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Introduction to Research Methods in Education

Introduction to Research Methods in Education

Second Edition
Additional resources:

November 2014 | 448 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Based on Keith Punch’s bestselling Introduction to Social Research Methods, this book introduces the research process in a range of educational contexts.  In this updated second edition, you’ll find guidance on every stage of research, with chapters on developing research questions, doing a literature review, collecting data, analysing your findings and writing it all up.


With a new chapter on ethics and additional coverage of Internet research and mixing methods, the second edition contains everything you’ll need if you’re  studying on a research methods course or doing a research project for yourself.


Introduction to Research Methods in Education provides you with:

  • Balanced coverage of the range of methods employed by educational researchers
  • Practical advice on collecting and analysing qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods data
  • A range of examples from student projects to show how research is done in real-life educational settings
  • A companion website with additional resources for lecturers and students.

Keith F Punch
is Emeritus Professor in the Graduate School of Education at The University of Western Australia.
Alis Oancea is Professor of Philosophy of Education and Research Policy, as well as Director of Research at the University of Oxford, Department of Education. 

Theory and Method in Education Research
The Contexts for Education Research
Ethics in Educational Research
Research Questions
From Research Questions to Data
Literature Searching and Reviewing
Qualitative Research Design
Collecting Qualitative Data
The Analysis of Qualitative Data
Quantitative Research Design
Collecting Quantitative Data
The Analysis of Quantitative Data
Mixed Methods Research
Research Writing

I have used this book and its examples of developing research projects with Level 6 students during 2014 - 2015. The step by step examples have proved useful case studies and provide helpful templates for students who are planning their own small -scale research projects.

Dr Daphne Whiteoak
School of Culture, Education and Innovation, Bishop Grosseteste University
March 9, 2015

Not really relevant to the research that my learners have to carry out at this stage in their programme. However, this may be useful for further study / research at a BA or MA level.

Mrs Cheryl Cameron
Academic and Professional Services, South Tyneside College
March 2, 2015

While this is for research within education, there are many ways of applying this within other areas- such as ecclesiological research. The church is not just an educational agency of course but my students are researching it in many ways from leadership organisation to how the values are applied in disparate nations. Other books in the list I am growing deal with Q &Q methods but this also addresses the ethical question of work with children and the church has such and other vulnerable groups. Collection, analysis and application of data is provided in an applied way and therefore relevant to my students in a parallel manner for their own research.

Dr Anne Dyer
Postgraduate, Cliff College
March 2, 2015

While this book is geared towards Research in Education, it can be applied beyond into other specialities. The relaxation of the Qualitative and Quantitative distinctions was a breath of air as most topics need both breadth and depth. Basic concepts are explained as well as what I was looking for - the HOW TO ideas, From developing the Research Question to the analysis this helps think things through for the student who maybe thinks he knows what he is doing but should double check. Even Literature reviews are included. It is a great introduction to the world of research.

Dr Anne Dyer
Postgraduate, Cliff College
March 2, 2015

This text gives undergraduate students a comprehensive introduction to research methods, suitable for research within education. The various summaries at the end of each chapter act as a reinforcement of learning for students, allowing for further discussion and discovery. The glossary provides a quick overview of terminology for the novice researcher.

Mrs Ruth Davies
Division of Social Sciences and Educatio, Glyndwr University
February 20, 2015

This is an excellent book and I will be recommending it to all my students.

Ms Terri Edwards
Durham University English Language Centre, Durham University
February 19, 2015

Have used Punch's previous publications. One of the most accessible writers of research methods. Have recommended this for third year undergrads and our post-graduates as well.

Ms Jo Bishop
Youth Work and Community Development, School of Health and Community Studies, Leeds Beckett University
February 18, 2015

This book provides a thorough grounding in research methods in educational settings. I would recommend it for Master's, EdD and PhD levels, though undergrads would find some chapters useful too. The questions at the end of each chapter are well thought out and class discussions could well be built on them. The teacher’s notes and Powerpoints will be extremely useful materials for anyone building a research methods course. The style throughout is readable and the advice is practical.

Dr Victoria Rowe
Department of Music, Sheffield University
February 16, 2015

This is an ideal text to support students with research studies within their education programmes.

Mrs Catherine Carden
Faculty of Education, Canterbury Christ Church University
February 5, 2015

Looking for a more student friendly textbook.

Dr Joseph Vella
Corporate communication, University of Malta
February 4, 2015

Sample Materials & Chapters

Ch 1. Introduction