The Importance of Conducting Research in an Educational Setting
Human beings conduct research every day. They do so in many different ways and in many different settings. One important area is education. Conducting research in an educational setting should be an important aspect of every educator’s professional life.
Best and Kahn (1993) describe research as “the systematic and objective analysis and recording of controlled observations that may lead to the development of generalizations, principles, or theories, resulting in prediction and possibly ultimate control of events” (p. 27). Education in a research setting is done to improve school practices and at the same time to improve those individuals who strive to improve those practices (Best & Kahn, 1993).
The importance of research in an educational setting is often overlooked, however. Those in academia often consider research as a way to earn tenure or remain in favor by the university that employs them. Faculty who wish to thrive in the university setting must publish or perish in order to remain employed. Educators often forget that they are failing to fulfill their pedagogical responsibilities if they do not remain current in their field of teaching interest. In lieu of using research to better their teaching practice, research is used simply to hold on to a job (Hall, 2002). This is unfortunate because it takes away from the most important aspect of educational research, the improvement of one’s practice.
Instead of a way to maintain employment, educators should look at research as a way to develop new understanding about teaching, learning, and educational administration. This new knowledge has significance because it will lead to the improvement of educational practice (Gall, Gall & Borg, 2003).
Research in education is crucial. Educators can improve their practice by taking the time to conduct...