George G. Moutay has defined Educational Research as the systematic and scholarly application of the scientific method, to the solution of educational problems, a systematic study designed to promote the development of education as a science.
The aim of current and prevailing educational system is to give better education to our pupils. Thus better education always follows better development and formation of instructional aim, better motivation of pupils, better teaching methods, better education and better administration and supervision.
Educational Research is that activity which is directed towards development of a science of behaviour at educational institutions. The ultimate aim of such a science is to provide knowledge that would permit the educator to achieve the goals by the most effective methods.
‘Research’, itself is an important activity of human beings. Any significant research can lead to progress in some or fields of life. From the very, creation of human habitation on the earth man is curious to know more and more. So the mysteries of nature could not be left back. He tried his best to make those mysteries into notice. He wanted to establish truths by applying his cause and effect method. Advancement is the sole nature of human activity. Hence he devoted his time in Education to make his research progressive.
At this age of science and technology, thanks to the advancement in the field of education, each year new products, new facts, new concepts, new ways of doing things have come into our lives. Research, actually means:
(1) In fact, research is an attitude of inquiry. It is not a mere theorizing but an attempt to elicit facts.
(2) Research is a systematic and scholarly application of the scientific method. As we use tools and techniques and follow steps in scientific method we must also follow the same steps and procedures in research.
(3) Essentially research is a state of mind. It is a friendly, welcoming attitude towards change. For the modification of traditional steps and procedures research helps in proving new ideas, news techniques for new evolutions it is a refined and systematic technique for obtaining a much more adequate solution of a problem.
Analysis of the Word ‘Research’, letter by letter, can be explained as given below:
R – Ratif nal way of thinking.
E – Expert and Exhaustive Treatment.
S – Search for solution.
E – Exactness.
A – Analytical Analysis of Adequate Data. R – Relationships of Facts C- (a) Careful Recording
(b) Critical Observation
(c) Constructive Attitude H – Honesty
Research is classified as explained below
(1) Fundamental Research:
Fundamental research helps in developing theories by discovering broad generalisations and principles. It is organised through various procedures of research like sampling, hypothesizing facts, etc. It can be experimented in a psychological laboratory. Thus, in a general meaning – It is more systematic activity directed towards discovery and the development of an organised body of scientific knowledge.
(2) Applied Research:
Fundamental research sets principles while applied research utilizes those principles to know the problems with best possible manner. In practice, the researcher applies laws during his field study to draw more and more clear ideas about the problems. It is undertaken to solve an immediate problem.
(3) Action Research:
The aim of action research is immediate application but not any development of theory. If the researcher finds any problem at time of his field investigation and observation he applies it.
Educational Research may be classified as follows
1. Historical Research
2. Descriptive Research
3. Experimental Research
Historical Research describes what was. The process involves investigating, recording, analyzing and interpreting the events of the past for the purpose of discovering generalisations. They are helpful in understanding the past, understanding the present and to a limited extent in anticipating the future.
Descriptive Research describes ‘what is’. It involves the description, recording, analysis and interpretation of conditions that now exist.
Experimental Research describes what will be and when certain variables are to be carefully controlled and manipulated. The focus is on variable relationships. Deliberate manipulation is always a part of the experimental research.
Educational Research is considered to be a ‘prominent key that is essential to the opening of new doors in the field of education. It brings vividness, completeness and comprehensiveness to a many complex problems in education. It makes our generalisation more weighty, fruitful and effective.
It enables us to study the uniqueness of the child and adopts appropriate curriculum, methods of teaching, and disciplinary techniques. In recent time the researchers have taken different types of projects for analysing the actual problems in scientific manner and set the remedies for it. It brings a great control on social life to understand it properly, in educational reforms, and also control social behaviour.
As it is the age of science and technology research has not only been developed in physical science but also in social science as well. The, many, rapid technology changes have brought about an increase in educational problems. It is possible only through research projects to meet the teething educational challenges of a highly technical and rapidly changing society.
To put in brief, Educational Research is that activity which is directed towards development of a science of behaviour in any educational institution. The ultimate aim of such a science is to provide knowledge that will permit the educator to achieve the goods by the most effective method. For its progress the researcher should not only take the present situation in one hand but also should form new hypothesis for the future.
Research in education is very much needed. That is why Educational Research is the ‘sovereign solvent’ of educational problems. Thanks to research projects in education we get better children, better curriculum, better methods of teaching, better school administration, organisation and supervision and above all a better understanding of the world in which we live.
A well-planned and well-executed educational research programme saves time, money, energy. It avoids a lot of frustration and leads us to the path of progress.