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MEANING OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH :
Educational Research as nothing but cleansing of educational Research is nothing but cleansing
of educational process. Many experts think Educational Research as under
According to Mouly, ―Educational Research is the systematic application of scientific method
for solving for solving educational problem.
Travers thinks, ―Educational Research is the activity for developing science of behavior in
educational situations. It allows the educator to achieve his goals effectively.
According to Whitney, ―Educational Research aims at finding out solution of educational
problems by using scientific philosophical method.
Thus, Educational Research is to solve educational problem in systematic and scientific manner,
it is to understand, explain, predict and control human behaviour.
Importance of Educational Research.
mportance of Educational Research
1. Educational research plays a crucial role in knowledge advancement
across different fields of study.
2. It provides answers to practical educational challenges using
scientific methods.
3. Findings from educational research; especially applied research, are
instrumental in policy reformulation.
4. For the researcher and other parties involved in this research
approach, educational research improves learning, knowledge, skills,
and understanding.
5. Educational research improves teaching and learning methods by
empowering you with data to help you teach and lead more
strategically and effectively.
6. Educational research helps students apply their knowledge to
practical situations.
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It is highly purposeful.
It deals with educational problems regarding students and teachers as well.
It is precise, objective, scientific and systematic process of investigation.
It attempts to organize data quantitatively and qualitatively to arrive at statistical inferences.
It discovers new facts in new perspective. i. e. It generates new knowledge.
It is based on some philosophic theory.
It depends on the researchers ability, ingenuity and experience for its interpretation and
conclusions.
It needs interdisciplinary approach for solving educational problem.
It demands subjective interpretation and deductive reasoning in some cases.
- It uses classrooms, schools, colleges department of education as the laboratory for conducting
researches
It uses classrooms, schools, colleges department of education as the laboratory for conducting
researches.
SCOPE OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH :
Name of Educational Research changes with the gradual development occurs with respect to
knowledge and technology, so Educational Research needs to extend its horizon.
Being scientific study of educational process, it involves :
individuals (Student, teachers, educational managers, parents.)
- institutions (Schools, colleges, research institutes) It discovers facts and relationship in order
to make educational process more effective. It relates social sciences like education.
It includes process like investigation, planning (design) collecting data, processing of data, their
analysis, interpretation and drawing inferences.
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It covers areas from formal education and non-formal education as well.
The scope of a subject can usually be discussed
under two heads:
1. The branches, topics and the subject matter it deals
with
2. The limits of it’s operations and applications
The fields of educational research can be classified
in terms of following content areas.
1. Educational Psychology
2. Philosophy of Education
3. Sociology of Education
4. Economics of Education
5. Educational Administration
6. Comparative Education
7. Curriculum construction and Textbooks
8. Educational Measurement and Test development
9. Teacher education and teaching behavior
10. Guidance and counselling
11. Educational Technology
1.
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Ten Qualities of A Good Researcher:
Research entails the gathering of bits and pieces of information and compiling same for the
purpose of increasing the stock in knowledge and solving problems. It is an art; a practice done
to increase knowledge and render solutions to problems. This is because a research raises
questions, which when answered, bridges the gap in knowledge in any field it was undertaken.
The task of researcing is no small work. This is due mainly to the fact that the information
contained in a research work is usually for public consumption. There is no gainsaying the fact
that anything made for the public must be above par. Hence, a research work which is geared
towards adding value to knowledge as well as proffering solutions to problems must be rich in
content and accurate.
Accuracy: A researcher must ensure that his research work is accurate. He should
ensure that the facts and figures which he is presenting are true and verifiable. There
should be no room for conjecture or guesses.
He should exhibit due diligence in presenting his work so as not to present a false and misleading
research as the accuracy of the research determines the credibility to be attached to the
researcher.
Open mindedness: To explain how powerful the mind is, Albert Einstein once said that the
measure of intelligence is the ability to change the mind. It is one of the most important
characteristics of a good researcher because researching has to do with finding new fact which
may sometimes require that the researchers alter previously valid facts.
The crux is that, a researcher must not be someone who hardly gives up on his beliefs, custom or
knowledge. He has to be someone who is able to see things in different lights. He must
understand that nothing is actually static and things change over time.
Researching may sometimes lead you to find out that even some of the things you consider
fundamental knowledge are not actually fundamental; or maybe there are more to it. Thus, a
researcher who is not open minded during researching is limited to alot of knowledge.
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Motivation:
A researcher must have the ability to motivate himself to work. He should not be easily
discouraged. In the course of his research, he might come across some hostile respondents. This
should not deter him from carrying on his research work.
Again, he might be met with opposition from his colleagues. Such oppositions should not serve
as a source of discouragement to him. A researcher therefore, must have the ability to encourage
and motivate himself to push on until he actualizes his aim.
Patience: One of the sterling attributes of a good researcher is patience. This quality is
a follow-up attribute to being motivated. A researcher must exhibit a high degree of
patience, both with his respondents and in the course of his research when the much
needed result is not forthcoming, in addition to his being consistent with the effort he
puts in.
Prudence: The quality of being prudent has to do with his ability to manage the resources at his
disposal. Research is a capital intensive project and there are possibilities that one might not be
well funded to carry out such project. The managerial skill and ability of the researcher becomes
handy for a successful execution of the project.
Also, even if the resources are in abundance, he must be able to manage same so as to avoid
waste and extravagant spendings. Therefore, a researcher must be able to effectively manage the
resources at his disposal for optimum output.
6. Expertise: Though the aim of research is to add knowledge to already existing
knowledge (as one ventures into new areas not yet explored), the researcher must have
reasonable amount of knowledge in the field he intends carrying out his research.
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It will amount to a ruse if an archaeologist embarks on a research in medicine. A researcher must
therefore be an expert in the field of his research or must possess at least, reasonable amount of
knowledge in the field he professes to carry out his research.
7. Unbiased in his Research: At the beginning of his research, a researcher must not have a
preconceived notion or idea about the subject of his research. This is because the research may
likely not be accurate as his leanings will mostly be towards his bias. If there exists such bias, the
researcher should be liberal enough to accept findings that are against his held beliefs. This will
aid him to present an accurate and unbiased research work.
8. Interest: A researcher must show sufficient interest in the work he is doing. He
should not be distracted. His interest should be focused on the work. This is quite
different from being motivated. This is because it is the interest one has in a task that
keeps him motivated.
If one is not interested in a research work, he cannot be motivated, even if all necessary
things are in place to drive the project. A researcher has to build interest from within, in
the field of his research to see him through the research work.
Amiable Personality: A researcher must have a friendly disposition. He should be easily
approachable and should also have the ability to communicate with people in a friendly and
coherent manner. A researcher that is unfriendly, gloomy and unapproachable may find it
difficult extracting information from his respondents.
A researcher should also exhibit friendliness to whoever works with him (if he is in a team with
other researchers). This act of friendliness reduces friction within the team and the team is most
likely to finish up their task in record time.
The Ability to Work Under Pressure: A researcher must be able to work under pressure and
unfavorable situations. The ability to carry out a task within little time frame and also work in
conditions that are less favorable (for example, under a hostile boss) is a quality which the
researcher should have to enable him carry out his task
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Limited time may be allocated to accomplish a research project such that if the researcher is
unable to manage his time, the work will not be done. It is therefore a needed quality of the
researcher to be able to persevere and work in unfriendly situations if he must accomplish his
task on time.
11. Analytical in his research: A researcher should be analytical and should also be able to
exhibit sound judgment. Proper analysis of issues is key to having a good research work. His
ability to reason rationally and give sound judgment affects the quality of the research work.
Where the ability to give sound judgment is missing, there may be a misapplication of
principles and rules. This might be fatal if such misapplication happens in a research
work of great importance to health. Therefore, a researcher must have the natural ability
to discern what is right between two factors brought before him.
Conclusively, whether a research work is an academic or organizational work, the researcher
must be able to consistently gather information that are needed for the task. Research has to do
with the discovery of new information and only a well planned method of information gathering
can aid in the actualizing of this aim.
The quality of a research work, its success and its usefulness is dependent on the level of
diligence exhibited by the researcher. It is imperative that the researcher is one with good
attributes to enable him scale the litmus test of acceptability of his work in the society.
Definition of Educational research.
Educational research is the formal, systematic application of the scientific method to the study of
educational problems
Steps Of Scientific Method
Selection and definition of a problem.
A problem is a question of interest that can be tested or answered through the collection and
analysis of data. Upon identifying a research question, researchers typically review previously
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published research on the same topic and use that information to hypothesize about the results. In
other words, they make an educated guess as to the answer to the question.
Execution of research procedures.
The procedures reflect all the activities involved in collecting data related to the problem (e.g.,
how data are collected and from whom). To a great extent, the specific procedures are dictated
by the research question and the variables involved in the study.
Analysis of data. Data are analyzed in a way that permits the researcher to test the research
hypothesis or answer the research question. Analysis usually involves application of one or more
statistical technique. For some studies, data analysis involves verbal synthesis of narrative data;
these studies typically involve new insights about the phenomena in question, generate
hypotheses for future research, or both.
Drawing and stating conclusions. The conclusions, which should advance our
general knowledge of the topic in question, are based on the results of data analysis. They should
be stated in terms of the original hypothesis or research question. Conclusions should indicate,
for example, whether the research hypothesis was supported or not. For studies involving verbal
synthesis, conclusions are much more tentative.
Ethical considerations
play a role in all research studies, and all researchers must be aware of and attend to ethical
considerations in their research.
The two overriding rules of ethics are that participants should not be harmed in any way
physically, mentally, or socially—and that researchers must obtain the participants’ informed
consent.
Professional organizations develop ethical principles for their members, and the federal
government has enacted laws to protect research participants from harm and invasion of privacy.
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Probably the most definitive source of ethical guidelines for researchers is the Ethical Principles
of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, prepared for and published by the American
Psychological Association (APA).
The National Research Act of 1974 led to the creation of a standard set of federal guidelines for
the protection of human research participants.
Most hospitals, colleges, and universities require that proposed research activities involving
human participants be reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board prior to the
execution of the research, to ensure protection of the participants.
Researchers obtain informed consent by making sure that research participants enter the
research of their free will and with understanding of the nature of the study and any possible
dangers that may arise as a result of participation.
Study participants are assured of confidentiality; researchers promise not to disclose
participants’ identities or information that could lead to discovery of those identities.
Confidentiality differs from anonymity; the identities of anonymous participants are hidden from
the researcher as well.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, referred to as the Buckley
Amendment, protects the privacy of the educational records of students. It stipulates that data
that identify participants by name may not be made available to the researcher unless written
permission is granted by the participants.
Studies involving deception of participants are sometimes unavoidable but should be examined
critically for unethical practices.
Qualitative researchers, because of their closeness to participants, must pay special attention to
ethical issues and view informed consent as a process that evolves and changes throughout the
study. Qualitative researchers may witness dangerous or illegal behavior and may have to make
ethical decisions on the spot.
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Research exerts a significant influence over educational systems. Hence a researcher needs to
adhere to an ethical code of conduct. These ethical considerations are as follows
While a researcher may have some obligations to his / her client in case of sponsored research
where the sponsoring agency has given him / her financial aid for conducting the research, he /
she has obligations to the users, the larger society, the subjects (sample / respondents) and
professional colleagues. He / she should not discard data that can lead to unfavorable conclusions
and interpretations for the sponsoring agency.
The researcher should maintain strict confidentiality about the information obtained from the
respondents. No information about the personal details of the respondents should be revealed in
any of the records, reports or to other individuals without the respondents‘ permission.
The researcher should not make use of hidden cameras, microphones, tape-recorders or observers
without the respondents‘ permission. Similarly, private correspondence should not be used
without the concerned respondent‘s permission. In an experimental study, when volunteers are
used as subjects, the researcher should explain the procedures completely (eg. the experiment
will go on for six months) along with the risks involved and the demands that he / she would
make upon the participants of the study (such as the subjects will be required to stay back for one
hour after school hours etc.). If possible, the subjects should be informed about the purpose of
the experiment / research. While dealing with school children (minors) or mentally challenged
students, parents‘ or guardians‘ consent should be obtained. This phenomenon is known as
‗informed consent‘.
The researcher should accept the fact that the subjects have the freedom to decline to participate
or to withdraw from the experiment. 15 In order to ensure the subjects‘ inclusion and
continuation in the experiment, the researcher should never try to make undue efforts giving
favorable treatment after the experiment, more (additional marks) in a school subject, money and
so on.
In an experimental research which may have a temporary or permanent effect on the subjects,
the researcher must take all precautions to protect the subjects from mental and physical harm,
danger and stress. The researcher should make his / her data available to peers for scrutiny.
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The respondents / subjects / participants should be provided with the reasons for the
experimental procedures as well as the findings of the study if they so demand. The researcher
should give due credit to all those who have helped him / her in the research procedure, tool
construction, data collection, data analysis or preparation of the research report. If at all the
researcher has made some promise to the participants, it must be honored and fulfilled.
Characteristics of Research Problems
Before the proposed research problem can be considered appropriate, several searching
questions should be raised. Only when these questions are answered in the affirmative can
the problem be considered a good one:
1. Is this the type of problem that can be effectively solved through the process of research?
Can relevant data be gathered to test the theory or find the answer to the question under
consideration?
2. Is the problem significant? Is an important principle involved? Would the solution make
any difference as far as educational theory or practice is concerned? If not, there are
undoubtedly more significant problems waiting to be investigated.
Is the problem a new one? Is the answer already available? Ignorance of prior studies may
lead a student to spend time needlessly on a problem already investigated by some other
worker. However, although novelty or originality is an important consideration, simply
because a problem has been investigated in the past does not mean that it is no longer worthy
of study. At times it is appropriate to replicate (repeat) a study to verify its conclusions or to
extend the validity of its findings to a different situation or population. For instance, research
with children might be of great importance to replicate with mentally retarded children.
Similarly, much cross-cultural research consists of replicating research conducted in one
country with samples in another country. For instance, Kohlberg's (1984; Power, Higgins, &
Kohlberg, 1989) theory of moral reasoning has been shown to be valid in a number of
countries, thereby supporting the universality of the theory.
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