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• The article discusses the need for a comprehensive approach to educational research that focuses on both outcomes and processes.
• It emphasizes the importance of considering “the interpersonal dynamics, resources, and contexts” in educational settings, rather than just looking at test scores or other measures of achievement.
• The article suggests ways to use both quantitative and qualitative approaches to better understand how education works and how it can be improved.

The Need For Comprehensive Educational Research

Educational research is an important tool for analyzing and improving teaching practices. However, it is often limited by its focus on measurable outcomes such as test scores or other standardized measures of achievement. This approach fails to consider “the interpersonal dynamics, resources, and contexts” that are essential in understanding how education works. To truly gain insight into the efficacy of educational practices, researchers must adopt a comprehensive approach that focuses on both outcomes and processes.

Quantitative vs Qualitative Approaches

In general, there are two main types of educational research: quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative studies involve collecting numerical data from large groups of people in order to measure trends or draw conclusions about cause-and-effect relationships between variables. Qualitative studies usually involve smaller groups of people over longer periods of time; they tend to be more open-ended and focus on understanding experiences from participants‘ perspectives.

Benefits Of A Combined Approach

Using both quantitative and qualitative methods can provide deeper insights than either method alone; combining the two allows researchers to examine phenomena from multiple angles and gain a fuller understanding of what is occurring within educational settings. By looking at different aspects (e.g., teacher attitudes, student engagement) in addition to test scores or other measurable achievements, researchers can develop more informed theories about how education works—and suggest more effective strategies for improvement.

Examples Of Combined Research

For example, one study combined interviews with teachers with observational data collected during classroom activities in order to better understand teacher decision-making processes when managing disruptive students in their classrooms (Au et al., 2008). Another study used surveys alongside participant observations to uncover connections between school climate factors (such as school safety) with student academic performance (Baker & Letendre, 2013). Both studies demonstrate the value of using multiple methods when conducting educational research; by examining underlying factors in addition to tangible results, researchers can gain a richer picture of what is happening within schools—and better inform future practice accordingly.


Overall, successful educational research requires an integrated approach that looks beyond traditional measures such as test scores or grades; it must also consider contextual factors such as teacher attitudes or classroom environment when seeking to understand how learning occurs—and devise strategies for improving student achievement accordingly.