New Books

ResearchdesignbookResearch Design: Creating Robust Approaches for the Social Sciences

Stephen Gorard

This new book: discusses the nature of design; gives an introduction to design notation; offers a flexible approach to new designs; looks at a range of standard design models; and presents craft tips for real-life problems and compromises. Most importantly, it provides the rationale for preferring one design over another within any given context. Each section is illustrated with case studies of real work and concludes with suggested readings and topics for discussion in seminars and workshops, making it an ideal textbook for postgraduate research methods courses.

Based on the author’s teaching on the ESRC Doctoral Training Centre “Masters in Research Methods” at the University of Birmingham, and his ongoing work for the ESRC Researcher Development Initiative, this is an essential text for postgraduate researchers and academics. There is no book like Research Design on the market that addresses all of these issues in an easy to comprehend style, for those who want to design research and make critical judgements about the designs of others.

Overcoming disadvantageOvercoming disadvantage in education

Stephen Gorard & Beng Huat See

Governments, local authorities, school leaders, and teachers all over the world want to improve the educational attainment and participation of all students, and to minimise any systematic differences in outcomes for social and economic groups. A particular concern is for those students from backgrounds that may objectively disadvantage them at school and beyond. However, considerable effort and money is currently being wasted on policies, practices and interventions that have very little hope of success, and that may indeed endanger the progress that is being made otherwise. The poor quality of much education research evidence, coupled with an unwillingness among users of evidence to discriminate appropriately between what we know and do not know, means that opportunities are being missed. At a time of reduced public spending it is important that proposed interventions are both effective and efficient.

Overcoming Disadvantage in Education is unique in the way that it:

  • Shows where the solutions to underachievement and poverty lie
  • combines primary(new), secondary (official) and published (review) evidenced
  • distinguishes between those possible causes of underachievement that are largely fixed for individuals, and those that are modifiable

There are evidence-informed ways forward in handling under-achievement and increasing social justice in education. This book shows which the more likely approaches are, and where further work could yield further benefits.

This book will be a key text for students, developing academic researchers and supervisors in the social sciences, and for those research users charged with improving educational outcomes.