Cap and Gown
Research in Education
Examples | Methodology | Student Resources | Glossary | Teacher Resources

There are many kinds of research in education.

  • Examine some of the examples of current research.
  • In methodology, determine the type of educational research you are planning to conduct.
  • Use the methodology for basic research in the social sciences to conduct your research.
  • Use the list of resources to assist in planning and carrying out your research.

Education as a social science is the field of study that deals mainly with methods of teaching and learning in schools.    (Merriam-Webster Online)



This ted talk discusses research which reveals how we learn before we are born.



Educational Research "is a systematic, disciplined inquiry applied to educational problems and questions...the scientific approach is a logical method of inquiry...We can study education in a scientific manner even though education itself is not a science."  (pp4-5 McMillan)  

1. Basically, Educational Researchers follow the method  outlined on this link:  How to Conduct Research in  the Social Sciences.   In addition, you may want to follow the steps outlined in Social Research Methods

2.  Major types of Educational Research * 

Basic  To increase knowledge and understanding of phenomena.  Understand how feedback affects motivation or learning styles of adolescents. 
Applied  To solve practical educational problems.  Determine the best approach for training teachers to use portfolios for classroom assessment. 

Practical (Action)

To improve practice in a school or classroom Determine which grouping procedure results in the highest achievement. 
Experimental  To determine the causal relationship between two or more phenomena by direct manipulation of factors that influence the phenomena.  Determine which of two approaches to teaching science results in the highest student achievement. 
Quantitative  To describe phenomena numerically to answer specific questions or hypotheses. The relationship between amount of homework and student achievement.
Qualitative  To provide rich narrative descriptions of phenomena that enhance understanding.  Observations of school renewal teams to understand the role of parents. 
Evaluation  o make a decision about a program or activity. Decide whether to keep or phase out a prekindergarten program.

*Note that some traits overlap among different types of research.  For example, qualitative studies may contain numerical summaries of informant ion.  (p.17 McMillan) 



  • McMillan, James H., Educational Research. Boston: Pearson. 2008.

Local Experts


Professional Organizations:

Research & Writing Guides:



teacher resources