Date of Award

2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

School of Education

Abstract

The field of education is diverse, its history marred with politically driven problems, and its research ill-funded and often disaggregated. Indeed researchers of the past have questioned education research's purpose (Kaestle, 1993) while researchers of the present doubt the field's ability to evaluate properly its current researchers and research (Hedges & Hans-Martin, 2009). Therefore the purpose of this thesis was to investigate and evaluate critically who education researchers were and what type of research they produced.

Using a nationally representative, stratified-random sample technique, this author distributed the Education Research Identity Survey (ERIS) electronically via email to 2,723 Schools of Education professors with the Carnegie Foundation's "very high research activity" universities. Five hundred and forty three individuals participated (raw response rate = 19.9%, final response rate = 22.2%); most received a PhD (81%) in Education (57.1%) and held tenure (57.0%). All academic positions and epistemological backgrounds were represented.

Analyses revealed several findings of interest. First, most education researchers prefer nonexperimental quantitative designs or case study qualitative designs. Second, epistemological training was strongly related to the type of research that an individual conducted as a professor. Third, MANOVA analysis revealed that after controlling for the number of years since doctoral matriculation, number of years at his or her university, and the average number of courses taught per semester a professor's academic position and epistemological quantitative training were both related to the amount of journal articles the professor produced in the last five years.

Finally, these conclusions follow broader previous research conducted within the field of higher education, but represent some of the first quantitative analysis within the field of education. However, since this author surveyed researchers from only one specific Carnegie type, future research is required to confirm these findings.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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