• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

How can educators make sense of the complexities of research?

Making Sense of Research brings together the best of two worlds—the “real” world where education is practiced daily and the “ivory tower” world where research is ongoing. The authors have written this book for practitioners at all levels, from teachers making site-specific decisions such as allocating time, to administrators making schoolwide and policy decisions such as reducing class size. They outline and explain how quality research can inform, enlighten, and provide direction to educators that will save time and money, as well as make schools more effective and increase opportunities for students.

Educators are increasingly accountable for the outcome of their efforts. This vital resource will assist them in assessing the validity of research claims by leading the reader through a revealing examination of five critical questions:

Does it work? (the causal question); How does it work? (the process question); Is it worthwhile? (the cost question); Will it work for me? (the usability question); Is it working for me? (the evaluation question)

Making Sense of Research will change the way you read and think about research, and thereby help you enhance school improvement, sustain your vision of quality education, attain your mission, and ultimately increase student achievement.

Behind the Scenes in the World of Education Research
Behind the scenes in the world of education research

Education research has been termed both “an elusive science” (Lagemann, 2000), and “a black hole” (Miller, 1999). These are not terribly complimentary terms for a body of work that educators are being told should drive their decision making and practice. With a reputation said by some to be “awful” (Kaestle, 1993), can we trust what education research has to say? Consultants, publishers, and various gurus frequently intone the phrase, the research says, whether to impress audiences with their knowledge or to put a scientific spin on what they are selling, but the phrase has become so ubiquitous as to be a bad joke in some circles. Whatever else ...

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