Multiple Social Science Research Methods in Education Research

A Guide to Incorporating Multiple Methods in Randomized Controlled Trials to Assess Intervention Effects (PDF, 170KB) and its accompanying narrative (PDF, 519KB) take the reader through the lifecycle of a research study on the effects/effectiveness of a social intervention. It is intended for instructional use with new researchers, as well as to assist consumers of education research such as policymakers and school leaders contracting research and evaluation work.

Each section of the chart has a related section in this document. Each section of the document is designed to be relatively independent of the others so that readers can select the section from the chart they wish to read and study and use the PDF bookmarks to find the associated section. You can request hard copies of the chart in poster and fold out form by contacting Rena Subotnik.

The Importance of Psychologists Conducting Education Research

Learn how psychologists are using research as an avenue for addressing the nation's education needs.

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Applying Multiple Social Science Research Methods to Educational Problems

A National Forum Sponsored by:

  • The National Research Council

  • The American Psychological Association

  • The American Educational Research Association

  • The National Science Foundation

December 14, 2004
National Research Council of the National Academies
Center for Education
Washington, D.C.

The Center for Education of the National Research Council, with support from the American Psychological Association, the American Educational Research Association and the National Science Foundation, hosted this 1-day forum to explore the use of multiple social science research methods in addressing educational problems. The application, fit and articulation of different scientific research traditions to major issues relevant to educational policy and practice is a largely undeveloped area that is ripe for sustained inquiry and knowledge accumulation.  

The objective of this Forum was to begin to develop such knowledge by providing a focus on the application of multiple social science methods to educational problems. The Forum featured conceptual/theoretical discussions on the unique value and limitations of different social science research approaches (in both the quantitative and qualitative traditions) and how they might be productively combined, along with illustrations of employing multiple methods successfully in small- and large-scale research studies of important educational issues and problems. 

By providing both intellectual underpinnings and “real-world” examples of multiple-method scientific inquiries in education, this Forum will begin to bring researchers from different research traditions toward greater mutual understandings and further the systematic application of true multiple methods inquiries in future educational research investigations.