Educational research: Definition of educational research and its benefits and importance

What Is Educational Research? Why Is Educational Research Important and What Are the Benefits for Teachers?

Educational research refers to a systematic attempt to gain a better understanding of the educational process, generally with a view to improving its efficiency. It is an application of scientific method to the study of educational problems.

What is Educational Research?

Educational research is a sort of systematic investigation in which empirical approaches are used to solve educational problems. It uses rigorous and well-defined scientific processes to collect and evaluate data in order to solve problems and develop knowledge. Educational research is that type of research that discovers the relationship between students’ behaviors and classroom performance; and it is a systematic and scientific study into the relationship between students’ social skills and their learning behaviors.

In other words, educational research refers to a systematic attempt to gain a better understanding of the educational process, generally with a view to improving its efficiency. It is an application of scientific method to the study of educational problems.

Definition of Educational Research by Authors

  1. Good says  “Educational research is the study and investigation in the field of education.”
  2. According to Munroe, “The final purpose of educational research is to ascertain principles and develop procedures for use in the field of education.” 
  3. Mulay says about educational research “Any systematic study designed to promote the development of education as a science can be considered educational research.” 
  4. Crawford‘s definition of educational research is “Educational research is a systematic and refined technique of thinking, using special tools in order to obtain a mere adequate solution of a problem.” 
  5. J. W. Best says, “Educational research is that activity which is directed towards development of a science of behaviour in educational situations. The ultimate aim of such a science is to provide knowledge that will permit the educator to achieve his goals by the most effective methods.” 
  6. W. M. Traverse says, “Educational research is that activity which is directed towards the development of science of behaviour in educational situations.”

Why Is Educational Research Important?

Educational research is vital to the growth of knowledge in a variety of fields of study, and it uses scientific approaches to find solutions to practical educational difficulties. Educational research certainly improves teaching and learning methods by empowering teachers and related human resources with data. It can help teachers teach and lead more strategically and effectively.

Educational research not only helps teachers or instructors, but also helps students to apply their knowledge to practical situations. Research has the ability to determine the best teaching and learning methods in a school which also helps to understand how extracurricular activities affect the learning process.

It is more important that without proper research, no educational system can serve its nation. When the authority of the department of education of a country looks for a new education policy, curriculum or teaching strategies, they must go through educational research.

What Does Educational Research Do?

Educational research aims to improve educational practice by developing new knowledge about the teaching-learning situation. 

Variables of Educational Research

Educational research can address the following variables:

  • Learning: How do students best learn various subjects?
  • Teaching: What are the best teaching practices to foster student achievement?
  • Motivation: What are the best practices for teachers to motivate their students to achieve?
  • Development: How do children and adults change over time, including their cognitive, social, and emotional skills?
  • Classroom management: What classroom or school practices make the classroom optimal for student learning?

Some of the Educational Research Topics

Examples of research topics are mentioned below—

  • Teacher-student interaction

  • Evaluation of teaching methods
  • Assessment in Education
  • Classroom dynamics
  • The effectiveness of special education programs
  • The engagement of students
  • Education policy development
  • Curriculum development, etc.

How Does Educational Research Help Teachers?

When we talk about research or educational research, you might ask, “What are the benefits of educational research for teachers?”

If teachers go through a research-based approach, the approach will help them to develop their practice and provide evidence to effect change in their teaching, their classrooms, their schools, and beyond.

In the context of the debate about what works and why, there is a wide range of benefits to researching teachers’ own practice, whether directly feeding into improvement through action research or, more broadly, gaining understanding and knowledge on themes of interest and relevance. This is why research is embedded into initial teacher education. As research becomes embedded in your practice you can gain a range of benefits. Some of the benefits of educational research for teachers are mentioned below—

  1. Research helps a teacher to find solutions to particular problems arising in their classroom or school.
  2. If a teacher practices action research or other types or research works, he can easily underpin professional learning of knowledge and understanding that can improve their skills.

  3. Educational research has the ability to connect teachers with sources of information, and it helps them to create and connect networks of professional support.
  4. Research can improve understanding of teachers’ professional and policy context, organisationally, locally and nationally, enabling you to teach and lead more strategically and effectively
  5. Educational research develops teachers’ agency, influence, self-efficacy and voice within your own school and more widely within the profession.
  6. Educational research is mainly intended to improve school practices and add to greater teacher effectiveness in a practical manner.

Educational research is essential for the growth of various fields of study and learning in general; and is useful in the development of principles and theories that provide better insights into pressing issues.

Reference

  1. Anderson, G.; Arsenault, N. (1998). Fundamentals of Educational Researchl.> Routledge. ISBN 978-0-203-97822-1.
  2. Austine, R. (2016). Researching Primary Education. Sage Publication. https://uk.sagepub.com/en-gb/eur/what-are-the-benefits-of-educational-research-for-teachers
  3. Wani, S. R. (n/a). Educational Research. Directorate of Distance Education, University of Kashmir. http://ddeku.edu.in/Files/2cfa4584-5afe-43ce-aa4b-ad936cc9d3be/Custom/Educational%20Research.pdf
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