Understanding Education Research

Chapters 1, 2, and 3

Chapter 1- Research Literacy and the Research Critic

  • We live in a time where it is imperative for individuals who are in education to have a clear understanding of how research is read and understood.
  • Research Literacy is defined as, having knowledge of the principles of qualitative and quantitative research, an understanding of how research articles are put together, an clear understanding of how to read research articles, and a idea of how to critique the quality of the research.
  • There are four roles that individuals in the community of education play. These roles include, invested bystanders, researchers, consumers of education, and research critics.
  • Research critics are not researchers, however they critically look at research and engage in research
  • Invested bystanders are no longer in school and don't have children in school, however they are affected by poor or exceptional education.
  • Consumers of education consists of students and their parents.
  • Researchers have years of training and actual research experience.

Chapter 2- Basic Approaches in Educational Research

Key Questions that drive educational research-
  1. What are the most important thing for students to learn?
  2. How can we knowledge about our students to best teach them?
  3. How can we improve learning?
  4. How can we help teachers?

Quantitative Research is based on the principles of scientific method.

  1. Careful observations are made.
  2. Predictions from observations are formulated.
  3. Testing of the predictions takes place
  4. The findings are used to support or modify the predictions

Quantitative research focuses on the typical because it helps the researcher understand how most educational situations happen and evolve. Quantitative research looks for things that are regular and that repeat.

Quantitative research includes variables, independent and dependent.

Statistics are used within quantitative research. Stats help researchers decide data, test data, and it shows empirical evidence.

Descriptive stats help individuals understand related measurements to get a clear "bigger" picture.

Inferential Stats are based on inferences. These inferences must be based around yes and no questions.

Statistical modeling is based around the ability the look at many variables at the same time. Statistical modeling brings together many different variables and looks at their differential impact on many different situations. This aids in the development of complete and rich data.

Qualitative research is less restrictive than quantitative. This is because qualitative research is based around exploring and understanding. Qualitative research is more of a story and quantitative research is more like a math problem.

Qualitative research focus on understanding over knowing, and differences in kind instead of differences in degree.

Key Qualitative Methods include researchers making observations, interviews, focus groups, and analysis.

The mixed methods approach includes both qualitative and quantitative research. This approach is also known as the independent perceptive.

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Chapter 3- Types of Reserach Articles

The two types of research articles in education, qualitative and quantitative articles.

Quantitative articles contain abstracts, introductions, methods, results, findings, discussion, and references.

Quantitative research articles organize data using graphic organizers and other quantitive methods. They also examine relationships, test hypothesis, and build models.

Qualitative research articles have less structured formats. The actual format revolves around which methods are used for the research.

Qualitative research looks for meaning in situations that not understood. It also looks at different and unique perspectives to open up ideas for new results.

Works Cited

Shank, G., Brown, L., & Pringle, J. (n.d.). Understanding education research: A Guide to Critical Reading (pp. 1-32). Boulder, Colorado.