research is a process
a research process considered to consist of a series of sequential steps
extent to which results can be interpreted accurately with no plausible alternative explanations
extent to which results can be genaralized to populations. situations, and conditions
consistency of the research and the extent to which studies can be replicated
a necessary characteristic for validity
primary purpose is adding to the existing body of knowledge
solution of an immediate, practical problem
usually conducted by education professional to solve a specific problem or aid in decision making at the local level
experimental research method
at least one variable is manipulated to determine the effect of the manipulation. Subjects are randomly assigned to experiemental treatments.
at least one variable is manipulated to determine the effect of the manipulation. Intact, naturally formed groups are used.
nonexperimental quantitative method
the incidence, relationships, and distributions of variables are studied. Variable are not manipulated but studied as they occur in a natural setting.
a description of past events or facts is developed
a holistic description of present phenomena is developed within the broad meaning of culture
role of theory
provides a framework for conducting research, can be used for synthesizing and explaining (through generalizations) research results
law of parsimony
a theory should be stated in the simplest form that adequately explains the phenomena
Nature of Education Research
"Every Scholar Values Research Methods"
derived from our sense experiences
There is always a chain of logic from conceptualization to collecting and analyzing data, to presenting findings
How well are the results and claims supported by the evidence? Are they justified?
To what extent can the results be interpreted accurately?
Ex: Study of student reading proficiency in two schools
But different approaches to reading: whole language, phonics
But different reading assessments: read aloud or explain meaning
To what extent can the results be generalized to specific populations, situations, and conditions?
Ex. Different college experiences: domestic vs international students
Ex. Reading strategies for different grade levels
Internal Reliability: How consistent was the research in measuring the phenomenon?
Logistics/coordination issues/ conditions
Ex: Survey administration
External Reliability: Can this research be replicated?
Description of procedures clear
Is the population too unique or difficult to access?
“Paradigms,” ,“orientations, “ways of thinking” about a phenomenon
Most visible in Theoretical Framework/Problem Formulation.
They reflect assumptions about cause-effect and the role of values in research(er) choices.
Positivist: “One reality exists, and I can discover it”
Post-positivist: “What I study and how I study it reflect our values and conditions at the time.” [probabilities]
Constructionist: “I do not impose a theory, I build one from the views and experiences of those living in a specific context.”
Transformative: “Research is political. I examine undervalued populations to improve their condition and/or raise awareness.”