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Educational Research: Variety of Available Sources

Understanding of the character of the research process and its strategies is important for receiving the specific knowledge and skills required for conducting a successful research. Getting rid of the stereotypes, representing the researchers as elderly men, mixing chemicals, the contemporary educators are to learn the available methods of conducting the researches in the classroom and to look for the opportunities for their practical application.

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Trying to get the trustworthy information on the different sides of the educational process a teacher should not forget that a research is impossible without thorough work at the choice of the topic and the research methods. Choosing the theme and the thesis for a would-be research it is necessary to choose one broad theme and then narrow it for receiving the results as precisely as possible. It is senseless to choose a broad topic, as it is impossible to cover all variety of things and it reduces the utilitarian benefit of the work. Plenty of sources and services are available nowadays, the search is not limited to the libraries of printed works only. A researcher may access The Educator’s Reference Desk, for instance, which provides high-quality resources to education researchers. This service provides not only lesson plans, but the methodological material as well. Choosing the topic for the research and working on it would be useful to consult the Education Resources Information Center on the web, which provides numerous sources of information, which would be interesting for the researchers. American Educational Research Association and American Association for Public Opinion Research have their websites as well, which can be easily accessed on the web and used for the personal purposes and different types of researches.The type of the research is predetermined by its topic and main objectives. It is useful to consider which of the six possible types of research the certain work may be related to for further identification of the most suitable methods and techniques. Referring the research to the historical, qualitative, descriptive, correlational, causal-comparative or experimental type, it will be easier for the educator to choose the methods which would be the most effective and suit this or that concrete research. Having chosen the topic and the type of the research one may start to look for the necessary theoretical basis and the available results of the similar research, conducted by other educators at different periods. Having identified the sources the researcher needs to evaluate them considering their reliability. Proper reporting and organizing of the literature is another important issue, but the high technology may help. A researcher may visit the American Psychological Association site in order to check the latest rules for citing and referencing the sources.

The content from this reading will be useful for me in any kind of my personal activities, as it corresponds to the main goals of the present day education – to teach the ways to look for the necessary material, not all the possible material itself. Realizing the importance of conducting regular educational researches, the educators will be involved in the process of the existing system improvement.

Visiting the web sites demonstrated the plenty of opportunities for the literature search online and the general principles for the search of the material on the web and possibilities for practical application of the course book material.

The class work influenced my views concerning the methods of the researches and the researchers themselves, helped me to get rid of the prejudices concerning the research activities. The discussion encourages the educators to conduct the research in class and emphasizes its value for the education system in general.

Reference List

American Association for Public Opinion Research. (2002). Code of professional ethics and practices. Web.

American Education Research Association. Web.

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American Psychological Association. (2003). Electronic references. Web.

American Psychological Association. (2003). Style tips. Web.

Gay, L., Airasian, P. (2002). Educational Research: Competencies for Analysis and Applications. Atlanta, GA: Prentice Hall.

Information Institutes of Syracuse. The educator’s reference desk. Web.

Institute of Education Sciences. ERIC database. Web.

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