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  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2023

Doing Research: A New Researcher’s Guide

  • Describes how to conceptualize, conduct, and communicate research in education

  • Focuses on developing a conceptual understanding of the research process

  • Informs beginning and early-career researchers about the importance of performing solid, legitimate research

Part of the book series: Research in Mathematics Education (RME)

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Table of contents (5 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xvii
  2. What Is Research, and Why Do People Do It?

    • James Hiebert, Jinfa Cai, Stephen Hwang, Anne K Morris, Charles Hohensee
    Pages 1-15Open Access
  3. How Do You Formulate (Important) Hypotheses?

    • James Hiebert, Jinfa Cai, Stephen Hwang, Anne K Morris, Charles Hohensee
    Pages 17-49Open Access
  4. Building and Using Theoretical Frameworks

    • James Hiebert, Jinfa Cai, Stephen Hwang, Anne K Morris, Charles Hohensee
    Pages 51-75Open Access
  5. Crafting the Methods to Test Hypotheses

    • James Hiebert, Jinfa Cai, Stephen Hwang, Anne K Morris, Charles Hohensee
    Pages 77-103Open Access
  6. Significance of a Study: Revisiting the “So What” Question

    • James Hiebert, Jinfa Cai, Stephen Hwang, Anne K Morris, Charles Hohensee
    Pages 105-124Open Access
  7. Back Matter

    Pages 125-136

About this book

This book is about scientific inquiry. Designed for early and mid-career researchers, it is a practical manual for conducting and communicating high-quality research in (mathematics) education. Based on the authors’ extensive experience as researchers, as mentors, and as members of the editorial team for the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education (JRME), this book directly speaks to researchers and their communities about each phase of the process for conceptualizing, conducting, and communicating high-quality research in (mathematics) education.

In the late 2010s, both JRME and Educational Studies in Mathematics celebrated 50 years of publishing high-quality research in mathematics education. Many advances in the field have occurred since the establishment of these journals, and these anniversaries marked a milestone in research in mathematics education. Indeed, fifty years represents a small step for human history but a giant leap for mathematics education. The educational research community in general (and the mathematics education community in particular) has strongly advocated for original research, placing great emphasis on building knowledge and capacity in the field. Because it is an interdisciplinary field, mathematics education has integrated means and methods for scientific inquiry from multiple disciplines. Now that the field is gaining maturity, it is a good time to take a step back and systematically consider how mathematics education researchers can engage in significant, impactful scientific inquiry.

Keywords

  • Research questions
  • Hypotheses
  • Theoretical framework
  • Scientific inquiry
  • Robust methods
  • Interpretation of findings
  • Pilot study
  • Unexpected findings
  • Continuous improvement
  • Communicating research
  • Learning opportunities
  • Impact on practice
  • Open Access

Reviews

“This book is specifically designed for novice researchers and provides valuable tips that are easy to comprehend and apply at any stage of the academic research journey. One of the main advantages of this book is it allows readers to see through editors’ eyes. … these insights can save researchers valuable time by providing a clear understanding of what editors and journal referees are looking for in submitted papers. Even experienced researchers may find some tips helpful … .” (Salah A. M. Ahmed, Educational Studies in Mathematics, Vol. 114 (1), 2023)

“This slim 133-page, conversational, easy-to-read, practical volume is intended for new mathematics education researchers, whether these be graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, or faculty beginning to conduct research in mathematics education. … each chapter has many subsections labeled as parts. … It contains exercises to engage readers as they work their way through the book.” (Annie Selden, MAA Reviews, May 16, 2023)

Authors and Affiliations

  • School of Education, University of Delaware, Newark, USA

    James Hiebert, Anne K Morris, Charles Hohensee

  • Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, USA

    Jinfa Cai, Stephen Hwang

About the authors

James Hiebert is the Robert J. Barkley Professor of Education at the University of Delaware, and a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association. He co-authored the books The Teaching Gap, and Making Sense: Teaching and Learning Mathematics with Understanding, and edited the books Conceptual and Procedural Knowledge: The Case of Mathematics, and Teachers, Teaching, and Reform: Perspectives on Efforts to Improve Educational Outcomes. He has served as PI or co-PI on 13 grants funded by the National Science Foundation or the U.S. Department of Education. 


Jinfa Cai is the Kathleen and David Hollowell Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Delaware, and a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association. He served as the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education (2017-2020).  He is interested in how students learn mathematics and pose/solve problems as well as how teachers can provide and create learning environments so that students can make sense of mathematics.  He has served as Program Director at the National Science Foundation.  He was the Editor of the 2017 Compendium for Research in Mathematics Education (published by NCTM).  

Stephen Hwang is a researcher at the University of Delaware and is the Project Coordinator for the NSF-funded project, Supporting Teachers to Teach Mathematics Through Problem Posing. He served as the Assistant Editor for the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education (2017-2020). He is interested in mathematical problem posing and how teachers can learn to use problem posing to provide robust learning opportunities for their students. He is also interested in the processes of mathematical proof and justification and the development of mathematical habits of mind. 


Anne Morris is a professor at the University of Delaware. She served as an Associate Editor for the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education (2017-2020). She is interested in how educators can store knowledge about teaching in instructional materials that are readily useable by teachers so that improvements accumulate over time. She is also interested in children's and preservice teachers' understanding of deductive argument and how to develop it through classroom instruction. 

Charles Hohensee is an Associate Professor at the University of Delaware. He served as an Associate Editor for the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education (2017-2020). He is interested in backward transfer, which is how students’ ways of reasoning about a previously-encountered mathematics concept changes when they engage in learning experiences about a new mathematics concept. 

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Doing Research: A New Researcher’s Guide

  • Authors: James Hiebert, Jinfa Cai, Stephen Hwang, Anne K Morris, Charles Hohensee

  • Series Title: Research in Mathematics Education

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-19078-0

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Education, Education (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2023

  • License: CC BY

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-031-19077-3Published: 03 December 2022

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-031-19080-3Published: 03 December 2022

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-031-19078-0Published: 02 December 2022

  • Series ISSN: 2570-4729

  • Series E-ISSN: 2570-4737

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XVII, 136

  • Number of Illustrations: 3 b/w illustrations, 9 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Research Methods in Education, Research Skills, Mathematics Education

Buy it now

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 29.99 USD 49.99
40% discount Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book USD 29.99 USD 59.99
50% discount Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Other ways to access