About Research & Assessment:
Research in Education

One way of learning about scholarly work and communication practices is by analyzing publications in a field. 
  • Look at the introduction to a research paper, which often describes the background and relevance of a research topic to see how a research topic has evolved. 
  • Look at the bibliography both to see what kinds of documents are cited (e.g., journal articles, books, etc.) as well as the type of content (e.g., research paper, review or synthesis, case study, guidelines, etc.). 
  • Literature reviews or papers that analyze the development of a research idea are also good ways to become familiar with the intellectual characteristics of a field.
What kinds of education papers have you read for a class or for writing a paper?  Take a minute to remember or to brainstorm about the types of journal articles you’ve seen in education journals.   What did the authors do?  What are they writing about?

A recent report on “Scholarly Communication in the Education Discipline,” commissioned by JSTOR, developed a taxonomy of educational research. 
Their taxonomy of research is broken down into 5 broad subfields:
  • General research
  • Administration
  • Psychology, counseling, and human development
  • Teaching Methods (general, technology, subject focused, population focused)
  • Context of education, education policy, and comparative education
Other issues in educational research and communication mentioned in the report include:
  • The research-practice divide
  • Dual nature of the field: professional and academic
  • Applied versus theoretical research
  • Quantitative versus qualitative methods
  • Empirical versus non-empirical work
[Read the report: Link below: schol comm educ disc jstor report.pdf]
File Size: 186 kb
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Go Deeper

A recent paper in Educational Researcher includes a dialogue between researchers coming from different conceptions of educational researcher, each discussing what they look for in quality research.
Learning from Our Differences: A Dialogue Across Perspectives on Quality in Education Research
Pamela A. Moss, D. C. Phillips, Frederick D. Erickson, Robert E. Floden, Patti A. Lather and Barbara L.
Educational Researcher 2009; 38; 501-517
[Link below: learning_from_diff.pdf]

File Size: 467 kb
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