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Publication Detail
  • Publication Type:
  • Authors:
    Owen C
  • Publisher:
    Sage Publications Limited
  • Publication date:
  • Place of publication:
  • Pagination:
    123, 147
  • Chapter number:
  • Editors:
    Swain J
  • ISBN-10:
  • ISBN-13:
  • Status:
  • Book title:
    Designing Research in Education Concepts and Methodologies
  • Keywords:
    Surveys, Education, Research methods
  • Addresses:
    Charlie Owen
    UCL Institute of Education
    Thomas Coram Research Unit
    27 Woburn Square
    WC1H 0AA
We are all familiar with surveys, and most of us have been approached by someone in the street asking if we have a few minutes to take part in a survey, or someone telephoning us with the same question – even though it may turn out they are selling something. We are also used to hearing reports of surveys in the media – especially when the results are ‘shocking’. It is this commercial misuse of surveys and the selective reporting and sensationalisation of results that have sometimes got surveys a bad name. In this chapter, I will investigate the use of surveys for social and educational research. I will look at how surveys are designed, how the data are collected and how they are analysed. I will also consider their strengths and weaknesses, and I shall look at examples of surveys, including surveys of voting intentions, primary education and child poverty,// amongst others. When you have completed reading this chapter, you should be in a better position to understand surveys and to judge whether using one is appropriate for your research. You should also be better able to evaluate reports of surveys – whether scientific or the more sensational kind.
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