Empirical Methods for Evaluating Educational Interventions
New US government requirements state that federally funded grants and school programs must prove that they are based on scientifically proved improvements in teaching and learning. All new grants must show they are based on scientifically sound research to be funded, and budgets to schools must likewise show that they are based on scientifically sound research. However, the movement in education over the past several years has been toward qualitative rather than quantitative measures. The new legislation comes at a time when researchers are ill trained to measure results or even to frame questions in an empirical way, and when school administrators and teachers are no longer remember or were never trained to prove statistically that their programs are effective. "Experimental Methods for Evaluating Educational Interventions" is a tutorial on what it means to frame a question in an empirical manner, how one needs to test that a method works, what statistics one uses to measure effectiveness, and how to document these findings in a way so as to be compliant with new empirically based requirements.
The book is simplistic enough to be accessible to those teaching and administrative educational professionals long out of schooling, but comprehensive and sophisticated enough to be of use to researchers who know experimental design and statistics but don't know how to use what they know to write acceptable grant proposals or to get governmental funding for their programs. It provides an overview to interpreting empirical data in education. It reviews data analysis techniques: use and interpretation. It discusses research on learning, instruction, and curriculum. It explores importance of showing progress as well as cause and effect. It identifies obstacles to applying research into practice and examines policy development for states, nations, and countries.