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Introduction to Educational Research
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Introduction to Educational Research

Second Edition
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344 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
The Second Edition of Introduction to Educational Research expertly guides readers through the steps of the research methods process to help them plan and compose their first educational research project. With a conversational writing style, author Craig A. Mertler covers all aspects of the research process and addresses a wide range of research methodologies, including: Quantitative, Qualitative, Mixed-Methods, and Action Research. No prior familiarity with the principles, procedures, or terminology of educational research is required, allowing novice students to clearly understand research concepts and learn to effectively apply them in their own studies.
 
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Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
PART I. INITIAL RESEARCH CONSIDERATIONS
 
Chapter 1. What Is Educational Research?
Finding Answers to Questions

 
The Scientific Method

 
Educational Research—What It Is and What It Is Not

 
Educational Research as a Process

 
Knowing Your Specific Discipline

 
Educators as Researchers

 
 
Chapter 2. Overview of the Educational Research Process
Identifying and Limiting a Research Topic or Problem

 
Formally Stating and Refining Research Question(s)

 
Reviewing Existing Literature Related to the Problem

 
Writing a Literature Review

 
Developing a Research Plan

 
Implementing the Research Plan and Collecting Data

 
Analyzing the Data

 
Stating Findings, Conclusions, and Recommendations in a Written Research Report

 
The Educational Research Process—A Brief Example

 
 
Chapter 3. Identifying a Research Problem
Identifying a Research Topic or Problem

 
Necessary Terminology Related to Research

 
Research Questions and Hypotheses

 
 
Chapter 4. Ethics in Educational Research
Ethical Considerations in the Conduct of Research

 
Ethics in Qualitative Versus Quantitative Studies

 
Institutional Review Boards

 
Formal Preparation for Research with Human Participants

 
 
Chapter 5. Reviewing Related Research Literature
What Is a Literature Review?

 
Sources for Literature Related to Your Research Topic

 
Searching the ERIC Online Database

 
Searching the Google Scholar Online Database

 
Writing Your Literature Review

 
Not Just for Conducting Research—Valuable Sources for Professional Development

 
 
PART II. DESIGNING A RESEARCH STUDY
 
Chapter 6. Qualitative Research Methods
Characteristics of Qualitative Research

 
The Qualitative Research Process

 
Approaches to Conducting Qualitative Research

 
More About Ethnographic Research

 
More About Narrative Research

 
 
Chapter 7. Quantitative Research Methods
Characteristics of Quantitative Research

 
The Quantitative Research Process

 
Nonexperimental Research Designs

 
Experimental Research Designs

 
Threats to Validity in Quantitative Designs

 
 
Chapter 8. Mixed-Methods Research
Characteristics of Mixed-Methods Research

 
The Mixed-Methods Research Process

 
Approaches to Conducting Mixed-Methods Research

 
Validity in Mixed-Methods Research

 
Strengths and Limitations of Mixed-Methods Research

 
 
Chapter 9. Action Research
Characteristics of Action Research

 
The Action Research Process

 
Action Planning and Reflection

 
Validity in Action Research

 
Strengths and Limitations of Action Research

 
 
Chapter 10. Writing a Research Proposal
Purpose of a Research Proposal

 
General Aspects of a Research Proposal

 
Components of a Quantitative Research Proposal

 
Components of a Qualitative Research Proposal

 
Proposals for Action Research and Mixed-Methods Studies

 
 
PART III. COLLECTING AND ANALYZING DATA
 
Chapter 11. Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis
Sampling Techniques in Qualitative Research

 
Qualitative Data Collection Techniques

 
Characteristics of Qualitative Data: Accuracy, Credibility, and Dependability

 
Qualitative Data Analysis Techniques

 
 
Chapter 12. Quantitative Data Collection
Sampling Techniques in Quantitative Research

 
Scales of Measurement

 
Quantitative Data Collection Techniques

 
Characteristics of Quantitative Data: Validity and Reliability

 
 
Chapter 13. Quantitative Data Analysis
Quantitative Data Analysis Techniques

 
 
PART IV. THE RESEARCH REPORT
 
Chapter 14. Writing a Final Research Report
Importance of the Audience

 
General Guidelines for Writing a Research Report

 
Practical Guidelines for Writing

 
An Example of a Research Report

 
 
Appendix: Teachers’ Perceptions of the Influence of No Child Left Behind on Classroom Practices
 
Glossary
 
References
 
Index

Supplements

Student Site

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  • Mobile-friendly eFlashcards strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts.
  • Mobile-friendly practice quizzes allow for independent assessment by students of their mastery of course material.
  • Chapter summaries and learning objectives reinforce the most important material.
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter is included.
  • Multimedia content includes videos that appeal to diverse learners.
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  • Sample course syllabi for semester and quarter courses provide suggested models for structuring your courses.
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for your course.
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter is included.
  • Multimedia content includes videos that appeal to diverse learners.
  • Lecture notes summarize key concepts by chapter to help you prepare for lectures and class discussions.

“Comprehensive introductory text to educational research that provides students with practical and thorough information on how to be research producers and consumers.”

Maryann Dudzinski
Valparaiso University

“A well-written, student focused introduction to education research text that is a great primer for helping students get ready to run their first study.”

Samuel Sennott
Portland State University

“Craig A. Mertler gives educators a practical look into the sometimes overwhelming practice of research. He constructs each chapter using an easy to understand tone, as well as offering reflective activities to provide deeper meaning and reflection on one’s own practice.”

Kimberly Silbaugh, Ph.D.
Western Colorado State University and Lesley University

“Mertler synthesizes a wealth of research methodology in one, eminently usable textbook. Designed for the beginning educational researcher, he covers all aspects of the research process and addresses a wide range of research methodologies: Quantitative, Qualitative, Mixed-Methods, and Action Research. Written with as little jargon as possible, he dots each chapter with figures and tables that expand and extend the written text. From preparing to conduct a study through sampling, data collection and analysis, and interpretation, Mertler succinctly covers many aspects of the research process. His well-written study at the end of the book serves as a model for much of the material covered in previous chapters. This textbook will become a staple for beginning educational research courses for many years to come!”

Patricia A. St John, EdD, ATR-BC, LCAT
The College of New Rochelle

For instructors

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