EELB 607

Enrique G. Murillo, Jr., Ph.D.

College of Education

EELB 607 - Murillo Syllabus

Course Overview:     This introductory course to educational research is designed (1) to help educators and educational scholars develop competence and confidence as critical consumers of educational research, and potential contributors to the research literature, (2) to demystify research processes, (3) to establish a learning environment where educators and educational scholars can define and pursue research issues of personal interests, and (4) to provide structure, information, and a conceptual base for understanding and accomplishing your research goals.

We will be looking at a variety of different types of research with the end goals of better understanding the research process, uncovering the nature of information that can be learned from research studies, and learning how to read, assess, and plan a research project. We will also look at a variety of different research related concerns, including issues of readability, reliability, validity, relevance, strategies,

standards and methods, ethics and diversity.

Special attention will be paid to the competing paradigms associated with quantitative and qualitative research methodologies and skills. Namely, how one chooses to investigate particular phenomenon and/or the world around them is necessarily impacted by their fundamental philosophical assumptions of the world. Particularly important are epistemological assumptions (how we come to know something) and ontological assumptions (what is the nature of the world — is it orderly, lawful, and predictable or open and indeterminate?)

     Course Rationale:     The increasing use of research methods and scholarship as a basis for knowledge and understanding about patterns and dynamic processes of education and schooling, and for influencing programs, policy and decisions requires educators and educational scholars to possess research skills and sensibilities. In general, the rationale for this course is based on the facilitation of two major instructional needs:

(1) first, for those students initiating and conducting their own thesis research and projects, to master the fundamental principles of research, develop an awareness of the breadth of educational research, and acquire a broad conceptual base for understanding more technical and advanced aspects of educational research; and

(2) second, for those whose more immediate career goals lie more in educational practice than in conducting research, to learn key research terms, practice critical reading of educational studies, discern the way design and procedures influence empirical findings, and understand applied and evaluation research.

     Relevant Professional Standards:
                NCATE 2000 Standards (
Standard 1 – Candidate Performance:
- Candidates preparing to work in schools as teachers or other professional school personnel know and demonstrate the content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to help all students learn. Assessments indicate that candidates meet professional, state, and institutional standards.
Target: Candidates develop the ability to apply research and research methods.
- Candidates will be able to utilize technology.
Target: Candidates will collect and analyze data related to their work, reflect on their practice, and use research and technology to support and improve student learning.

             Council of Learned Societies in Education (
             Adopted by NCATE 2000 Standards ( (May 11, 2000, see p. 8 footnote 10).
Principle #1: The educator understands and can apply disciplinary knowledge from the humanities and social sciences to interpreting the meanings of education and schooling in diverse cultural contexts.
Knowledge: The educator has acquired a knowledge base of resources, theories, distinctions, and analytic techniques developed within the humanities, the social sciences, and the foundations of education. The educator understands the central concepts and tools of inquiry of foundational disciplines that bear on the educational process and can apply these to the formulation and review of instructional, administrative, and school leadership and governance procedures.
Dispositions: The educator has developed habits of using this knowledge base in evaluating and formulating educational practice.
Performances: The educator can examine and explain the practice, leadership, and governance of education in different societies in light of its origins, major influences, and consequences, utilizing critical understanding of educational thought and practice and of the decisions and events which have shaped them.

Principle #6: The educator understands how philosophical and moral commitments affect the process of
evaluation at all levels of schooling practice, leadership, and governance.
Knowledge: The educator understands the tacit interests and moral commitments on which the technical processes of evaluation rest. The educator understands that in choosing a measuring device, one necessarily makes moral and philosophical assumptions.
Dispositions: The educator is prepared to consider the ontological, epistemological, and ethical components of an evaluation method.
Performances: The educator can articulate moral and philosophical assumptions underlying an evaluation process. The educator can identify what counts as evidence that a student has (or has not) learned or can (or cannot) learn.

             National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, 2001 (
Proposition #4: Teachers Think Systematically About Their Practice and Learn from Experience
- Teachers Seek the Advice of Others and Draw on Education Research and Scholarship to Improve Their Practice
- Able teachers are also students of education scholarship and are cognizant of the settled and unsettled territory in their field. They stay abreast of current research and, when appropriate, incorporate new findings into their practice. They take advantage of teacher centers and special conferences and workshops. They might conduct and publish their own research, if so inclined, for testing of new approaches and hypotheses is a commonplace habit among adept teachers, even if a normally overlooked and undocumented one.

     Course Goals and Learning Objectives:    The basic goals of research are to produce both new knowledge and greater understanding. We will begin by trying to understand these purposes and goals, what kinds of things can we find out by reading research, whether some forms of research are more trustworthy than others, and who should be encouraged to use research? Next, this course will provide an introduction to the vocabulary, design, sources of research in education; parametric and non-parametric statistics and evaluation of research. The course learning objectives are to engage and address the following questions:
    – What is research?
    – Why do we do research?
    – What types of research questions do educational researchers ask?
    – When and why should we read and/or conduct research?
    – Is research more useful in making decisions than experience or the advice of others?
    – How does research influence educational practices?
    – Is there a systematic way to understand and discern a research article?
    – What are the criteria for judging good research?
    – What does a good research report look like?
    – How do we distinguish among basic, applied, and evaluation research?
    – How can we judge whether research findings are reliable and valid?
    – How does one formulate a clear, concise, and manageable research problem?
    – How does one plan, structure, organize and implement a research study?
    – How does one utilize appropriate library resources? Technology?
    – What are the difficulties in reading, understanding, and conducting research?
    – How do you report and present your own research in an appropriate format to contribute to the

       educational knowledge base?

Your RPG project will culminate in “professional conference presentations” where your group makes a formal 20 - 30 minute presentation of your research project in class, followed by audience questions and reactions. In accordance with NCATE 2000 Standard 1 (Candidate Performance), your formal presentation must involve the utilization of Technology (e.g. overhead transparencies, computer-assisted presentations like powerpoint, videotapes, audiotapes, and other interesting methodologies as applicable.

GOAL 1: Briefly articulate philosophy of science principles (essential).
OBJECTIVE: Explain (a) chaos, (b) the cycle of normal and extraordinary science, (c) the advantages and disadvantages of normal and extraordinary science, and (d) revolution as a change in worldview, as described by Thomas Kuhn (recommended).
GOAL 2: Discuss the quantitative and qualitative orientations, and trends in educational research (essential).
OBJECTIVE A: Define and use some of the terms of educational research (essential).
OBJECTIVE B: Compare and contrast the following: scientific inquiry, and the research process; basic, applied, and evaluation research; quantitative and qualitative studies; experimental, nonexperimental, ethnographic, and analytic designs; deductive and inductive methods (recommended).
GOAL 3: Learn techniques appropriate for data treatment in quantitative and qualitative studies (essential).
OBJECTIVE A: Define terms associated with parametric and nonparametric statistics (essential).
OBJECTIVE B: Perform some basic statistical functions in the computer lab (recommended).
OBJECTIVE C: Define terms associated with the treatment of narrative data, and perform some basic "code and chunk" text procedures (recommended).
GOAL 4: Learn the structures of some educational research products (essential).
OBJECTIVE A: Describe the parts of research products, and their sequence: proposals, theses, projects, program evaluations, research studies (essential).
OBJECTIVE B: Describe and explain the standards of adequacy applicable to quantitative and qualitative designs (essential).

GOAL 5: Locate and use resources to prepare a research design, write a product, and disseminate the findings (essential).
OBJECTIVE A: Use library resources to review the literature related to an assigned research topic (essential).
OBJECTIVE B: Negotiate a plan and develop a research product through a series of review and adjustment processes-- either by (1) organizing and writing a thesis or project proposal, or (2) planning and conducting a small scale but complete study, by collecting, treating, and reporting the data (recommended).
STRATEGY: These products must be prepared according to the standards advanced by (1) the American Psychological Association (APA), (2) CSUSB's College of Education, and (3) the procedures learned in EDUC 306 Expository Writing and EDUC 603 Effective Communication in Education (essential).
OBJECTIVE C: Present two professional quality conference sessions --one to announce the research design and obtain feedback for revision, and another to disseminate information on relevant findings (recommended).

GOAL 6: Read and write research articles and reports (essential).
OBJECTIVE A: Critically evaluate educational research articles, from an integral perspective, according to the standards established in the MA Core courses (essential).
OBJECTIVE B: Prepare an outline for a research article that will demonstrate advocacy for democracy, pluralism, and/or multiculturalism/bilingualism (recommended).
OBJECTIVE C: Select a journal that may be interested in publishing an article on the topic of the proposal or report (recommended).
STRATEGY 1: Provide a copy of that journal's instruction on the preparation and submission of manuscripts (recommended).
STRATEGY 2: Develop a one-page outline that may eventually be used to structure a subsequent article on that topic, for the identified journal (recommended).
STRATEGY 3: Successfully complete an online homework activity regarding the need to protect human subjects in research, and on strategies for ensuring their protection (essential).
GOAL 7: Engage in graduate-level classroom dialogue (essential).
OBJECTIVE: Earn a class participation grade reflecting attendance, timely completion of course-related tasks, and periodic engagement in content-oriented class discussions (recommended).

     Course Readings:

1) McMillan, J.H., & Schumacher, S. (2010). Research in Education: Evidence-Based Inquiry. (7th ed with MyEducationLab access.) New Jersey: Pearson. ISBN-10:013610133X

2) Locke, L. F., Silverman, S. J., & Spirduso, W.W. (2010). Reading and Understanding Research.  (3rd ed.) Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

     Course Requirements:
1) Preparation and Attendance                                                                           – 10 points

2) In-Class Participation (online exercises or KTDE)                                          – 10 points         Key Educational Research Terms and Discussional Exercises

3) Group Project Proposal / Presentation                                                            – 15 points        Format for Group Project Proposal / Presentation
   (written proposal due session 4, instructions attached)

4) Evaluation of Research Reports (due session 6)                                               – 20 points        Research Report Evaluations
  (one quantitative = 10 points, one qualitative = 10 points, instructions attached)

5) Examination (session 8, open book - open note)                                              – 10 points        Examination
  (respond to five (5) questions - essay format, questions attached)

6) Course Evaluation (due session 9 or 10, form attached)                                  – 0 points (non-graded)      Group Member Evaluation

7) Group Research Project / Presentation (written report due session 10)            – 30 points          Group Research Project / Presentation
    (report = 20 points, presentation = 10 points, instructions attached)

8) Group Member Evaluation (due session 10)                                                   – 5 points            Course Evaluation
          (form attached)
                                                                                                                        – 100 points

In all participation and assignments (whether in-class or out-of-class), I am looking for evidence of:
– understanding and application of facts, concepts, terms, and processes learned/read/discussed in class;
– demonstration of substantial knowledge and higher order thinking and analytic skills;
– critical reflexivity, i.e., “wrestling” with issues and topics;
– frequent and appropriate use of new and reconstituted knowledge learned in class;
– imaginative thinking and responses to challenges/problems/issues;
– “reading between the lines” and “digging” into underlying assumptions about knowledge production;
– clarity of expression and logical connection among ideas expressed;
– scholarly writing that reflects precise and concise thinking;
– no or few errors in grammar, syntax, and spelling; and
– where methodologically appropriate, general format and reference style consistent with the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) and CSUSB College of Education.

The grade assignment, based on points, is as follows:
      A: 94 - 100      A-: 90 - 93      B+: 87 - 89      B: 83 - 86      B-: 80 - 82
      C+: 77 - 79      C: 73 - 76       C-: 70 - 72       D: 65 -69        F: 64 and below

     Policies and Rules: I hope our time together can be not only painless and informative, but also fun and interesting. However I expect you to respect the following rules.
1) You must come to class prepared to discuss in detail the readings and topics assigned.
2) All written assignments must be typed with cover page, headings, double spaced, paginated and stapled.
3) Late papers / assignments will not be accepted, except by approval of the professor. Approval must be arranged ahead of time. You will lose 5 assignment grade-points per class session beyond the due date. Therefore, complete work as early as possible to accommodate unforeseen circumstances. Sometimes this means that shaky and on time is better than late and great.
3) If an emergency arises, it is your responsibility to advise me ASAP via voice or E-mail.
4) It is also your responsibility to sign in after every class meeting to receive credit for the attendance and participation component.
5) It is expected that chauvinist language (racist, sexist, etc...) be avoided.
6) Automatic failure will result from cheating, submitting work prepared by another, or plagiarism.
7) Remain respectful of others, no disruptive behavior.
8) There are no late final projects!!!
9) Be advised that the out-of-class-time requirements for this course are very heavy. As you read the syllabus, please pay close attention to these requirements. Make sure that your course load for this quarter and / or your job hours will permit you to devote the necessary time to be successful in this course.