• 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.

The Process Question: How Does It Work?
The process question: How does it work?

There are many technologies that we trust to dazzle us whenever we turn them on—computers, cable TV, digital cameras, hand-held organizers, and cellular phones, to name just a few. Yet if called on to explain precisely how these wonders actually work, or heaven forbid, to troubleshoot problems, most of us are helpless. Knowing that something works is not the same as understanding how it works. How is it possible to receive messages from family members halfway around the world in seconds? How do images travel from a tiny camera through a cable into a computer and emerge as glossy prints from your printer? Thankfully, we don't have to understand how these technologies ...

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