Education has continued to grow in stature and significance as an academic discipline. In addition to world renowned research studies the growth of education has been seen in the methodology and methods underpinning its research. The BERA/SAGE Handbook of Educational Research provides a cutting edge account of the research and methodology that is creating new understandings for education research, policy and practice. Over two volumes, the handbook addresses educational research in six essential components: Section 1: Understanding Research Section 2: Planning Research Section 3: Approaches to Research Section 4: Acquiring Data Section 5: Analysing Data Section 6: Reporting, Disseminating and Evaluating Research Featuring contributions from more than 50 of the biggest names in the international field, The BERA/SAGE Handbook of Educational Research represents a very significant contribution to the development of education.
Chapter 35: Descriptive Statistics
As an essential step in data analysis, researchers compute descriptive statistics to summarize a collection of individual data points. Descriptive statistics facilitate the search for patterns in data, simplify the communication of quantitative research results, and allow for the accumulation of a broad body of research across domains. Although in some circumstances, descriptive statistics are used simply to describe, as in research reports about a population or in non-technical publications and media, those descriptive statistics play an important role in the generation of hypotheses that might be investigated using inferential statistical techniques. This practice of examining descriptive statistics with the goal of formulating hypotheses is referred to as exploratory data analysis (Tukey, 1977). ...