Research Methodology II: Methodologies in Education Research (MER)

Home/ Research Methodology II: Methodologies in Education Research (MER)
Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSES3011042

Semester and Year Offered: Semester 2

Course Coordinator and Team: Anandini Dar (c); ManasiThapliyal, Monimalika Day, Prabhat Rai, Shivani Nag; all SES faculty.

Email of course coordinator:

Pre-requisites: Pre-doctoral


  • To familiarize students with the multi-disciplinary research methodologies in the field of education
  • Read, study, and critique some key research studies in education in the methodologies that are introduced in this course.

Course Outcomes:

  • know and understand methodologies most commonly used in education studies, such as, ethnograph, survey method, case study, oral history/historiography/ archival research.
  • unpack meanings about key concepts in research methodologies, such as, ‘objectivity,’ ‘subjectivity’, ‘truth’, and ‘fact.’
  • critique research studies, particularly, critically evaluate how a study advances the research and builds arguments, interrogate if methodologies have been accurately employed, and assess the validity, reliability, and ethics in education research studies.
  • Begin to identify how their own research questions will be best addressed by a particular method/ methodology learned in this course.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

Module 1: Ethnography

Ethnography is often understood as both a method and a methodological philosophy. In this unit students will engage with the meaning of ethnography as a philosophy and a tool to conduct research. Classic ethnographies in education will also be read simultaneously in order for the students to learn and critique, first-hand, how ethnographies are planned, conducted, and written up.

Reading Research for Methodology

In this module, students will read and critique seminal research publications in the field of education studies that are informed by a range of methodologies. Only three of the below mentioned methodologies will be taught in each term.This will enable students to have an in-depth engagement with at least three pertinent methods employed in education research.

Module 2: Case studies

Case studies can capture the complexities of human experiences within a complex social political and cultural context. It focuses on the epistemological question on what can be learned from a single case. In this unit students will be introduced to different types of case studies, including some classic research.

Module 3: Historical Research: (4 classes)

Historical research is concerned with understanding the past and present of education with reference to time and context. It aims to develop insights into the process of change and continuity over time and the contestations and negotiations which define these. The historical lens intends to situate educational ideas, institutions, structures, processes within the wider social, economic and political contexts.

Module 4: Experimental/ Mixed Methods Research Studies

Experimental research seeks to determine if a specific treatment influences an outcome. This impact is assessed by providing a specific treatment to one group and withholding it from another and then determining how both groups scored on an outcome. Experiments include true experiments, with the random assignment of subjects to treatment conditions, and quasi-experiments that use nonrandomized designs.

Module 5: Survey Method

The survey method gathers data from a relatively large number of cases at a particular time. It is not concerned with characteristics of individuals as individuals. It is concerned with the statistics that result when data are abstracted from a numbers of individual cases. Researchers carry out statistical surveys with a view towards making statistical inferences about the population being studied.

Assessment Details with weights:

  • Reading Reflections 30%
  • Method & Research Plan 30%
  • Long essay: 40%

Reading List:

  • Willis, P. (1977). Learning to Labour.Columbia University Press.
  • Thapan, M. (1991).Life at School.Oxford University Press.
  • Lukose, R. (2009). Liberalisation’s children: Gender, Youth, and Consumer Citizenship in Globalizing India. Duke University Press.
  • Heston, C., Danitz, B., MGM Home Entertainment Inc. (2003). Bowling for Columbine. United States: MGM Home Entertainment.
  • Altbach, P. (1972).The University in Transition: An Indian Case Study.Sindhu Publications.
  • Bassey, M. (1999).Case Study Research in Educational Settings.Buckingham, U.K.: Open University Press.
  • Ramachandran, V. (Ed.). (2003). Getting children back to school: Case studies in primary education. New Delhi: Sage Publications.
  • Lal, R. (2013). Coming of Age in Nineteenth-Century India: The Girl-Child and the Art of Playfulness. NY: Cambridge University Press.
  • Rao, P. (2017). Women`s Education and the Nationalist Response in Western India: Part I- Basic Education. Indian Journal of Gender Studies, 14 (2), 307-316.
  • Bhutta, S. M., & Sylva, K. (2015). Health education classroom practices in primary schools : An observational study from Pakistan. Global Journal of Health Education and Promotion, 16(2), 74–101.
  • Govinda, R. & Varghese, N.V. (1993): Quality of Primary Schooling in India: A Case Study of Madhya Pradesh, India. Paris: UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning.
  • Panda, M., Mohanty, A. K., Nag, S. &Biswabandan, B. (2011). Does MLE Work in Andhra Pradesh & Odisha? A longitudinal study.Swara: NMRC Newsletter, 1 (6-7), 2-23.
  • Bandura, A., Ross, D., & Ross, S. A. (1961).Transmission of aggression through imitation of aggressive models.Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 63, 575-582.
  • Statistics Division, MHRD (2011).All India Survey on Higher Education: Pilot Report. Pp. 1-63. Accessible at:
  • Parasuram, K. (2006). Variables that affect teachers’ attitudes towards disability and inclusive education in Mumbai, India.Disability & Society, Vol 21: (3), pp. 231-242.
  • Ross, Kenneth N. 1992. Sample Design Procedures for a National Survey of Primary Schools in Zimbabwe. Issues and Methodologies in Educational Development #8.UNESCO: IIEP.
  • Anandalakshmy, S. (1998).Public Report on Basic Education in India. PROBE Team &Center for Development Economics.