1st Edition

Making Your Doctoral Research Project Ambitious Developing Large-Scale Studies with Real-World Impact

Edited By Nadia Siddiqui, Stephen Gorard Copyright 2022
    278 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    278 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book presents the doctoral dissertation process as not just a way of getting a qualification or even a method of learning how to do research better, but as a substantial and significant piece of research in its own right. The book will inspire current and prospective PhD scholars to take up ambitious and large-scale study projects, dedicating this most important time to a worthy piece of research.

    This edited collection provides real and outstanding examples of multiple research design methodologies which will allow doctoral researchers to develop a wide set of research skills, leading to the development of a high-quality academic thesis from which peer reviewed research papers and books can emerge. Each main chapter presents the summary of a doctoral thesis, followed by focused aspects from the projects where the contributors highlight the development of a research design, the process involved in executing the design, and present selected findings with their implications. Each chapter concludes with the researchers’ experiences of learning through this journey and the implications of the process for the development of the discipline and their own career.

    Ideal reading for doctoral students and supervisors, this book is a source of encouragement and motivation for new researchers seeking to challenge general perceptions in the social sciences that PhD or other doctoral research projects must be small-scale rather trivial studies, but can instead produce robust findings that have real-world implications.

    Chapter 1 - INTRODUCTION Thinking bigger: The importance of an ambitious doctoral research project
    Nadia Siddiqui and Stephen Gorard


    Chapter 2 – School value-added measures: Undertaking policy- and practice-relevant methodological research
    Thomas Perry

    Chapter 3 - Is Progress 8 a valid and reliable measure of school effectiveness?
    Mark Ledger

    Chapter 4 – The stability problem in using value-added measurements for teacher performance evaluation
    Ismail Aslantas

    Chapter 5 - Does academic selection promote effectiveness and equity? Evaluating a classic topic using a new approach
    Bin Wei Lu

    Chapter 6 - Does instructional leadership make schools more effective? Evidence from the Maldives
    Ismail Shafeeu


    Chapter 7 – Can co-operative learning and group-work help English language learners in Thailand?
    Phanatdao Chantarasiri

    Chapter 8 - The role of metacognition in the learning of English as a foreign language
    Meechai Wongdaeng

    Chapter 9 - Can Philosophy for Children improve critical thinking and attainment for Chinese secondary students?
    Cai Wei Wu

    Chapter 10 - Evaluating the impact of instruction on the critical thinking skills of English language learners in higher education
    Nada el-Soufi

    Chapter 11 - Can improving the ‘academic buoyancy’ of secondary school students improve their school attendance?
    Sophie Anderson

    Chapter 12 – Understanding the moral values of primary school children: a comparative study
    Shi Pian


    Chapter 13 – Free Schools in England: researching a (controversial) new policy reform using a mixed methods approach
    Rebecca Morris

    Chapter 14 – Does absence from school influence attainment, and what is the best way to handle it?
    Haifaa Alabbad

    Chapter 15 – Do expensive STEM enrichment activities make any difference to science and maths outcomes at school?
    Pallavi Banerjee

    Chapter 16 – How fair are the indicators used in contextualised admission policies in China?
    Yiyi Tan

    Chapter 17 – International comparisons at the crossroads of policy, practice and research: the case of school leavers’ and graduates’ information systems
    Rita Hordósy

    Chapter 18 – Evidence translation strategies to promote the use of research results in schools: What works best?
    Caner Erkan

    Chapter 19 – CONCLUSION The implications of these studies for new researchers
    Stephen Gorard and Nadia Siddiqui


    Nadia Siddiqui is Associate Professor and Deputy Director of the Durham University Evidence Centre for Education (DECE), UK.

    Stephen Gorard is Professor and Director of the Durham University Evidence Centre for Education (DECE), UK and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

    "Overall, the book offers valuable and extraordinary doctoral research projects; it is highly recommended for new researchers of all kinds – including both doctoral faculty members, potential doctoral students, and those in their first research appointment. Moreover, it is ideal reading for supervisors, tutors, or professors of any nationality as the excellent research projects in this book can inspire them to help their students succeed in doctoral research and subsequent publication. As a Ph.D. student and a language teacher, working with this book helped me reflect on the real substantive significance of research in the social sciences and better understand that the Ph.D. is not my end-goal, but instead more of a new starting point within the world of research and education." - Qiqin Hu, Educational Review