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 Prof. Gareth Thomas

School of Education
The University of Birmingham
Birmingham, B15 2TT

Tel: +44 (0)121 414 4836



Seminar Website


Thematic Seminar Series


Quality in Educational Research

Prof. Gareth Thomas ( University of Birmingham )

Seminar Summary

The variety of methods used in educational research perhaps exceeds that in any other form of social research. Much discussion has centered on this variety and the legitimacy of research emerging from different methodological stables. Rather than extending this discussion, the seminar series takes as a given the need for and the legitimacy of a plurality of approaches and methods and focuses instead on the issue of quality in research of differing kinds. It takes as its starting point a seeking of an understanding of commonality and difference in judgements about quality in research originating in a variety of traditions. How are judgements in the first place to be made about the quality of evidence? Is 'quality' of a different character in different domains: are entirely different measures used, for example, in judgements of quality about large scale surveys and case studies, or are there similarities in the way that quality is assessed in such different kinds of research?

In short, the aims of the seminar series are to:

a) Address the issue of quality in all kinds of educational research

b) Encourage cross -fertilisation on methodological issues and issues of quality by enabling discussion within education and with colleagues from other disciplines and internationally

c) Help to build capacity in educational research

d) Assist dialogue between researchers and users of research in practice and in policy-making


The series will do this by preparing seminars, publications and other dissemination activity that

i) Enable discussion and developmental activity about issues of quality in TLRP and educational research generally

ii) Are available to a wide a range of researchers and users of research in education and allied fields beyond the seminar series

iii) Offer a platform for further development subsequent to the series



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