Educational research refers to the systematic collection and analysis of data related to the field of education. Research may involve a variety of methods and various aspects of education including student learning, interaction, teaching methods, teacher training, and classroom dynamics. Educational researchers generally agree that research should be rigorous and systematic. However, there is less agreement about specific standards, criteria and research procedures. As a result, the value and quality of educational research has been questioned. Educational researchers may draw upon a variety of disciplines including psychology, economics, sociology, anthropology, and philosophy. Methods may be drawn from a range of disciplines. Conclusions drawn from an individual research study may be limited by the characteristics of the participants who were studied and the conditions under which the study was conducted. Gary Anderson outlined ten aspects of educational research: Attempt to discover cause and effect. Research involves gathering new data from primary or first-hand sources or using existing data for a new purpose. Research is based upon observable experience or empirical evidence. Research demands accurate observation and description. Research generally employs carefully designed procedures and rigorous analysis. Research emphasizes the development of generalizations, principles or theories that will help in understanding, prediction and/or control. Research requires expertise—familiarity with the field; competence in methodology; technical skill in collecting and analyzing the data. Research attempts to find an objective, unbiased solution to the problem and takes great pains to validate the procedures employed. Research is a deliberate and unhurried activity which is directional but often refines the problem or ques There are different approaches to educational research. One is a basic approach, also referred to as an academic research approach. Another approach is applied research or a contract research approach.
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