Choosing your research question
Imagine your specific job, role and school. What issues around your area of interest might be affecting student learning in your school or community? How can you present the facts persuasively and use your expertise to influence the curriculum and impact your colleagues and community?
For example, a health education major might be interested in promoting physical fitness in children.
==>Broad Topic: Poor physical health is having a negative effect on student learning: physical education is important to our curriculum.
==>Narrower Topic: What can we do to educate students about the health effects of obesity and diabetes?
==>Narrower Topic: How can we integrate health education into our curriculum to reduce stress in college-bound high school seniors?
In exploring the first topic, it might be necessary to provide facts about:
- the number of obese children in the United States,
- populations at risk, and
- evidence about how poor physical health impacts student learning.
In exploring the second topic, you might include information about:
- numbers of college-bound high school seniors,
- the pressures these students face to achieve, and
- the future benefits of learning to manage stress before they reach college.
Finding information on your topic
When you are ready to begin searching for information related to your research question, use the databases and websites below to find information.
= Full text available
- Library databases in education
ERIC is the major index to literature in education. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, it provides full citations and abstracts for journal articles, books, curricula, government documents, dissertations, and research reports selected by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). ERIC citations date from 1966 to the present, and full text is available for many research reports. Limit to ERIC documents to search full-text only. ERIC can also be searched through the U.S. Department of Education's free web interface.
- Educator's Reference Complete
Access to more than 300 full-text journals for educators. Coverage includes child and adolescent psychology and development, drug and alcohol abuse, health/nutrition/fitness, learning disabilities, school law and sports/athletic training.
- Teacher Reference Center
Provides indexing and abstracts for over 280 of the most popular teacher and administrator trade journals, periodicals and books to assist professional educators. Coverage includes assessment, curriculum development, literacy standards, and more.
- Library databases in related subjects
Full text access to the 43 journals published by the American Psychological Association, the APA Educational Publishing Foundation, the Canadian Psychological Association, and Hogrefe & Huber, some going back to 1988. PsycARTICLES journals are indexed in the PsycINFO database.
Citations and abstracts to articles from more than 1300 international journals in psychology and related fields, going back to 1840. This database covers all areas of psychology, including experimental, developmental, communications, social processes and issues, personality, physical and psychological disorders, professional issues, applied psychology, educational psychology, and behavioral literature in such related fields as law, business and medicine. Also includes citations for books and book chapters.
- SAGE Premier
Search the full text to over 250 scholarly journals published by SAGE in a range of disciplines, including many social sciences titles. Many journals include full backfiles - back to 1960s or earlier. Particularly of interest to educators are collections on Urban Studies, Sociology and Psychology. Browse these journals, or search along with other CSA collections.
- Social Sciences Citation Index (Web of Knowledge)
A multidisciplinary index with searchable author abstracts covering the journal literature of the social sciences, including anthropology, history, law, linguistics, philosophy, psychology, psychiatry, political science, public health, social work, sociology, urban studies, and women's studies. SSCI indexes more than 1,725 journals spanning 50 disciplines. In addition, it is possible to retrieve a list of works that have cited a specific author or specific work. May be searched simultaneously with Arts & Humanities Citation Index and/or Science Citation Index Expanded through the Web of Science interface.
- Other web resources for educators
- Folke Bernadotte Library Subject Guide for Education
Includes information about the library's print and electronic resources related to education, including tips on browsing for books in education, lists of journals in the field of education, and links to web resources for teachers.
- Minnesota Department of Education: Academic Standards
Includes links to Minnesota public education standards in different curriculum areas and resources for teachers related to standards.
This URL: http://gustavus.edu/academics/library/libdata_pos/page.phtml?page_id=27