What do we mean by research?
There are not many clear cut definitions of research but most people give features of research and these are some of them. According to Cohen, Manion and Morrison the term research has many meanings.
One of them is the activities and undertakings aimed at developing a science of behaviour, the word science itself implying both normative and interpretive perspectives. They state that social research is the systematic and scholarly application of the principles of a science of behaviour to the problems of people within their social contexts. However, educational research is the application of same principles to the problems of teaching and learning within education along with the clarification issues having direct or indirect bearing on these concepts.
Kerlinger defines ‘Research’ as truth we set out to discover.
Yates explains that;
Good research’ must mean ‘scientifically-based research. Good research in education must contribute to learning and speak to, and be usable by, practitioners.’
In conclusion, ‘Research’ is an investigation to uncover the truth using science and social behaviour in practice. Therefore research is quite significant for people working in this field.
Why do we do research?
Cohen, Manion and Morrison state that people have been trying to understand their environment for a long time. They can achieve this through experience, reasoning and research. They say that in our daily lives we encounter many problems that we need to overcome. Although, we are very dependent on experience and authority, these are not enough to solve the problems on their own. Scientific research will help us in testing the theories carefully and systematically.
Newby says that goals of educational research are;
‘to explore issues, to shape policy and to improve practice. Identifying and specifying a problem or issue that should be the subject of further research. We collect information and use it to make a judgement that informs policy goals and indicates how we attain them. We also carry out research to find out whether we are going in the right direction once a policy has been implemented.’
People state that the main reason of a research is the will of being able to understand the nature of own environment or to solve a problem which stops progress. For example; DfE (Department for Education) investigates regularly to find out about the issues in education and existing policies. One of these researches is ‘Achievement for All National Evaluation: Final Report’
The main aim of this evaluation research was to examine the impact of AfA (Achievement for All) on a variety of outcomes for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) also to find out what processes and practices in schools were most effective in improving these outcomes.