Characteristics of educational research

·        The basis of educational research is sound philosophy of education. Most of the problems are highly complex. Philosophy gives the basis for evaluating any principles and activities of research. According to Robert R.Rusk, “in any application of scientific procedure to education, a sound philosophy as well as sound commonsense must be involved to save the scientific procedure from itself”.
·        Educational research requires imagination and insight as much as scientific attitude of mind: Educational research deals with problems of motivation and ethics , which necessitate varied interpretations and assumptions. It need cannot be satisfied without reasonable degree of imagination and insight.
·        It requires an inter-disciplines approach: An educational problem can acquire the characteristics of several disciplines like philosophy, psychology, sociology, economic, history and political science. Educational research, is related to the study of complex relationships which involve reference various disciplines.
·        It usually employs deductive reasoning: educational research commonly uses methods of description, explanation, interpretation and sympathetic or intuitive understanding. These methods subjective and deductive in nature. Their results cannot be subjected to rigid measurement or mathematical procedures.
·        It is not as exact as research in physical sciences:  social and behavioral sciences like education, psychology and sociology have not achieved the level of specification possible in the case of physical science. For example, social problems present an increasingly large range of variables and a multitude of causes that bring about a certain result. Difficulties of manipulating and controlling all the variables put limits on the exactness and precision of results arrived at in social or psychological experimentation.
·        It comes out of a desire to do things better:  The important purpose of an education researcher is better education, better schools, and better results. Research for practical people like teachers, headmasters, and administrators should raise out of this desire. It helps them to narrow down the proverbial gap between theory and practice in education.
·        It is not the field of the specialist only: Any teacher with reasonable commonsense, intelligence and insight can undertake research in education. This research which is carried out in the day-to-day problems of the school will concern itself with child development, teacher-pupil relationships, interaction with the community, teaching techniques, and many other things.
·        It is capable of being dealt through empirical methods: Most of the matter of social sciences is qualitative and does not admit of quantitative statement. Qualitative analysis will enter into even the highly statistical studies.
·        It is based on interdependence of causes and effect: In a social phenomenon, the cause and effect are interdependent and one stimulates the other. It becomes very difficult sometimes to find out as to what is the cause and what is the effect.
·         It cannot be a mechanical process: There is no educational problems , studying which does not include unknown elements and does not require a fresh approach and attack. Genuine contribution to education cannot be made without the research worker’s willingness to pioneer into new fields or to work out new procedures. Genuine research must be an exploration, a gamble. The more amassing, reporting, stating, and defining of the facts in a numerical form is in itself not educational research.