Practical Research Methods in Education : An Early Researcher's Critical Guide book cover
1st Edition

Practical Research Methods in Education
An Early Researcher's Critical Guide

Edited By

Mike Lambert

ISBN 9780815393566
Published March 5, 2019 by Routledge
172 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Practical Research Methods in Education is a hands-on guide which critically explores and scrutinizes research methods used in educational enquiry. Drawing on the research, practical experience and reflections of active researchers, each chapter offers explanations, examples, tasks for students to undertake and suggestions for further reading, all of which are designed to strengthen understanding of practical methods of data collection in educational and social-science research.

This insightful book offers:

  • Detailed illustration of a range of data-collection methods and approaches used in educational research
  • Chapters written by active researchers, experienced in addressing challenges of carrying out practical research in education
  • Examples, study tasks and suggestions for further reading in each chapter
  • An exploration of critical reflection and decision-making in relation to research methodology in education
  • Close attention to research ethics

Exploring practical methods of data-collection for educational and social-science research, Practical Research Methods in Education is a unique and valuable resource for any students interested and engaged in the planning and completion of their own investigations.

Table of Contents


List of figures and tables



Jyothsna Latha Belliappa

Editor’s introduction

Mike Lambert

Importance of research methodology · This book · The chapters

1. Using questionnaires

Brendan Bartram

Introduction · Merits and limitations · Ethics · Using written questionnaires · Using online questionnaires · Using a word-association questionnaire · Conclusion

2. Using interviews

Jo Winwood

Introduction · Interviews · My research · Interview schedule · Conducting interviews · Analysing interview data · Ethics · Conclusion

3. Observations

Tunde Rozsahegyi

Introduction · Observation in educational research · Participant or non-participant? · Structured or non-structured? · Validity and ethics · Observation in my own research · Conclusion

4. Involving children

Mike Lambert

Introduction · My research · Involvement · To what extent could I understand the data? · What about ‘power’? · And what about ethics? · Conclusion

5. Using video as data

Marte Blikstad-Balas

Introduction · Benefits · Ethics · Challenges · Conclusion

6. Using quantitative data

Michael Jopling

Introduction · What is quantitative research? What are quantitative data? · Three types of quantitative design · Analysing quantitative data · Descriptive statistics · Inferential statistics · Conclusion

7. Document analysis

Jane O’Connor

Introduction · Discourse and document analysis · Using document analysis in a research project · Data collection · Analysis and findings · Discussion · Conclusion

8. ‘Doing text’: Madness in the methods

Julian McDougall

Introduction · Ways of seeing research · The third (research) space? · Creative visual methods · We need to talk about Maggie · Wiring the audience · Digital transformations · (Negatively) Benefits Street · Hunger by the Sea · Comrades and curators · Doing text · Wrapping up

9. Q-methodology: A science of subjectivity

Gavin Rhoades and Zeta Brown

Introduction · What is Q-methodology? · Developing a Q study · Elements of Q · Factor analysis · Additional research methods · Use in an undergraduate dissertation · The ‘Explore University’ Q evaluation · Conclusion

10. Mosaic: Participatory research in the early years

Helen Lyndon

Introduction · Using Mosaic · Stage 1: Children and adults gather evidence · Stage 2: Dialogue, reflection, interpretation · Stage 3: Deciding areas of continuity and change · Strengths and limitations · Conclusion

11. Ethnography

Joke Dewilde

Introduction · Ethnography · Stages · My ethnography · Connecting to theory · Ethical issues · Some recommendations · Conclusion

12. Case study

Tunde Rozsahegyi

Introduction · What is case study? · Implementing case study · Conclusion

13. Grounded theory

Mike Lambert

Introduction · Grounded theory · Examples · Choosing grounded theory · Issue 1: How to use the literature? · Issue 2: Theory or ‘persuasive perspective’? · Outcomes · Conclusion

Closing words


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Mike Lambert was Principal Lecturer in Education at the University of Wolverhampton, UK, where he developed a two-year undergraduate course on doing educational research. He has supervised the research work of many undergraduate and postgraduate students.


"Practical Research Methods in Education provides students engaging in or considering postgraduate study a refresher course by revisiting concepts and methodology in education research... Every chapter is well-written, thoroughly explained, and will be of use to novice researchers, those considering postgraduate studies, those needing concise and clear term definitions, and those looking to expand their research knowledge from second language acquisition to education in general." - Nicole Moskowitz, Jalt Journal: The research journal of the Japan Association for Language Teaching