ERIC Number: ED220023
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-May
Reference Count: 0
Map of the Field--Higher Education Research at the State Level. AIR Forum 1982 Paper.
Crosson, Patricia H.; Adams, Charles S.
A map of the field of higher education at the state level is presented that defines theoretical and conceptual frameworks, approaches to analysis, research designs, and methodologies that have been used in the study of the relationships between state governments and institutions of higher education or of state policy structures and processes. Sixty-eight research studies completed between 1970 and 1981 are analyzed and categorized as disciplinary or policy research as well as according to their implicit or explicit use of theory as explanation, as a principle of data selection, as description, or as prescription. This map provides a starting point for the development of cumulative knowledge about the ways theory has and has not been used as a basis for the study of higher education at the state level, or the use of theory in all higher education research. Eleven research studies were found that used theory as an explicit part of their effort to explain some aspect of higher education at the state level. All of these drew on concepts from economics but also incorporated organizational open systems theory derived from sociology, and some of the studies examined some aspect of the political or policy-making process. Twenty studies explicitly used theories and conceptual frameworks for the selection and interpretation of facts, and 17 were rooted in political science theories and concepts. Eleven studies were descriptive and provide information on the current status of state level organizational structures or practices, and do not explicitly use theoretical or conceptual frameworks for selecting information. Twelve studies conform closely to James Coleman's (1972) definition of policy research. Nine selections were classified as interpretive. A bibliography is appended. (SW)
Descriptors: Accountability, Economic Factors, Educational Finance, Educational Research, Governance, Government School Relationship, Higher Education, Institutional Research, Policy Formation, Political Influences, Public Policy, Research Design, Research Utilization, State Aid, State Colleges, State Government, Statewide Planning, Theories
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: AIR Forum
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Forum of the Association for Institutional Research (22nd, Denver, CO, May 16-19, 1982).