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Research and Evaluation Methods in Special Education
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Research and Evaluation Methods in Special Education



October 2003 | 296 pages | Corwin

Published in Association with Council for Exceptional Children

`In an era when government policy emphasizes 'scientifically based research' (No Child Left Behind), this book provides an important resource in understanding what this means' - Diane Browder, Snyder Distinguished Professor of Special Education, University of North Carolina, Charlotte

`This is a superb book. I learned by reading it, and I found myself rethinking some of my own thinking about research on individuals with disabilities' - James Ysseldyke, Professor, University of Minnesota

The purpose of this book is to enable the reader to use tools to design, conduct, and report research in a way that transforms, when appropriate, the delivery of special education. This book explores ways to adapt those research methods to the special education context by providing the reader with a framework for developing research questions and methods, as well as critically analyzing and conducting research focusing on the specific special education context. Unique contextual factors and populations in special education have implications for research conceptualization, design, implementation, interpretation, and reporting. Types of contextual issues specific to special education research that are addressed in this book are:

] The definition of who constitutes the special education population is not clear-cut. What are the implications of labeling someone "at risk" or disabled?

] How can appropriate identifications be made for such populations as developmentally delayed or learning disabled?

] What are the implications of conducting or critiquing research that addresses different types of functional impairments?

The audience for this book includes people who need information to support their decision-making. This includes those who set policy, administer and implement programmes, teach the students, and advocate for people with disabilities. For all these people, this book provides guidance in the conduct or critical analysis of research with special education populations. The populations that are included are primarily those that are eligible for funds under the federal government's classification system of special education students in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 1997. Additionally, the text includes discussion of infants and toddlers with disabilities and persons with developmental delays and those at risk.

 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
1. Introduction
Questions and Activities for Application and Discussion  
 
2. Program Evaluation
Questions and Activities for Application and Discussion  
 
3. Literature Review
Purposes of the Literature Review  
Resources to Support the Literature Review  
Reporting the Literature Review Method  
Aggregating Information for a Literature Review  
The Integrated Literature Review  
Questions to Critically Analyze the Literature Review  
Questions and Activities for Application and Discussion  
 
4. Quantitative Research Methods: Questions of Impact
Philosophical Assumptions Associated With Quantitative Research  
Questions and Activities for Application and Discussion  
 
5. Other Quantitative Approaches: Casual Comparative, Correlational, Single Case, and Survey Research
Causal Comparative and Correlational Research  
Questions for Critically Analyzing Causal Comparative and Correlational Research  
Questions for Critically Anaylzing Single-Case Designs  
Survey Research  
Questions for Critically Analyzing Survey Research  
Questions and Activities for Application and Discussion  
 
6. Qualitative Methods
Definition and Characteristics of Qualitative Methods  
Importance of Qualitative Methods in Special Education Research  
Philosophical Assumptions and Methodological Implications in Special Education Research  
Qualitative Methods and Data Collection Strategies  
Critically Analyzing Qualitative Research  
Questions for Critically Analyzing Qualitative Research  
Questions and Activities for Application and Discussion  
 
7. Mixed Methods and Mixed Model Designs
Definitions and Characteristics  
Questions and Activities for Application and Discussion  
 
8. Identification and Selection of Research Participants
Population and Sample Definition  
Designing and Selecting Samples  
Generalizability, External Validity, and Transferability  
Ethics and Confidentiality  
Questions for Critically Analyzing Sample Design and Implementation  
Questions and Activities for Application and Discussion  
 
9. Information Collection
The Purpose of Information Collection  
Technical Adequacy of Data Collection Instruments  
Selecting and Using a Measurement Device  
Questions for Critically Analyzing Information Collection Strategies and Instruments  
Questions and Activities for Application and Discussion  
 
10. Data Analysis, Interpretation, and Use
Quantitative Data Anaylsis  
Challenges in Analysis and Interpretation  
Responses to Analysis and Interpretation Challenges  
Qualitative Data Analysis and Interpretation  
Reporting Research  
Beyond Reporting: Using Research Results  
Questions for Critically Analyzing Data Analysis and Interpretation  
Questions and Activities for Discussion and Application  
Appendices  
1. Federal Definitions for Individuals with Disabilities  
2. Data Sources from Extant Data Bases  
3. Definitions of Statistical Terms  
4. Funding Resources  
5. Proposal Outline  
 
References
 
Index

"In an era when government policy emphasizes ‘scientifically based research’ (No Child Left Behind), this book provides an important resource in understanding what this means."

Diane Browder, Snyder Distinguished Professor of Special Education
University of North Carolina, Charlotte

"This is a superb book. I learned by reading it, and I found myself rethinking some of my own thinking about research on individuals with disabilities."

James E. Ysseldyke, Professor
University of Minnesota

"The authors have set for themselves a challenging task--to enable readers to design, conduct, report, and understand research in a way that transforms (when appropriate) the delivery of special education. What is even more amazing is it appears they have developed a guide that makes this task a reality."

CHOICE, June 2004

Although the terminology used is very 'American' in parts of the text, this is never the less a useful guide for those studying at Master's Level. The 'Questions and Activities for Discussion and Application' enable students to reflect and critically examine their research methodology.

Ms Maggie Bowen
Faculty of Education & Children's Services, Chester University
September 21, 2015

A great book for special education undergraduate students.

Dr Jon Cryer
School of Sport & Leisure, Gloucestershire University
June 4, 2015

An excellent book for students embarking on research within the field. Knowledge base required beforehand but useful for the developing student.

Mr Carl Longmore
Special needs and inclusion, Wolverhampton University
September 29, 2014

Although much of the policy and research context of the book is USA-based, the content of the book is generally helpful and clearly written.
The page layouts are , at times rather 'busy'/'dense' but the content compensates for this

Dr Dominic Griffiths
School of Education and Community, Glyndwr University
October 16, 2013

Sample Materials & Chapters

Preface

Chapter 1: Introduction


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