Advancing Scientific Research In Education by LIsa Towne Lauress L. Wise Tina M. Winters

By LIsa Towne Lauress L. Wise Tina M. Winters

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Rather, in this chapter we begin with a brief discussion of how we define quality, taking our cue from Scientific Research in Education, and provide illustrations of select elements of quality that emerged in the committee’s workshops. This cursory treatment of definitional issues is intended to provide the context for consideration of specific mechanisms for promoting high-quality scientific research in education. 19 20 ADVANCING SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH IN EDUCATION ELEMENTS OF QUALITY Scientific Research in Education was an attempt to articulate what is meant by quality with respect to scientific research in education.

And investigators need to take the task seriously and spend the time in advance establishing that understanding and trust. Of course, not all education research requires working relationships with districts or schools. For example, education policy research that focuses on macro-level trends and relationships typically involves the use of existing large-scale data sets. However, even these kinds of projects rely (albeit less directly) on the fact that someone had to engage schools or districts or other educational settings to gather the data.

And maximizing data sharing while ensuring the confidentiality of research participants—topics we take up in some detail in the next section—is yet another way in which the field can work collaboratively to advance scientific understanding and progress. MECHANISMS FOR BUILDING THE KNOWLEDGE BASE We see three points of leverage for encouraging knowledge accumulation in education research: professional associations, scholarly journals, and infrastructure supports like data banks. Efforts like data sharing should be supported by professional norms that are developed through sanctions and rewards and reinforced informally by the community of researchers 1Many of the other barriers to data sharing, however, are common among all sciences (National Research Council, 1985).

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