This book is a guide to research methods for practitioner research. Written in friendly and accessible language, it includes numerous practical examples based on the authors' own experiences in the field, to support readers.
The authors provide information and guidance on developing research skills such as gathering and analysing information and data, reporting findings and research design. They offer critical perspectives to help users reflect on research approaches and to scrutinise key issues in devising research questions.
This book is for undergraduate and postgraduate students, teachers and practitioners in practitioner research development and leadership programmes.
The team of authors are all within the School of Education at the University of Glasgow and have significant experience of working with practitioner researchers in education.
Chapter 5: What Do We Know Already?
As you conduct your research, there are probably other ‘untapped’ sources of information around you which can enrich your research in various ways. You need to take these resources into account before obtaining further data. In this chapter we look at information available to you through your formal and informal experience, as well as existing data which can be credited as secondary data. This can be an effective way to build on what is already known, while capitalising on information that you have the right of access to, and the right to use.
As you reflect on the readily available information that you could use in conducting your research and addressing your research questions, it is worth ...