Research Tools

Research Tools Requirement and Statement

Research Tools Requirement

The Reading Department expects you to demonstrate a broad understanding of the various kinds of research methods commonly used in our field. You should be able to demonstrate competence in the research methods you will use to conduct research in your selected area of specialization, and you should show that you have become at least a critical consumer of other kinds of research methods.

To that end, you are required to take a minimum of 12 credit hours of research methods coursework. Nine credit hours should focus on the kinds of research methods you plan to use in your dissertation, and three credit hours should focus on other kinds of methods. Additionally, we strongly recommend that you take additional courses in both your focus and non-focus areas.

After completing the required coursework you need to write a statement that describes how your research methods coursework and your research-related experiences (e.g., working on research projects with faculty members, critiquing educational research, developing proposals for non-methods course projects) have contributed to your growth as a researcher and a consumer of educational research. This statement should also address how these courses and experiences have informed the research design, data collection strategies, and data analysis strategies of your dissertation work.

Research Tools Statement

Your research tools statement must be submitted to the Department faculty for their review. This needs to take place after you have completed the Specialization Examination (Part Bs), but prior to submitting your dissertation proposal.  Written in consultation with your dissertation chair, this statement should be no longer that 5 pages, double-spaced.

Copies of your statement need to be provided to the Department, at least 2 weeks prior to the faculty meeting when your statement will be reviewed.  The Department will review your statement and either approve or not approve it. If approved, the Department will forward the appropriate paperwork to the Registrar. If not approved, you will need to revise the statement in consultation with your dissertation chair.