Researchable and Non-Researchable Problems in Education

 Research Problems in Education It is a well-known fact that research requires data. Therefore, researchers should study problems that can be investigated empirically. The problems should involve concerns that can be addressed through scientific, evidence-based enquiry. This would involve empirical investigation undertaken through the collection and analyses of data. 

Such assessments are based on theoretical or practical implications and are conducted ethically. They are con- nected to the field in a logical manner and are rooted to the existing background, theory, or practice. They play a significant role in the educational processes, and with the necessary proficiency and resources, the researcher can study problems within the available short time frame


Evaluating the Problem

Before the proposed research problem can be considered appropriate, several searching ques- tions should be raised. Only when these questions are answered in the affirmative can the problem be considered a good one:

1.     Is this the type of problem that can be effectively solved through the process of research? Can relevant data be gathered to test the theory or find the answer to the question under consideration?

2.     Is the problem significant? Is an important principle involved? Would the solution make any difference as far as educational theory or practice is concerned? If not, there are undoubtedly more significant problems waiting to be investigated.

3.     Is the problem a new one? Is the answer already available? Ignorance of prior studies may lead a student to spend time needlessly on a problem already investigated by some other worker. However, although novelty or originality is an important consideration, simply because a problem has been investigated in the past does not mean that it is no longer worthy of study..

4.     Is research on the problem feasible? After a research project has been evaluated, there remains the problem of suitability for a particular researcher.

The Students should ask: Although the problem may be a good one, is it a good problem for me? Will I be able to carry it through to a successful conclusion? Some of the questions the students should consider are the following

a.         Am I competent to plan and carry out a study of this type? Do I know enough about this field to understand its significant aspects and to interpret my findings? Am I skill- ful enough to develop, administer, and interpret the necessary data-gathering devices and procedures? Am I well grounded in the necessary knowledge of research design and statistical procedures?

b.         Are pertinent data accessible? Are valid and reliable data-gathering devices and proce- dures available? Will school authorities permit me to contact the students, conduct necessary experiments or administer necessary tests, interview teachers, or have access to important cumulative records? Will I be able to get the sponsorship necessary to open doors that otherwise would be closed to me?

c.         Will I have the necessary financial resources to carry on this study? What will be the expense involved in data-gathering equipment, printing, test materials, travel, and clerical help? If the project is an expensive one, what is the possibility of getting a grant from a philanthropic foundation or from such governmental agencies as the National Institute of Education?

d.         Will I have enough time to complete the project? Will there be time to devise the pro- cedures, select the data-gathering devices, gather and analyze the data, and complete the research report? Because most academic programs impose time limitations, certain worthwhile projects of a longitudinal type are precluded.  

e.    Will I have the determination to pursue the study despite the difficulties and social hazards that may be involved? Will I be able to succeed when data are difficult to gather and when others are reluctant to cooperate? Controversial problem areas such as multiculturalism and high-stakes testing are probably not appropriate for a begin- ning research project.  

Using the Library

The student should become thoroughly acquainted with the university library, the location of its varied facilities, and the services it provides. University libraries have computerized their holdings and have placed terminals in various locations for ease of finding books and periodicals. Most university libraries also permit access to their list of holdings through var- ious terminals and computers throughout campus and from off-campus via the Internet.

Finding Related Literature

Students often waste time searching for references in an unsystematic way. The search for references is an ever-expanding process, for each reference may lead to a new list of sources. Researchers may consider these sources as basic:

1.      Education Abstracts

2.      ERIC

3.      Kraus Curriculum Development Library Online

4.      Psychinfo

5.      Other specialized indexes and abstracts depending on the area of investigation


John W. Best, James V. Kahn, Arbind K. Jha. 2016. Research in Education tenth Edition. TENTH EDITION. Published by Pearson India Education Services Pvt. Ltd, CIN: U72200TN2005PTC057128. Formerly known as TutorVista Global Pvt. Ltd, licensee of Pearson Education in South Asia.


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