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A Look at the Condition of Rural Education Research: Setting a Direction for Future Research

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Author(s): Arnold, M. L. | Newman, J. H. | Gaddy, B. B. | Dean, C. B.

Journal: Journal of Research in Rural Education
ISSN 1551-0670

Volume: 20;
Issue: 6;
Date: 2005;
Original page

Keywords: rural education | rural education research

ABSTRACT
The authors searched the ERIC and PsycINFO databases for K-12 rural education research studies conducted in the United States and published in journal articles between 1991 and summer 2003. This search was conducted in order to identify topics that appear in the rural education research literature and determine the quality of this research. Only 21% of studies in this database met the requirement of employing a “comparative” (broadly defined) research design to investigate a rural education problem. These articles were then reviewed using quality-of-research criteria developed by McREL. No truly experimental studies were found in this review. The strongest studies identified were quasi-experimental and causal-comparative research designs. Of the 106 articles that used some kind of comparative research design, only 10 were rated as higher-quality research, and only 48 were considered to be of medium quality. Forty-eight studies were rated as lower quality. The authors conclude with a proposed research agenda.
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