This bestselling text enables beginning researchers to organise and evaluate the research they read, and to plan and implement small scale research projects of their own. It gives structured, practical guidance on:

  • the development of a research question
  • techniques of data collection
  • qualitative and quantitative forms of analysis
  • the writing and dissemination of research.

The authors present research as a principled activity that begins with the establishing and structuring of theoretical and empirical fields and research findings as serving to ask questions of educational practice rather than directing it.

This revised and updated second edition includes a new chapter dealing with the complex issue of research ethics. It also includes consideration of digital technologies and new media, both as settings of research and research tools, the chapters on qualitative and quantitative analysis have been expanded and the annotated bibliography updated.

The authors have been active researchers in educational studies for more than twenty years. They have also supervised numerous doctoral and masters dissertations and taught research methods programmes in various higher education institutions around the world as well as in the Institute of Education, University of London.

chapter |5 pages


The three Rs of research

chapter |12 pages

Declaring an interest

The empirical and theoretical contexts of the research

chapter |23 pages

Experience and observation

The collection of first-hand data

chapter |19 pages

Gathering information and asking questions

Questionnaires, interviews and accounts

chapter |24 pages

Quality in analysis

chapter |34 pages

Dealing with quantity

chapter |13 pages

Specialising, localising and generalising

A mode of interrogation

chapter |6 pages

The practitioner and educational research

A manifesto