• 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 Usability Question: Will It Work for Me?
The usability question: Will it work for me?

Good education research can tell you whether an intervention works (the causal question), how it works (the process question), and even whether it is worthwhile (the cost question). In the ivory towers of academia, this is usually good enough. And yet, from the perspective of teachers and principals, something more is needed for research to be truly useful in informing day-to-day practice. Good research should also provide clues to assist you in assessing whether an intervention will work in your setting.

Making these judgments can be a daunting task. How many times have you read an article touting the latest “best practice” in reading instruction? By now, you know enough to ...

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