Classifying Research

A systematic and logical search for novel and improved information on a specific topic is known as research. Research is necessary in both scientific and nonscientific fields. Every day, new problems, events, phenomena, and processes emerge in our lives. In practice, practical solutions and suggestions are required for dealing with new problems that arise. Scientists must conduct research to determine their causes, solutions, explanations, and applications.

·         Two helpful ways to view research

o   Purpose

§  The degree of direct applicability of research to educational practices and settings

o   Method

§  The overall strategies followed to collect and analyze data

Classification of Educational Research by purpose

·         Five categories

o   Basic

o   Applied

o   Action

o   Evaluation

o   Research and development (R & D)

Basic research

This is sometime also called ‘pure research’ or ‘fundamental research’. It is aimed at the discovery of basic truth or principles and is not immediately concerned with direct field application. Basic research emphasizes control and precision and gives less attention to direct application of the result in a field situation. Collection and analysis of data to develop or enhance theory

·         Examples related to learning theory

o   Piaget

o   Constructivism

o   Mastery learning

o   Gardner’s multiple intelligence

Applied research

Applied research or often called 'field research' is concerned primarily with establishing relationships and testing theories in the field setting and applying to other samples of the population from which the research subjects are taken. Collection and analysis of data to examine the usefulness of theory in solving practical educational problems

·         Examples

o   Developing a seventh grade social studies curriculum around a problem-solving approach to learning

o   Examining the effectiveness of a computer-based algebra program developed around a mastery learning approach

o   Accommodating varied learning styles when teaching lessons in modern literature

Action research

Action research is focused on immediate application, not on the development of theory or on general application.  It has placed its emphasis on a problem here and now in a local setting.  Its findings are to be evaluated in terms of local applicability, not universal validity.  Its purpose is to improve school practices and, at the same time to improve those who try to improve the practices:-to combine the research processes, habits of thinking, ability to work harmoniously with others, and professional spirit. If most classroom teachers are to be involved in research. The collection and analysis of data to provide a solution to the practical, valued problems of educators within their own school or organization.

·         Examples

o   How can IER move to a performance based model for undergraduate teacher Training programs?

o   How can disciplinary policies be enforced consistently in our school?

Action Research Design

The following steps may be followed in preparing an action research design:

        ·         Identification of problem area

        ·         Selection of the problem

        ·         Problem analysis

        ·         Action hypothesis

        ·         The Experiment data to be collected

        ·         Tools to be used

        ·         Action programme

    ·         Evaluation

Characteristics of Action Research

         It is focused on the immediate problem.

         It is applicable in a local setting.

         It aims at improving classroom and school practices.

         It aims at the improvement of professional efficiency.

         It involves very little finances. 

     Evaluation research 

        The collection and analysis of data to make decisions related to the merit or worth of a specific program.  Merit relates to a program accomplishing what it was supposed to accomplish. Worth relates to the value attached to a program by those using it. 

    Types of evaluation 

    ·         Formative evaluation is designed to inform and improve a program while it is being developed or implemented

    ·         Summative evaluation is designed to make decisions regarding the overall quality of the program being evaluated

Research and development

The development of effective products for use in schools

·         Examples

o   The development of the software to create a computerized algebra program that incorporates an individualized mastery learning approach to teaching basic algebraic concepts

o   The development of a Smart Board to enhance a teacher’s use of technology in the classroom

For more details download PPT