Welcome to Graduate Projects in Education: Learning the Research Story. This book is designed to facilitate understanding of educational research and guide the development and the writing of a research project. Scholarly research follows a basic format, though each discipline has its own variations. The discipline of education is no different. In education, like other social sciences, we are investigating issues directly involving or influencing humans. Research involving humans can be a complex and awkward endeavor. However, if we view this endeavor through the lens of a research story, we find a familiar genre we can relate to and understand.
The book is divided into two parts. Part I – Research, Forms, Functions, and Skills explores the fundamental forms and functions of various graduate research projects. These chapters will introduce you to the ways in which we can tell a research story. We will also investigate the essential writing skills required to effectively write your research story. Academic writing rarely comes naturally to students. In these chapters, you will learn to tell your research story while also learning to write the story in a scholarly way.
Part II – Research Components of this book is dedicated to exploring each component for developing and writing a research project. We will explain each of the components through the story of a “slow cat.” The story of the slow cat is designed to assist the reader in drawing analogies to their research. As the story develops over the course of the chapters in Part II, you will see how a research project is created, how it progresses, and how it is concluded. Each chapter begins with a segment of the story of the slow cat, followed by an interpretation of the story related to the research component. The chapter continues with explanations, discussions, and information to facilitate your understanding and writing of the research component.
The Graduate Projects in Education: Learning the Research Story is written for graduate students engaged in a research project. However, the components of research apply to any level of education research. The hope is this text will make the basics of educational research more accessible to all. Telling the research story is an important pursuit to support educational change and improvements. While most graduate education programs require some form of research, we believe that it does not have to be the “hardest,” “most challenging,” or “most painful thing” encountered. If we can connect students to the research story, perhaps we will see higher-quality projects and some amazing innovations to enhance education for the betterment of all humans!
As a final note, be aware this book does not include a deep dive into research design, nor is contain an exhaustive treatment of the components of educational research. We encourage you to seek other resources that are specifically written about your research design of choice. There are many textbooks available on research. Supplement your learning as needed, is our advice.