Educational Research

Creative Thinking and Doing

Second Edition

John O'Toole, David Beckett

Educational Research

Creative Thinking and Doing

Second Edition

John O'Toole, David Beckett






26 Sep 2013


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$79.95 AUD

$91.99 NZD

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Educational Research: Creative Thinking and Doing is an engaging and accessible introduction to the broad field of educational research. It demonstrates how to use research to think about issues arising from classroom settings, organisations, or wider professional activities.

Using engaging anecdotes from the field, this textbook thoroughly covers the basic principles, imperatives and theoretical approaches, and offers practical strategies for tackling the necessary processes and procedures.

New to this edition

  • Fully revised and updated to cover the introduction of National Curriculum
  • Increased focus on research in science and social science education and educational contexts
  • Agony aunt style epilogues at the end of each part, answering students’ questions about research



1. ‘Seeing’ research
What is research?
Why do it?
Contexts of formal research

2. What does research entail?
Some philosophical considerations
Some responsibilities
Defining the key terms

3. Research and the practitioner
Practitioners as researchers
Researching practice
Three approaches to research
The underpinning significance of human experience

4. Methodologies and methods
Descriptive and interpretive research
Interventionist methodologies—bringing about change through research
Blended methodologies—for description, interpretation and ongoing change
Mixed methodologies

Postscript to Part A: A warning
Epilogue to Part A: The agony column Part 1—Getting started


5. Making a start
Starting points
Developing the proposal or submission
Ethics approval

6. The literature Accessing the literature
Making a start
How to read Documenting the literature
The internet and other sources

7. Dealing with data
Collecting and generating data
Negative data and silent voices
Background data
Participant data
Experimental data
Documenting data

8. Data analysis and synthesis
A note of encouragement
Preparing the ground for analysis
Analysis in action
Analysis after action
Analysing the data—quantitative
Analysing the data—qualitative
Mediating and mediated data
Data synthesis

9. Reporting research
Planning your report
Aesthetics and style
Dynamic reporting
Publishing research

Postscript to Part B: A valediction
Epilogue to Part B: The agony column Part 2—Getting it done


John O’Toole: Honorary Professor, School of Education, Griffith University

David Beckett: Associate Professor and Deputy Dean, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne

Sample Pages

Read a sample chapter from Educational Research: Creative Thinking and Doing

Chapter 1: 'Seeing' research