Chapter 1

Why study ed research?

  • not about facts or truth, but about techniques for evaluating arguments
  • not proof, but evidence
  • ability to understand and evaluate research in media
  • create proposals

Evaluating the quality of a theory

P. 19

  1. Is is logical and coherent?
  2. Is it clear and parsimonious?
  3. Does it fit the available data?
  4. Does it provide testable claims?
  5. Have theory-based predictions been tested and supported?
  6. Has it survived numerous attempts by researchers to identify problems and falsify it?
  7. Is it better than competing theories?
  8. Is it generalizable?
  9. Can practitioners use it to control or influence things in the world?


  1. exploration - Generate ideas about phenomena
  2. description - describe characteristics of a phenomenon
  3. understanding - subjective viewpoints of particular people and groups
  4. explanation - how and why a phenomenon operates as it does
  5. prediction - predict or forecast a phenomenon
  6. influence - applying research to make certain outcomes occur