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ERIC Number: EJ893711
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 16
ISSN: ISSN-1683-1381
Graduate Students' Understanding of Educational Research in a Master of Education Program
Moulding, Louise R.; Hadley, Kristin M.
New Horizons in Education, v58 n1 p43-52 May 2010
Background: Graduate teacher education programs focus on developing professional teachers' pedagogical skills and professional knowledge, however they may also require a thesis. Completion of the thesis necessitates that graduate students have an understanding of educational research; this is often not well understood by teachers nor is it an inherent part of a teacher's work. Many graduate programs employ a step-by-step approach in developing an understanding of research beginning with reading and evaluating scholarly research, progressing to writing synopses of related research, then evaluating and understanding research methods employed, before finally producing original research. Aims: The study describes the differences between professional teachers in a graduate education program at various points in the journey to becoming researching teachers. The intent was to examine differences in student understanding of educational research across courses. Sample: Eighty-one adults with ages ranging from 21 to 57, enrolled in a master of education program in the western United States were surveyed at the beginning of three research-oriented courses. Method: A questionnaire focused on the meaning of conducting educational research was completed by the students enrolled in the graduate program. In addition to frequency of response, open responses were coded and grouped according to themes and levels of understanding about educational research. Results: Graduate student participants recognized the various sources of educational research and the need for research to be used for policy decisions. However, they retained misconceptions about the meaning of educational research and how it applied to their classroom practice. No significant correlations between age, educational assignment, and time in program were found. Conclusion: The responses to the questionnaire illustrate the difficulty of changing long-held understandings of research by students in graduate education programs. The current strategies used are not addressing these misconceptions consistently and changes are necessary. (Contains 3 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A