Why Reading Educational Research can be a Challenge?

Written with co-author Dr Christine Bottrell. Pre-service teacher education students, in most courses, are required to undertake some study of education research methods, to provide them with skills to read and make use of education research. However, the field of education research is a complex and difficult area. Perhaps focusing upon the most frequently used research methods could be a useful starting point. So, what type of research methods are most favoured in education? This article describes the authors’ attempts to answer this question, and the unexpected outcomes of the quest.

Introduction

Understanding research and being able to critically read research reports in education would seem to be an important skill for teachers to acquire,Guest Posting and many initial teacher education programs, in countries such as Australia, require students to study a research method subject. In the case of pre-service teachers, there are important questions for a lecturer to consider. What should be the content and focus of an introductory course in research methods for pre-service education students? What are the priorities? Where to start? The starting point is important because, for many of these pre-service teachers, this may be the only study they will ever undertake in the area of education research. A pre-service teacher who is provided with a sound foundation in research methods is more likely to be a productive user of education research as an education practitioner.

In the limited time available for an introductory course in research methods, decisions have to be made regarding what to teach and what to leave out; what topics are considered to be more important than others and why. The field of education research is complex and, for students, the area can be overwhelming. In the experience of the authors, who have taught research methods at both under-graduate and post-graduate level over many years, students consistently describe their confusion and frustration at the sheer scope of the area and, in some cases, this acts as a disincentive.

Perhaps a useful starting point would be to focus upon the type of research that is most prevalent in education, on the assumption that students would be more likely to come across examples in the journals they read. If students are cognizant with the methods used in the research that they most frequently encounter then surely confidence would be increased. As journals are readily accessible for students, an investigation of relevant education journals would be a useful source in order to determine if certain types of research are published more frequently than others.

An investigation of this nature may reveal a profile of education research that could have implications for education researchers as well as assisting teachers and pre-service teachers. This article describes the authors’ endeavor to profile selected education research journals and the unexpected surprises encountered along the way; in particular, difficulties in the development of a suitable ‘mapping tool’. There may be implications for education researchers as well as teachers of research.

The Nature of Educational Research

Educational research is undertaken by a range of stakeholders including government departments and non-government organisations, but the majority of educational research, as with most disciplines, is undertaken by academics in universities. Educational research covers a broad range of topics such as curriculum and pedagogy, education systems (encompassing early childhood, primary, secondary education) and various specialist studies, including areas such as assessment, leadership, technology and gender.

Research needs of stakeholders vary. Education departments use research to inform teaching and curriculum practice, devise professional learning activities, target resources and improve system requirements. Non-government organisations may use research to develop teaching resources or provide information to improve services to a range of clients. Research that underpins the teaching and learning process is of particular importance to inform teacher practice. Universities usually require students to engage with the education research literature, whereby students undertake a unit in research methods or read educational research. With the growth of pre-service teacher education courses offered at the Master degree level in countries such as Australia, the requirement for research skills has escalated.

Research in education encompasses many different naturalistic, interpretative, hypothesis generating models as well as hypothesis testing models. A rich resource of text books is available for those studying the theory and practice of educational research: Burke & Christensen (2012), Punch (2009), O’Toole & Beckett (2013), Wiersma and Jurs (2009) and Yin (2012), to name a few. Due to the nature of research in an educational setting the majority of research utilises a hypothesis generation approach with a predominance of verbal qualitative data gathering.

The reporting of educational research is usually presented in a range of publications such as academic journals, including online journals, professional magazines and books. Academic journals are a pathway that allows for the results of research to be released quickly into the public space. The content of academic journals also contains opinion papers, book reviews and editorial pieces; however, in some journals, the distinction between position/opinion papers and reports of research are left to the reader to discover, which can be a problem for students and inexperienced researchers. Nevertheless, articles in journals are a readily accessible starting place for students of research methods.

Several studies have attempted to map the type of resea

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Education loans can augment the boundaries of what you can achieve

Education never ends – it is not said without reason. We are educated all our lives and getting an education not only is a great achievement but something that gives you the tools to find your own way in the world. Education is indispensable; little do we realize how much more it can bring to us in terms of worldly amplifications. Anyone can have propensity and the natural endowment for education. But one might not have the resources to finance their education. You certainly can’t let lack of resources impede you from advancing your prospects through education. Then you accidentally stumble upon the word ‘education loans’. Loans for education – you have never thought about it as a feasible arrangement. Education loans can open newer panoramas in regard to your education aspirations.

Education loans are open to all people in all its myriad forms. Education loans can realize your education plans or the education plans of your children. You can strengthen you own future and the future of your son or daughter with education loans. An extensive range of student and parent loans are presented under the category of education loans. There are many types of education loans. Discerning about the types of education loans will help you in making the accurate decision. The single largest resource of education loans is federal loan. The two main federal education loan programmes are the Federal Family Education Loan Programme and the Federal Direct Loan Programme. In the Federal Family Education Loan Programme the bank,Guest Posting credit union or the school is the lender. While the federal direct loans programme, the department of education is the lender.

Private education loans are offered to people so that they can provide financial backup to their education plans. Private education loans are not endorsed by other government agencies but are provided by other financial institutions. Private education loans programme are optimum for both undergraduate and graduate studies.

Formal education is requisite for future success. Though this is not a hard and fast rule, but education certainly helps you in gaining an upper hand. With universities getting expensive by each day an education loan will certainly give you an incentive to go ahead with your education plans. Each year while contemplating on your education plans the thought of finances almost invariably comes in. While working towards you degree, you are constantly plagued about paying for the education fees, books, and other living expenses. Education loans can provide funding for tuition fees, board and room, books computer, and even student travel. An education loan can help you with all these expenses. Education loans are sufficient enough to take care of all these expenses. If you have been forced to drop your education for any reason, you can still take up your education at any point of time. Irrespective of your age and also where you have left your education.

There are no specific eligibility criteria for education loans. Any person who is in need of sponsorship for education can find an education loan that befits his or her financial necessity. Loan amount on education loans vary with the kind of education you want to pursue. The repayment options with education loans will similarly accommodate your personal financial preferences. You can either repay interest amount while still in school or six months after graduation. Education loans offer upto ten years for repayments. The refund alternatives on education loans also include deferment, forbearance and consolidation. The various sites on education loans can give you innumerable repayment options and monetary remuneration.

Education loans will help you in planning your life after graduation. However, an education loan like every loan is a huge financial obligation. An education loans is generally the first substantial loan for most people and therefore the first major expense. Do not be completely dependent on your education loans for the funding of your complete education. Try to apply for any other financial sustenance like university grants, scholarships, fellowships, work study programmes and assistance ship and any other form of aid. This will certainly encourage a fluid dispensation of your education loans. You can start by going to the financial aid office in your school or university. It will provide you further insight to the kind of education loans, you must apply for.

Education is an experience of life. It is so rewarding in itself that it helps you to manage almost everything in your life. Education loans discipline your impulse towards education and training into a fruitful contrivance. The payoff is delicious in terms of improved quality of life. Education is expensive! Is it? With education loans it can’t be. Now, you don’t have to take the road in front of you. Make your own road with education loans.

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