Produced by Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL), one of the nation's foremost educational research and training organizations,
An Education Research Primer gives educators a basic understanding of educational research, its guiding criteria, and its relevance to school-based decision-making. In clear and concise language the book summarizes the various types of educational research, explaining their diverse purposes and methods. For example, the difference between experimental research (studies involving control group trials) and descriptive research (based on descriptive information and relationships) is explained, including how each is designed to address different types of research questions, and why each might have different applications. The book also describes what's involved in setting up a comparison control group and how some studies have randomized control groups while others do not. In addition, the book describes the different types of data collection methods used in research and how this can bear on the research findings.
Patricia A. Lauer, Ph.D., is a former principal researcher with Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) in Aurora, Colorado. Currently, she is the evaluation director for the Rocky Mountain Center for Health Promotion and Education in Lakewood, Colorado.
Foreword ix Acknowledgments xi Preface xiii 1. The Purpose of Education Research 1 2. Scientific Criteria in Education Research 7 3. The Types of Education Research 13 4. Understanding Experimental and Descriptive Research 21 5. Understanding Data Collection in Education Research 33 6. Issues in Evaluating Education Research 41 7. Evaluating Experimental Research Studies 53 8. Evaluating Descriptive Research Studies 68 9. Evaluating Literature Reviews 83 10. Assessing the Relevance of Education Research 92 Appendixes A. Tips on Reading Research Reports 102 B. Glossary of Education Research Terms 107 C. Finding Education Research 138 D. Statistics Tutorial 141 References 159 About the Author 162 Index 163