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EDUC 385: Educational Research: Topics/Keywords


Keywords or Key Phrases to Try When Searching

Place quotation marks around phrases of more than 1 word when searching. (EX: "classroom management") The list below includes topic/keyword ideas for beginning education research.

  • classroom research
  • teacher inquiry
  • theory of action
  • learning communities
  • communities of practice
  • culture of inquiry
  • school culture
  • instructional improvement
  • instructional innovation
  • assessment of student learning
  • practitioner researcher
  • collaborative research
  • teacher researcher
  • teacher as leader
  • empowered schools
  • qualitative/quantitative data
  • participant observation
  • survey research
  • reflective interview
  • team reflection
  • trend analysis
  • participatory action research
  • praxis (critically informed, committed action)
  • field research
  • universal student success
  • performance targets
  • validity
  • causation
  • descriptive research
  • educated hypothesis
  • achievement target
  • context
  • adequate yearly progress
  • action inquiry
  • systematic learning process
  • change agent

Subject Headings to Try When Searching

When using an EBSCO database to search subject terms, change the "Select a Field" option to indicate "SU Subject Terms." Place quotation marks around your subject terms as indicated above.

  • evaluation methods
  • methods research
  • participatory research
  • program improvement
  • education -- research

  • social action
  • teacher researchers
  • theory practice relationship
  • data-driven decision-making
  • educational sociology

  • action research
  • action research -- handbooks, manuals, etc
  • action research in education
  • action research in education -- case studies
  • action research in education -- United States -- evaluation
  • action research in education -- United States -- methodology
  • action research -- United States -- problems, exercises, etc

Finding and Narrowing a Topic

Find ideas in the syllabus, your text, class discussion, or Google News.

   Narrow down a broad topic by asking yourself
   the 5 W's: who? what? where? when? why?

   As you search the databases, looking at
   subject headings and abstracts can help you
                focus your topic.

Boolean Operators

Using Boolean operators (AND, OR, and NOT) with your keywords will help you narrow or expand your results.

The highlighted middle section represents the use of AND. Searching for poverty AND addiction will give you results with both words present. Therefore, your results are fewer.

Using OR between similar keywords will give you results that include both words. Therefore, your results are greater. A search for teenagers OR adolescents will retrieve either or both terms.

The NOT operator gives you results from only one of your words. Therefore, your results are fewer. Searching for addiction NOT alcohol will eliminate alcohol from the results.

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