Doing Research/Reading Research: Re-Interrogating Education, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Doing Research/Reading Research

Re-Interrogating Education, 2nd Edition

By Paul Dowling, Andrew Brown


210 pages

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This bestselling text enables beginning researchers to organise and evaluate the research they read, and to plan and implement small scale research projects of their own. It gives structured, practical guidance on:

  • the development of a research question
  • techniques of data collection
  • qualitative and quantitative forms of analysis
  • the writing and dissemination of research.

The authors present research as a principled activity that begins with the establishing and structuring of theoretical and empirical fields and research findings as serving to ask questions of educational practice rather than directing it.

This revised and updated second edition includes a new chapter dealing with the complex issue of research ethics. It also includes consideration of digital technologies and new media, both as settings of research and research tools, the chapters on qualitative and quantitative analysis have been expanded and the annotated bibliography updated.

The authors have been active researchers in educational studies for more than twenty years. They have also supervised numerous doctoral and masters dissertations and taught research methods programmes in various higher education institutions around the world as well as in the Institute of Education, University of London.


It goes very close to requiting the notion that you can write successfully for beginners and, at the same time, define the field. (Brian Davies, reviewing the first edition of Doing Research/Reading Research for the International Journal of Social Research Methodology).

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: the three Rs of educational research 2. Declaring an Interest: the empirical and theoretical contexts of the research 3. Articulating the Theoretical and Empirical Fields 4. An Ethical Dimension to Research 5. Experience and Observation: the collection of first hand data 6. Gathering Information and Asking Questions: interviews, questionnaires and accounts 7. Quality in Analysis 8. Dealing with Quantity 9. Specialising, Localising and Generalising: a mode of interrogation 10. Opening and Closing the Account. 11 The Practitioner and Educational Research: a manifesto

About the Authors

Paul Dowling is Professor of Education and Director of Postgraduate Research in the Faculty of Culture and Pedagogy at the Institute of Education, University of London. His other publications include Sociology as Method: Departures from the Forensics of Culture, Text and Knowledge (2009, Sense) and The Sociology of Mathematics Education: Mathematical Myths/Pedagogic Texts (1998, Falmer Press).

Andrew Brown is Professor of Education and Dean of the Doctoral School at the Institute of Education, University of London. He has worked as an international consultant for major education development agencies. His other publications include Professional Doctorates: Integrating Professional and Academic Knowledge (with David Scott, Ingrid Lunt and Lucy Thorne, 2004, Open University Press) and Digital Technology, Communities and Education (World Yearbook of Education 2004, edited with Niki Davis, Routledge).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Research