Education | Strategies for Educational Inquiry
Y520 | 6241 | Dr. Phil Carspecken

Course Description: An introductory survey of research methods and
methodological theory for the social sciences.  This course will
acquaint students with the basic principles and concepts central to
designing research projects, collecting data, and analyzing it.  It
will enable students to read research publications critically.  For
students pursuing a doctoral degree, this course will support
decisions about which research methods and designs to pursue in more
depth with subsequent courses.

Required Text:

Robson, C. (2002). Real World Research. Second Edition. Oxford:

Electronic Reserve:

Articles and chapters on Electronic Reserve (ER).

Peshkin, A. (1988). In search of subjectivity—One’s own. Educational
Researcher. 17(7) 17 – 21.

Dykeman, C et al. (1996). Psychological predictors of school-based
violence: Implications for school counselors. The School Counselor,
44, 35-47.

Weinfurt, K. Multivariate analysis of variance. In L.G. Grimm and
P.R. Yarnold, (1995), Reading and Understanding Multivariate
Statistics, DC: APA.

Peshkin, A. (2000). The nature of interpretation in qualitative
research. Educational Researcher. 29(9), 5-9.

Oakes, J (1995). Matchmaking: The dynamics of high school tracking
decisions. American Educational Research Journal. 34(4), 593-629.

Cohen, R. (1998). Class consciousness and its consequences: The
impact of an elite education on mature, working-class women. American
Educational Research Journal. 35(3), 353-375.

Tomchin, E.M. & Impara, J.C. (1992). Unraveling teachers’ beliefs
about grade retention. American Educational Research Journal. 29(1):
199- 223.

Class Schedule

Class Topic
Readings & Assignments 	

9/2 No class, Carspecken at funeral		
9/9 Explanation and design I.
Robson, ch. 1
Ontological issues
9/16 Explanation and design II.
Robson Chs. 2-3
Epistemological issues
Peshkin, In Search of Subjectivity (ER)
Habermas (p. 84, section B.+: recommended)

9/23 Design / Fixed design I.
Robson Ch. 4-5
9/30 Fixed design II.
Tomchin & Impara (ER)

10/7 Flexible Design
Robson Chs. 6-7
Peshkin, Nature of Interpretation (ER)

10/14 Data Collection I.
Robson Chs.8, 10

10/21 Data Collection II.
Robson Chs. 9, 11, 12

10/28 Data Analysis I.
Robson Ch. 13

11/4 Data Analysis II.
Weinfurt (ER)

11/11 Data Analysis III.
Dykeman (ER)

11/18 Data Analysis IV.

11/25 Data Analysis V.
Robson Ch. 14
Miller & Fredericks (ER)		

12/2 Synthesis
Robson Ch. 15
Cohen, Oakes & Guiton (ER)
12/9 Review



There will be four assignments and two examinations, each counting
15% of the final mark.  Class participation will count for 10% of the
final grade.  The two examinations will be taken in class and consist
of short answer questions.

ASSIGNMENT #1:  Short essay on Peskin’s article and class lectures
ASSIGNMENT #2:  Assignment on data collection
ASSIGNMENT #3:  Assignment on quantitative data analysis
ASSIGNMENT #4:  Comparative essay on the Cohen and Oakes-Guilton