ERIC Number: ED322171
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986
Says Who? Research, Authority, and Me: A Guide for Students.
Campbell, Patricia B.
This pamphlet provides suggestions for students concerning how to best use and interpret educational research. Students should recognize that there is nothing wrong with questioning research. Among the myths that must be challenged are that if something is published, it must be true, and that scientists are objective and uninfluenced by societal attitudes and their own prejudices. For example, there is evidence that many boys and girls have different mathematics experiences, but there is no evidence that sex differences in mathematics are natural or inherent. Myths go unchallenged because: people are more comfortable with the status quo; those who believe stereotypes probably will not accept research that challenges such beliefs; and many people accept or reject research without evaluating its quality. To evaluate research, a student should begin by asking whether: (1) the researchers' opinions can be told by reading the study; (2) conclusions are based on study results or the researcher's expectations; (3) the research tells precisely who was studied; and (4) the study makes sense. Students can evaluate and use research better by: checking the "facts" for themselves; not quoting facts without checking their accuracy; reading an entire study and not just the summary; being equally skeptical of research that does and research that does not seem right; finding out how to question authority in ways that provide information and not irritation; and looking at their own biases critically. (SLD)
Descriptors: Data Interpretation, Educational Research, Elementary Secondary Education, Ethnic Stereotypes, Evaluation Utilization, Guidelines, Minority Groups, Power Structure, Research Design, Research Methodology, Research Problems, Research Utilization, Sex Differences, Sex Stereotypes, Social Bias, Student Role
Women's Educational Equity Act Publishing Center, Education Development Center, 55 Chapel Street, Newton, MA 02160.
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Women's Educational Equity Act Program (ED), Washington, DC.
Note: For related documents, see TM 015 304-308.