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ERIC Number: ED535454
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 62
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 32
ISBN: ISBN-0-3090-9192-6ISBN-978-0-3090-9192-3
Implementing Randomized Field Trials in Education: Report of a Workshop
Towne, Lisa, Ed.; Hilton, Margaret, Ed.
National Academies Press
The Center for Education of the National Research Council (NRC) has undertaken a series of activities to address issues related to the quality of scientific education research. In 2002, the NRC released "Scientific Research in Education" (National Research Council, 2002), a report designed to articulate the nature of scientific education research and to guide efforts aimed at improving its quality. Building on this work, the Committee on Research in Education was convened to advance an improved understanding of a scientific approach to addressing education problems; to engage the field of education research in action-oriented dialogue about how to further the accumulation of scientific knowledge; and to coordinate, support, and promote cross-fertilization among NRC efforts in education research. The main locus of activity undertaken to meet these objectives was a year-long series of workshops designed to engage a range of education stakeholders in discussions about five key topics: (1) Peer Review in Federal Education Research Programs; (2) Understanding and Promoting Knowledge Accumulation in Education: Tools and Strategies for Education Research; (3) Random Assignment Experimentation in Education: Implementation and Implications; (4) Journal Practices in Publishing Education Research; and (5) Education Doctoral Programs for Future Leaders in Education Research. This report is a summary of the third workshop in the series, on the implementation and implications of randomized field trials in education. Educators and researchers have debated the usefulness of these methods for conducting research in education for decades. As many more of them are being funded in education than ever before, the editors' objective in convening this workshop was to provide a venue for researchers and practitioners who have been involved in this kind of study in educational settings to share their experiences. The event took place on September 24, 2003, at the National Academies' Keck Center in Washington, DC. This report summarizes common issues and ideas that emerged from the presentations and discussion during the workshop (see Appendix A for the workshop agenda and Appendix B for biographical sketches of the committee members and speakers). These issues included "why" researchers use randomized field trials, "when" such a design is appropriate for answering questions about education, and "how" to implement this kind of research in an educational setting. In discussing these issues, workshop speakers identified challenges to successfully carrying out randomized field trials in schools and described strategies for addressing those challenges. Although investigators conducting any type of research in schools would encounter many of these challenges, some are unique to this research design. While this report represents their synopsis of the key issues aired at the workshop, it does "not" contain conclusions or recommendations. The editors will issue a final report with recommendations for improving scientific research in education based on the series of five workshops. Appended are: (1) Workshop Agenda; and (2) Biographical Sketches of Committee Members and Workshop Speakers. Individual chapters contain footnotes.
National Academies Press. 500 Fifth Street NW, Washington, DC 20001. Tel: 888-624-8373; Tel: 202-334-2000; Fax: 202-334-2793; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Books; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; Spencer Foundation
Authoring Institution: N/A