Understanding Research in Education: Becoming a Discerning Consumer, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Understanding Research in Education

Becoming a Discerning Consumer, 1st Edition

By Fred L. Perry Jr., Joe D. Nichols


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This text provides a solid introduction to the foundations of research methods, with the goal of enabling students and professionals in the various fields of education to not simply become casual consumers of research who passively read bits and pieces of research articles, but discerning consumers able to effectively use published research for practical purposes in educational settings. All issues important for understanding and using published research for these purposes are covered. Key principles are illustrated with research studies published in refereed journals across a wide spectrum of education. Exercises distributed throughout the text encourage readers to engage interactively with what they are reading at the point when the information is fresh in their minds. This text is designed for higher level undergraduate and graduate programs. Course instructors will find that it provides a solid framework in which to promote student interaction and discussion on important issues in research methodology.


"This is a text primarily for the target readers, for whom it covers not only consuming research but producing and presenting it. I envisage many active researchers finding it a useful read" – John Crown, Emeritus Professor of Learning Development, UK Open University

Table of Contents

Part I: Fundamentals for Discerning Consumers. 1. Understanding the Nature of Research. 2. How to Locate Research. Part II: The Major Components of Published Research. 3. Understanding the Framework of a Primary Research Article. 4. Understanding Where Data Come From: The Sample. 5. Understanding Research Designs. 6. Understanding Data Gathering. 7. Understanding Research Results. 8. Discerning Discussions and Conclusions: Completing the Picture. Appendix A: Constructing a Literature Review. Appendix B: Going to the Next Level of Statistics.

About the Authors

Fred L. Perry, Jr., professor emeritus at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, currently visiting scholar/researcher at Arizona State University, and an independent contractor with Grand Canyon Education, Inc., Grand Canyon University.

Joe D. Nichols taught middle and high school mathematics for 15 years and is now a professor in the Department of Educational Studies at Indiana University – Purdue University, Fort Wayne.

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