Publisher: SAGE Publications, Inc; 1 edition (January 22, 2016)
There are many introductory educational research textbooks available. The majority of these textbooks provide a balanced discussion of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches to research and discuss the basics of how to conduct educational research and evaluate published research studies. Similarly, this textbook offers a balanced discussion across research methodologies and presents the basics of the research process.
However, when we set out to write this textbook, we wanted to take a slightly different approach to the discussion of educational research. The majority of research textbooks present research in a research-first manner, with research methodologies and methods as the prime focus and implications for practice dealt with last or as separate “case studies.” While this approach is useful for many students, in our own teaching we have found that students who are currently immersed in professional practice often struggle to see the connection between learning about the details and language of evaluating and conducting educational research and their own professional practice.
Further, many students find research-first discussions of educational research intimidating or simply disconnected from their daily lives. As such, we wanted to write a book for practitioners who inherently strive to understand their professional work in more detail and who may also seek to improve schools, districts, and educational organizations by conducting research within these contexts.
We refer to these individuals—indeed, to you—as practitioner-scholars because we believe that it captures the nature of your work and the strength of your interest in improving schools. More specifically, we wrote this book for classroom teachers, teacher leaders, school and district administrators—those who individually and collectively act as leaders in schools and districts.