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Summary: A collection of current, carefully selected articles from some of the most respected newspapers, magazines, and journals published today. Within the pages of this new volume are interesting, well-illustrated articles providing effective and useful perspectives on today's important topics concerning research methods. Our student Web site, Dushkin Online (www.dushkin.com/online/), is designed to support Annual Editions titles.Edition/Copyright: 01
Jalongo, Mary Renck : Indiana University of Pennsylvania--Indiana
Gerlach, Gail J. : Indiana University of Pennsylvania--Indiana
Yan, Wenfan : Indiana University of Pennsylvania--Indiana;
UNIT 1. Research: Nature, Purposes, and Basic Concepts
1. Back from Chaos, Edward O. Wilson, The Atlantic Monthly, March 1998.
Before embarking on a quest for knowledge through research, it is worthwhile to consider major paradigms of thought. Fundamental questions such as "What is truth?" "How do we know?" and "Is it even possible to know the truth?" have challenged Western thought for centuries. Edward Wilson provides a historical overview of the thinkers who have shaped contemporary views of human knowledge, then proposes that there is a fundamental unity to knowledge.
2. The Connection between Research and Practice, Mary M. Kennedy, Educational Researcher, October 1997.
Many have argued that there is a gap between research and practice. This article sets forth four possible explanations for this lack of connection and proposes ways to make research more accessible to practitioners.
3. Evolution of Qualitative Research Methodology: Looking beyond Defense to Possibilities, LeAnn G. Putney, Judith L. Green, Carol N. Dixon, and Gregory J. Kelly, Reading Research Quarterly, July/August/September 1999.
Qualitative researchers sometimes feel compelled to defend themselves against criticisms of their work based on quantitative assumptions. In this article, the authors examine the methodological issues, chronicle the history, discuss the contributions, and describe the phases of qualitative research in education.
4. Quantitative Research Approaches, George A. Morgan, Jeffrey A. Gliner, and Robert J. Harmon, Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, December 1999.
The authors, one of whom works in the field of adolescent psychiatry, describe three categories of quantitative research (research with a manipulated independent variable, research with an attribute independent variable, and descriptive studies) that are typically used in clinical settings and the conceptual framework for each.
5. What Is (and Isn't) Research?, Debra Viadero, Education Week, June 23, 1999.
Research has long been associated with the scientific method, which is logical and linear in approach. In this article, readers are challenged to think about whether other types of human endeavors, such as works of art, might qualify as research. The topic grows even more controversial when research is used to make policy decisions that affect many people's lives and that require extensive financial resources.
UNIT 2. The Researcher/Practitioner: Standards and Ethics of Practice
6. Human Subjects and Informed Consent: The Legacy of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, Carol A. Heintzelman, Scholars: Research, Teaching, and Public Service, Fall 1996.
In 1932, a group of African American males who had already contracted syphilis were invited to participate in a research project with the misleading promise of "special, free treatment" when the real purpose of the study was to determine the natural course of untreated syphilis. Even after antibiotics were widely accepted as the preferred treatment, penicillin was withheld. This infamous investigation was perhaps one of the most glaring examples of failure to obtain informed consent.
7. Types of Errors in Synthesizing Research in Education, Michael J. Dunkin, Review of Educational Research, Summer 1996.
Part of the challenge in reviewing the literature is synthesizing large amounts of material. For the uninitiated, there are several types of mistakes that threaten the quality of the scholarship. This article identifies the most common errors as well as ways to avoid them.
8. Ethics, Institutional Review Boards, and the Changing Face of Educational Research, Kenneth R. Howe and Katharine Cutts Dougherty, Educational Researcher, December 1993.
At colleges and universities, ethical guidelines are monitored and enforced by Institutional Review Boards that review the research proposals of students and faculty. The authors discuss what is and is not exempt from such review and set forth criteria that should govern both quantitative and qualitative research projects.
9. Standards of Evidence in Historical Research, C. F. Kaestle, History of Education Quarterly, Fall 1992.
Historical research relies on artifacts and authoritative sources to build a defensible story about people and events from the past. In this article, the author sets forth criteria for determining which pieces of evidence are more credible and why.
UNIT 3. Research Beginnings: Theoretical Bases and Question Formulation
10. Research Students' Early Experiences of the Dissertation Literature Review, Christine Susan Bruce, Studies in Higher Education, Volume 19, Issue 2, 1994.
College and university students are frequently directed to "review the literature," yet they may have quite different interpretations of what this actually means or entails. Based on the results of this research with 41 graduate students, novice researchers go through a sequence of developmental stages in their ability to understand, interpret, and use the research of others. Readers will be able to evaluate their own level of understanding of the process.
11. The Best Kept Secret in Counseling: Single-Case (N = 1) Experimental Design, Duane A. Lundervold and Marilyn F. Belwood, Journal of Counseling and Development, Winter 2000.
In professions that work with clients one at a time, such as counseling, researchers need a scientifically credible means to evaluate objectively the outcome of a particular intervention. The authors provide an overview of single-case experimental design, cite two clinical examples to illustrate how it works, and suggest a seven-component model for using single-case experimental research design methods in counseling.
12. Issues in Teaching Participatory Action Research, Paule McNicoll, Journal of Social Work Education, Winter 1999.
Participatory action research, true to its name, involves the participants in the research project and attempts to improve the situation of those involved. The author, an instructor in action research methods in the field of sociology, outlines the skills and attitudes required for this type of research and the difficulties that are associated with it.
13. Practical Issues for Teachers Conducting Classroom Research, Marilyn K. Rousseau and Brian Kai Yung Tam, Teaching Exceptional Children, Spring 1996.
Although teachers are encouraged to conduct research in their classrooms, they are frequently left wondering how, exactly, to accomplish this. This article offers a step-by-step procedure for conducting single-subject research with children who have special needs.
UNIT 4. Research Means: Collecting and Interpreting Data
14. Videotaped Behavioral Observations: Enhancing Validity and Reliability, Jennifer Harrison Elder, Applied Nursing Research, November 1999.
Because of its ease and accessibility, many researchers turn to videotaping as a way of recording behavioral observations. Yet, as Jennifer Elder points out, there are numerous issues that must be addressed if studies relying on videotaped material are to be reliable and valid. Topics such as subject reactivity, extraneous variables, ambiguous behavioral definitions, and low inter-rater agreement are discussed.
15. The Future of Focus Groups, Richard A. Krueger, Qualitative Health Research, November 1995.
Appropriate applications and common misuses of focus group interviewing techniques are explored in this article. Based on extensive experience with conducting focus groups, the author speculates on the future development of the method, particularly as it relates to electronic database focus group interviewing. Six myths about focus groups are identified and counteracted with the correct information.
16. Self-Assessment at Work: Outcomes of Adult Learners' Reflections on Practice, Catherine Marienau, Adult Education Quarterly, Spring 1999.
One type of data that can be used to provide evidence of professional growth is the learner's reflections on and perceptions of the process. In this article, graduate students were asked to conduct a self-assessment of their experientially based academic program using interviews and surveys. The researchers conclude by explaining four contributions of self-report methods used with adult learners.
17. Using Electronic Mail to Conduct Research, Liz Thach, Educational Technology, March/April 1995.
What is the potential of e-mail as a tool for conducting survey research? The author reviews the research literature and provides a chart analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of e-mail surveys and offers practical suggestions for using technology to gather survey data.
18. Daily Data Collection: A Comparison of Three Methods, Diane M. Morrison, Barbara C. Leigh, and Mary Rogers Gillmore, The Journal of Sex Research, February 1999.
Three types of daily reporting methods are compared in this study of the co-occurrence of intoxication and unsafe sex. The authors discuss the relative merits of (1) written daily diaries, (2) daily telephone interviews initiated by the subjects, or (3) daily telephone interviews initiated by the research project staff as methods of daily data collection.
19. Quantitative Attitudes Questionnaire: Instrument Development and Validation, Lei Chang, Educational and Psychological Measurement, December 1996.
Although the choice of research method needs to be matched to the nature of the specific research question, the fact remains that researchers have different propensities toward quantitative and qualitative research methods. A 20-item questionnaire, included in the article, enables readers to see how their knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and values concerning quantitative methods might be influenced and assessed.
UNIT 5. Research Ways: Categories of and Approaches to Research
20. Misconceptions about Sample Size, Statistical Significance, and Treatment Effect, Matt Wilkerson and Mary R. Olson, Journal of Psychology Interdisciplinary and Applied, November 1997.
In a study of 52 graduate students' evaluations of research results, the authors found that education graduate (both master's and doctoral) students expressed greater confidence in studies with larger sample sizes. The authors explain Type I and Type II errors as well as the most common sources of confusion among students in research classes concerning sample size, statistical significance, and treatment effects.
21. On Writing Qualitative Research, Donna E. Alvermann, David G. O'Brien, and Deborah R. Dillon, Reading Research Quarterly, January/February/March 1996.
Clear, focused writing is an important component of qualitative research. This article discusses qualitative research writing as it relates to theory, methodology, data representation, and writing up the results.
22. A Primer in Survey Research, Suzanne C. Watson, The Journal of Continuing Higher Education, Winter 1998.
When a researcher seeks to gather data on a group that is too large to observe directly, survey research is commonly used. Suzanne Watson provides basic information about survey research, including when to use it, the different types, the methods of gathering data, a 10-step sequence for conducting a survey, and practical suggestions on ways to improve response rates.
23. The New Frontier in Qualitative Research Methodology, Elliot W. Eisner, Qualitative Inquiry, September 1997.
Nontraditional, nonmathematical forms of data representation have grown exponentially in the past 25 years. This article discusses the promise as well as the perils of a departure from traditional research formats.
24. Action Research: Empowering Teachers to Work with At-Risk Students, Mary K. Gove and Connie Kennedy-Calloway, Journal of Reading, April 1992.
Action research involves identifying an immediate problem of some concern to practitioners in a field and systematically studying it. This article explains how a group of teachers conducted an action research project. In the process of describing their experiences, the authors clarify what action research is, how it is completed, and the benefits that accrue when teachers become researchers in their own practice.
UNIT 6. Research Ends: Reporting Research
25. The Need for Better Ethical Guidelines for Conducting and Reporting Research, Sonja Brobeck, Journal of Curriculum and Supervision, Winter 1990.
What is fair and humane treatment of human subjects? This study chronicles several historical examples of unethical research practices and proposes two broad categories of guidelines for research involving human subjects; those that can be and those that cannot be legislated.
26. Education Should Consider Alternative Formats for the Dissertation, Nell K. Duke and Sarah W. Beck, Educational Researcher, April 1999.
Research requirements for the Ph.D. have a history that extends as far back as the mid-1800s. What cogent arguments can be made for changing these time-honored requirements and accepting different formats for the dissertation? The authors contend that the field of education would do well to reconsider the genre and, in so doing, they address many issues of interest to students enrolled in social science programs that have an applied emphasis.
27. Chance and Nonsense: A Conversation about Interpreting Tests of Statistical Significance, Parts I and II, James P. Shaver, Phi Delta Kappan, September & October 1985.
In this two-part imaginary conversation between two teachers, the most common misunderstandings about probability theory and the useful distinctions between statistical significance and practical significance are thoroughly explained and illustrated with concrete examples.
28. Statistical Methods in Psychology Journals: Guidelines and Explanations, Leland Wilkson and the Task Force on Statistical Inference, American Psychologist, Vol. 54, No. 8, 1999.
The American Psychological Association (APA) has set standards for the statistical methods that are reported in published pieces of research. The standards clearly identify common flaws in the method, results, and discussion sections of research articles. These APA guidelines can be used by research students as criteria for critiquing the quantitative research articles that they are asked to evaluate.
UNIT 7. Research Aims: Improving Professional Practice
29. The Social Consequences of Bad Research, Daniel Tanner, Phi Delta Kappan, January 1998.
The author expresses concern about the way that research is sometimes used to confirm preexisting premises. He cites numerous examples of misleading results that are used by policy makers to render important decisions and the adverse consequences of such decisions. The author advises practitioners to evaluate research critically in order to minimize the effects of being manipulated by researchers with hidden agendas.
30. Future Directions in Qualitative Research, Reba N. Page, Harvard Educational Review, Spring 2000.
There has been a long-standing debate between quantitative and qualitative methods. In this article, the author highlights the many contributions of qualitative research and describes what the future might hold for the qualitative approaches.
31. Rethinking Sociology: Applied and Basic Research, William Foote Whyte, American Sociologist, Spring 1998.
A sociologist discusses the traditional lines of demarcation between applied and basic research in which those conducting basic research are afforded higher status. William Whyte criticizes this perspective and proposes instead that various forms of applied social research should hold the greatest promise for advancing the field.
32. Salvaging Quantitative Research with Qualitative Data, Donn Weinholtz, Barbara Kacer, and Thomas Rocklin, Qualitative Health Research, August 1995.
Even though the blending of quantitative and qualitative methodologies is controversial, three researchers in the health field argue that, particularly for studies resulting in no statistically significant differences, the incorporation of qualitative data can offer a means of interpretation when quantitative findings are inconclusive.
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