Chapter6

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Research Methods in Education 6th Edition

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Chapter6

  1. 1. CHOOSING A RESEARCH PROJECT © LOUIS COHEN, LAWRENCE MANION, KEITH MORRISON
  2. 2. • What gives rise to the research project? (Choosing a research project) • The importance of the research • The purposes of the research • Is the research practicable? • Research questions • The scope of the literature review STRUCTURE OF THE CHAPTER
  3. 3. • A problem encountered in everyday work or outside everyday work; • An issue that the researcher has read about or seen; • A problem that has arisen in the locality, e.g. in response to government policy or practices or to local developments; • An area of the researcher’s own interest; • An area of the researcher’s own experience; • A perceived area of importance; • An interesting question; • A testable guess or hunch; • A topical matter; • Disquiet with a particular research finding that one has met in the literature or a piece of policy; CHOOSING A RESEARCH PROJECT
  4. 4. • An awareness that a particular issue or area has been incompletely studied, and a wish to plug the gap; • A wish to apply a piece of conceptual research to actual practice, or to test a theory in practice; • A wish to rework the conceptual or theoretical frameworks that are often used in a specific area; • A wish to revise or replace the methodologies that are often used in researching a specific area; • A desire to improve practice in a particular area; • A desire to involve participants in research and development; CHOOSING A RESEARCH PROJECT
  5. 5. • A desire to test out a particular methodology in research; • An interest in seeing if reported practice holds true for the researcher’s own context (e.g. a comparative study); • An interest in investigating the causes of a phenomenon or the effects of a particular intervention in the area of the phenomenon; • A priority identified by funding agencies; • An issue identified by the researcher’s supervisor or a project team of which the researcher is a member. CHOOSING A RESEARCH PROJECT
  6. 6. • Is the research significant? • What difference will the research make? • Does the originality of the research render it significant? • How and where does the research move forward the field? • Where do originality and significance lie in the research: – Conceptually – Theoretically – Methodologically – Substantively THE IMPORTANCE OF THE RESEARCH
  7. 7. • What is the likely impact of the research? • What is the use of the research – what will it ‘deliver’? • What benefit will the research bring, and to whom? • Is the research worth doing? THE IMPORTANCE OF THE RESEARCH
  8. 8. • What are the ‘deliverables’ in the research? • What does the research seek to do? • What do you wish to come from the research? THE PURPOSES OF THE RESEARCH
  9. 9. • To test a theory/hypothesis • To test practice • To clarify concepts • To identify common features • To investigate and examine • To collect opinions • To model • To compare • To look at trends • To collect views • To critique policy/practice • To examine effects of causes • To evaluate an intervention • To examine causes of effects • To look at an issue in detail • To generalize • To look at long-term effects • Classroom-based research • To investigate sensitive issues or groups • To develop theory • To see what happens if . . . EXAMPLES OF DIFFERENT PURPOSES OF RESEARCH
  10. 10. • Accounts • Action research • Case study • Comparative study • Correlational research • Covert research • Descriptive research • Discourse analysis • Ethnography • Evaluative research • Experiment • Grounded theory • Historical research • Ideology critique • Interpretive research • Literature-based research • Longitudinal research • Meta-analysis • Multi-level research • Multiple regression • Network analysis • Observational study FITNESS FOR PURPOSE: PURPOSES OF RESEARCH DRIVE DIFFERENT KINDS OF RESEARCH
  11. 11. • Observational study • Personal constructs • Research synthesis • Role play • Simulation • Structural equation modelling and causal modelling • Survey • Testing FITNESS FOR PURPOSE: PURPOSES OF RESEARCH DRIVE DIFFERENT KINDS OF RESEARCH
  12. 12. • Access – People – Institutions – Data sources • Permission – People – Institutions – Review panels • Informed consent and ethical issues • Scope of research • Disposition, commitment and expertise of researcher • Duration of research • Availability of resources (human, material, temporal, administrative, supervision) IS THE RESEARCH PRACTICABLE?
  13. 13. Research questions must be operational, yielding concrete answers to research purposes and research objectives. • Clarity • Complexity • Comprehensibility • Comprehensiveness • Concreteness • Contents • Difficulty, • Ease of answering • Focus • Kinds of data required to answer them • Purposes • Specificity • Utility of the answers provided RESEARCH QUESTIONS
  14. 14. • ‘How?’ • ‘Wh’ questions: who, where, why, what, what if, when • Achievement • Alternatives to something • Causation • Comparisons • Correlations • Description • Evaluation • Explanation • Exploring • Factors • Function or purpose • How to achieve outcomes • How to achieve something • How to do something • How to improve or develop something • Prediction • Processes • Properties and characteristics • Relations (e.g. between variables, people, events) • Stages of something • Structures of something; • Testing • Types of something • Understanding TYPES OF RESEARCH QUESTION
  15. 15. • Gives credibility and legitimacy to the research; • Shows that the research is up-to-date, focuses on key issues, is aware of the theoretical, conceptual, methodological and substantive problems in the field; • Clarifies key concepts, issues, terms and meanings; • Leads into the researcher’s study, raising issues, showing where there are gaps in the research field, how to move the field forwards, and justifying the need for the research; • Shows the researcher’s own critical judgment on prior research or theoretical matters in the field; SCOPE OF THE LITERATURE REVIEW
  16. 16. • Provides new theoretical, conceptual, methodological and substantive insights and issues for research; • Sets the context for the research and establishes key issues to be addressed; • The literature must inform the research, not simply stand alone with no relation to what comes after. SCOPE OF THE LITERATURE REVIEW

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