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Educational Research Methods. Aims: You should be able to devise a suitable research question; locate research questions and methods in terms of research design; search for relevant background information; start to identify data collection methods. Asking research questions.
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Educational Research Methods Aims: You should be able to • devise a suitable research question; • locate research questions and methods in terms of research design; • search for relevant background information; • start to identify data collection methods
Asking research questions Identify three research questions you would be interested in answering
What .. Which … Where… ? Why …. ? How ….? Descriptive Exploratory Interpretive Types of questions
Traditional, Positivist, Scientific Experimental Prescriptive Reductionist Autocratic, privileged Detached, ‘objective’ Non-traditional Artistic Naturalistic Descriptive Holistic Democratic, participative, ‘self’ Research paradigmsA B
Type A research Assumptions: natural science - predictable and measurable relationships Aims: Measure differences, controlling variables Theory comes before doing the research Strengths: Definable outcomes which can lead to practical action. Generalisable findings Weaknesses: Validity in relation to complex human behaviour
Type B research Assumptions: Social science - people not objects Aims: understand meanings - describe concepts; suggest relationships No regularities - theory emerges from evidence Strengths: Rich understanding Hypotheses and theories ground in real world Weaknesses: Not usually generalisable Intensive and time consuming
Paradigm Method Technique Type of Data B A Case study Survey Experiment Observation Interview Questionnaire Tests Qualitative/ quantitative Qualitative/ quantitative Mainly quantitative Mainly quantitative
Action Research Plan Re-plan Act Evaluate Reflect
Advantages Experience of context Insight into situation Easy access Personal relationships Insight might help research design Familiarity Possible problems Preconceptions Not open-minded Constraints as insider Personal relationships Status as ‘insider’ researcher Familiarity Practitioner research
Literature search What is already known about: the topic; the principles behind the research question; the specific question.
Data collection methods Observation Interview; focus group Questionnaire Tests
Bibliography Bell, J (1987) Doing your research project: A guide for first-time researchers in education and social science. Milton Keynes: Open University Press Cohen, L and Manion, L. (1994) Research Methods in Education. 4th Edn London: Routledge Wellington, J.J. (1996) Methods and Issues in Educational Research. Division of Education: University of Sheffield