Success with your Education Research Project
Publication Year: 2012
Subject: Educational Research (general)
Research projects are carried out in schools and non-school settings by virtually all undergraduates in the areas of teacher training, Education Studies and other educational disciplines. This text, written for this specific target audience, makes clear references to these courses and contexts throughout. Hot topics such as using the net and plagiarism are covered with up-to-date information, while key content on literature searches, critical thinking and the development of argument provide clear guidance and ensure academic rigor. This new edition has been updated throughout to provide greater depth on many topics, FAQs and a glossary of key terms. Key Features • All examples contextualized for education students • Practical approach with user-friendly features to aid understanding • Demystifies tackling a research project • Key information ...
- Front Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 1: Let's Get Acquainted
- Chapter 2: Finding a Focus and Formulating a Plan
- Chapter 3: Looking at Literature
- Chapter 4: Approaching it in Style
- Chapter 5: Discovering Things: Questionnaires
- Chapter 6: Conversations with a Purpose: Research Interviews
- Chapter 7: Seeing is Believing: Observation
- Chapter 8: From the past to the here and Now: Documents and Documentary Research
- Chapter 9: Making Sense of Data: Analysing Numbers and Words
- Chapter 10: Writing up
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© John G. Sharp 2012
First published in 2009 by Learning Matters Ltd.
Reprinted in 2010 and 2011
Second edition published in 2012
Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of research or private study, or criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright, Design and Patents Act, 1988, this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form, or by any means, only with the prior permission in writing of the publishers, or in the case of reprographic reproduction, in accordance with the terms of licences issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside these terms should be sent to the publishers.
Library of Congress Control Number: 2012933563
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
ISBN 978 1 44625 675 6
ISBN 978 0 85725 947 9 (pbk)
Editor: Amy Thornton
Development editor: Geoff Barker
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Printed by: MPG Books Group, Bodmin, Cornwall
About this Book[Page vii]
There are many books available which provide an introduction to educational research as well as how to carry out an individual research project but these have generally been written for existing teachers or those setting out to do full-time or part-time M-level degrees or doctorates. Surprisingly few introductory texts have ever been written specifically for those studying education for the first time or training to be a teacher. This book is therefore aimed at you if you are enrolled on any of the following.
- An undergraduate or postgraduate course of Initial Teacher Training leading to the award of QTS (primary or secondary).
- A degree in Education or Education Studies with or without QTS.
- A degree in Early Years or Early Childhood Education.
- A foundation degree in education or any education-related subject discipline.
Undertaking some form of small-scale, individual research project is a normal requirement of most undergraduate or postgraduate education courses, one often firmly rooted in personal interest and professional experience. It may turn out to be classroom-based and attached to a placement (e.g. in a school, an outdoor centre, a museum or a gallery) or it may be part of something more traditional and library-based. But how do you get started? You might be lucky enough to get some formal research methods input. But even if you do, the likelihood is that it may not be as directly relevant to your own project as you would like it to be. You might be assigned a supervisor to help. But even if you are, the amount of time your supervisor has for this purpose might be limited to a few short tutorials. Whatever your own course provides, one thing is certain. You can never get enough support. This book is therefore intended to provide the practical framework around which your own individual research project can be tackled with confidence and completed successfully. Several features are included to help.
- Clearly specified learning outcomes for each chapter.
- Carefully selected and organised text written and presented in a straightforward, no-nonsense way.[Page viii]
- Worked examples based upon ‘real’ projects and ‘real’ data illustrating and exemplifying different elements of the research process.
- Practical and reflective tasks making full use of the research literature to help develop knowledge and understanding.
- Key points reminding you of what to try and what to avoid.
- Further reading for digging a little deeper.
While there is undoubtedly a wide range of education courses available, with an equally wide range of individual research project requirements and expectations, the practical guidance offered here should be sufficient to draw you into the world of educational research wherever you are starting from. By using this book carefully, you will begin to acquire the necessary range of intellectual, practical and transferable skills to lead you towards producing work of the highest possible standard whether in the first, final or only year of study. As is the nature of educational research, of course, nothing which appears in this book is uncontested. The secret is to know when enough is enough and move on.
In this second edition, the text has been revised, updated and extended in order to remain current and in response to reader comments.Further Reading
If at any time you find the need to consult more widely or perhaps would like an alternative perspective, try these seven titles for starters. Bell (2010) is perhaps the most accessible. Cohen et al. (2011) has it all but might be hard work.
Bell, J. (2010) Doing your research project: a guide for first-time researchers in education, health and social science. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Burton, N., Brundrett, M. and Jones, M. (2008) Doing your education research project. London: Sage.
Cohen, L., Manion, L. and Morrison, K. (2011) Research methods in education. London: Routledge.
Hopkins, D. (2008) A teacher's guide to classroom research. Buckingham: Open University Press.
Opie, C. (ed) (2004) Doing educational research: a guide to first time researchers. London: Sage.
Thomas, G. (2009) How to do your research project. London: Sage.
Wilson, E. (2009) School-based research: a guide for education students. London: Sage.