Students can consider the following points when discussing general contexts:
1-What is educational research? Is it different to social research? If so, in what ways?
2-What is the purpose of educational research? Is it to make changes in practice? Is it to improve the quality of the students’ learning process? Is it to develop theory? Is it to test theory? Is it to evaluate practice?
3-Is there a need for a different approach to research in education? If yes, then why? If no, then why?
4-Do we need specific texts e.g. Cohen et al. to understand research in education?
5-What are the theoretical foundations of educational research? Are they different to social research?
6-Is the qualitative/quantitative divide different in educational research to social research?
7-Are there any research methods that are specific to educational research? How can they be critiqued?
8-Is action research, close-to-practice and practitioner research in education ‘good quality’ research?
9-What are the debates on the appropriateness of educational research? Does it tell us anything we don’t already know?
10-What are the debates on the ethical implications of educational research?
11-What is the usefulness of educational research for informing policy?
12-What type of research do governments and policy makers see as ‘useful’? Look in the BERA Journal to see 13-what type of research gets published the most often.
14-Does educational research matter? BERA thinks it does as in the summer of 2013, they published a briefing paper entitled ‘Why Educational Research Matters’.
15-What is the usefulness of educational research for informing practice?
Use examples from texts/studies that support or critique educational research
Any examples that you use must be relevant to educational research and referenced correctly.
Use examples that relate to Early childhood.
For example, if your pathway is MA Education & Early Childhood then you MUST focus on this area and present a critical appraisal of educational research methods in early childhood contexts and not any others.