Educational research is done by practitioners (teachers and administrators), scholars, policy-makers, and
parents. Research may focus on practical strategies for classroom use or school development, it may focus
on surveys, testing, or methodology. There may be a need to gather data from studies or simply to
understand educational trends. Research may involve testing theories on live students or may involve
understanding laws related to children. Results of education research could influence public policy.
Educational research can concern itself with any age group from early childhood development; to elementary,
middle and high school age; to higher education; to continuing professional development or adult education.
1B: Of Particular Note for Online Research:
The World Wide Web has developed into an incredibly rich resource for research in a variety of
areas in the field of education. There are certain types of information for which searching the
particularly useful, including:
Government Information - Information on education at both the national and the state
level can be found through the U.S. Department of Education Web site, as can speeches by government
officials, reports on national education initiatives, research studies, standards, etc. State
governments, including Ohio, also maintain useful Web sites with state standards, initiatives and more.
Education Statistics - the National Center for Education Statistics is a clearinghouse
for statistical information on education both in the United States and abroad. The NCES
Web site allows
you to search for "fast facts," for practitioner-oriented information and for detailed research studies;
Instructional Materials - there are a number of Web sites that provide access to lesson
plans and other curriculum materials available online, particularly the AskERIC Lesson Plan Archive
and the Gateway to Educational Materials (GEM)
Professional Information - professional organizations of
scholars and teachers often maintain rich Web sites that include electronic
discussion lists, bibliographies, answers to frequently-asked questions, and
statistics about teaching and learning in the various subject areas. Here is
one list for links to over 3 dozen professional organization sites.