, Nottingham University
April 24, 2012

This book gives a really solid base on which to build research. The student study site will also prove invaluable.

Ms Julie Burton
Psychology , Lincoln University
April 17, 2012

the research design and data collection section was very useful and informative.

Ms Yvonne Diggins
Centre for Teaching and Learning, University of Limerick
February 22, 2012

A very well structured and informative book. It addresses many of the questions (beginning) researchers in education face. It gives both practical and more basic information.

Mrs Jacqueline Swet
Special Education , Fontys University of Applied Sciences
February 19, 2012

This is a very useful textbook which covers the areas expected from a compact and yet comprehensive introduction to research methods in education. The writing style is accessible and chapters are helpfully concluded with reference to the research terminology used and a summary of key points made. The chapters are linked together with the idea of writing a research proposal. This is useful for students in that the suggestions reinforce the research process and pre-empt the work needed in planning for a research project.

Dr Alaster Douglas
School of Education, Roehampton University
January 19, 2012
Key features

Key Features

  • Case-Study Approach: Each chapter introduces a substantive research question and then shows how the particular research methods presented in that chapter have been used to develop answers to that question—connecting the practical issues of educational research to the methods used to develop substantive knowledge.
  • Research Questions: Emphasis on research questions throughout the text helps students to understand what they are, why they are important, and how they work.
  • Themes: Each chapter has an interesting, overarching thematic issue or topic- illustrated by real data- that teaches students the concepts and methods in an applied fashion.
  • Readability: The language used is straightforward and accessible, with many illustrations and examples in every chapter.
  • Ethics: A full chapter on ethics (Chapter 3) is included and complemented in the chapters that follow by end-of-chapter exercises applying ethics to the topic at hand.
  • Ancillaries: The book is supported by a student study site featuring journal articles, web quizzes, video clips, and grade-level specific interactive exercises using real research examples. Also available is a password-protected instructor resources site featuring test banks, PowerPoint slides, lecture outlines, and more.

For instructors

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