1st Edition

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

Edited By Mike Lambert Copyright 2019
    172 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    172 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.


    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



    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