Methods Matter Improving Causal Inference in Educational and Social Science Research

Author: Richard J. Murnane
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199780310
Release Date: 2010-08-19
Genre: Psychology

Educational policy-makers around the world constantly make decisions about how to use scarce resources to improve the education of children. Unfortunately, their decisions are rarely informed by evidence on the consequences of these initiatives in other settings. Nor are decisions typically accompanied by well-formulated plans to evaluate their causal impacts. As a result, knowledge about what works in different situations has been very slow to accumulate. Over the last several decades, advances in research methodology, administrative record keeping, and statistical software have dramatically increased the potential for researchers to conduct compelling evaluations of the causal impacts of educational interventions, and the number of well-designed studies is growing. Written in clear, concise prose, Methods Matter: Improving Causal Inference in Educational and Social Science Research offers essential guidance for those who evaluate educational policies. Using numerous examples of high-quality studies that have evaluated the causal impacts of important educational interventions, the authors go beyond the simple presentation of new analytical methods to discuss the controversies surrounding each study, and provide heuristic explanations that are also broadly accessible. Murnane and Willett offer strong methodological insights on causal inference, while also examining the consequences of a wide variety of educational policies implemented in the U.S. and abroad. Representing a unique contribution to the literature surrounding educational research, this landmark text will be invaluable for students and researchers in education and public policy, as well as those interested in social science.

Methods Matter Improving Causal Inference in Educational and Social Science Research

Author: Richard J. Murnane
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199890156
Release Date: 2010-08-19
Genre: Psychology

Educational policy-makers around the world constantly make decisions about how to use scarce resources to improve the education of children. Unfortunately, their decisions are rarely informed by evidence on the consequences of these initiatives in other settings. Nor are decisions typically accompanied by well-formulated plans to evaluate their causal impacts. As a result, knowledge about what works in different situations has been very slow to accumulate. Over the last several decades, advances in research methodology, administrative record keeping, and statistical software have dramatically increased the potential for researchers to conduct compelling evaluations of the causal impacts of educational interventions, and the number of well-designed studies is growing. Written in clear, concise prose, Methods Matter: Improving Causal Inference in Educational and Social Science Research offers essential guidance for those who evaluate educational policies. Using numerous examples of high-quality studies that have evaluated the causal impacts of important educational interventions, the authors go beyond the simple presentation of new analytical methods to discuss the controversies surrounding each study, and provide heuristic explanations that are also broadly accessible. Murnane and Willett offer strong methodological insights on causal inference, while also examining the consequences of a wide variety of educational policies implemented in the U.S. and abroad. Representing a unique contribution to the literature surrounding educational research, this landmark text will be invaluable for students and researchers in education and public policy, as well as those interested in social science.

Handbook of Causal Analysis for Social Research

Author: Stephen L. Morgan
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9789400760943
Release Date: 2013-04-22
Genre: Social Science

What constitutes a causal explanation, and must an explanation be causal? What warrants a causal inference, as opposed to a descriptive regularity? What techniques are available to detect when causal effects are present, and when can these techniques be used to identify the relative importance of these effects? What complications do the interactions of individuals create for these techniques? When can mixed methods of analysis be used to deepen causal accounts? Must causal claims include generative mechanisms, and how effective are empirical methods designed to discover them? The Handbook of Causal Analysis for Social Research tackles these questions with nineteen chapters from leading scholars in sociology, statistics, public health, computer science, and human development.

Experimental and Quasi Experimental Designs for Research

Author: Donald T. Campbell
Publisher: Ravenio Books
ISBN:
Release Date: 2015-09-03
Genre: Psychology

We shall examine the validity of 16 experimental designs against 12 common threats to valid inference. By experiment we refer to that portion of research in which variables are manipulated and their effects upon other variables observed. It is well to distinguish the particular role of this chapter. It is not a chapter on experimental design in the Fisher (1925, 1935) tradition, in which an experimenter having complete mastery can schedule treatments and measurements for optimal statistical efficiency, with complexity of design emerging only from that goal of efficiency. Insofar as the designs discussed in the present chapter become complex, it is because of the intransigency of the environment: because, that is, of the experimenter’s lack of complete control.

Generalizability Theory

Author: Richard J. Shavelson
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 0803937458
Release Date: 1991-07-23
Genre: Medical

In this volume, Shavelson and Webb offer an intuitive development of generalizability theory and cover a wide variety of topics such as generalizability studies with nested facets and with fixed facets, measurement error and generalizability coefficients, and decision studies with same and with different designs. Detailed illustrations, examples and exercises all serve to clearly describe the logic underlying major concepts in generalizability theory and assist readers in applying these methods when investigating the consistency of their own measurements.

Measuring Up

Author: Daniel M Koretz
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674039728
Release Date: 2009-06-30
Genre: Education

Measuring Up demystifies educational testing - from MCAS to SAT to WAIS. Bringing statistical terms down to earth, Koretz takes readers through the most fundamental issues that arise in educational testing and shows how they apply to some of the most controversial issues in education today, from high-stakes testing to special education.

Quantile Regression

Author: Lingxin Hao
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 1412926289
Release Date: 2007-04-18
Genre: Mathematics

Quantile Regression, the first book of Hao and Naiman's two-book series, establishes the seldom recognized link between inequality studies and quantile regression models. Though separate methodological literature exists for each subject, the authors seek to explore the natural connections between this increasingly sought-after tool and research topics in the social sciences. Quantile regression as a method does not rely on assumptions as restrictive as those for the classical linear regression; though more traditional models such as least squares linear regression are more widely utilized, Hao and Naiman show, in their application of quantile regression to empirical research, how this model yields a more complete understanding of inequality. Inequality is a perennial concern in the social sciences, and recently there has been much research in health inequality as well. Major software packages have also gradually implemented quantile regression. Quantile Regression will be of interest not only to the traditional social science market but other markets such as the health and public health related disciplines. Key Features: Establishes a natural link between quantile regression and inequality studies in the social sciences Contains clearly defined terms, simplified empirical equations, illustrative graphs, empirical tables and graphs from examples Includes computational codes using statistical software popular among social scientists Oriented to empirical research

Designing Social Inquiry

Author: Gary King
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400821215
Release Date: 1994-05-02
Genre: Social Science

While heated arguments between practitioners of qualitative and quantitative research have begun to test the very integrity of the social sciences, Gary King, Robert Keohane, and Sidney Verba have produced a farsighted and timely book that promises to sharpen and strengthen a wide range of research performed in this field. These leading scholars, each representing diverse academic traditions, have developed a unified approach to valid descriptive and causal inference in qualitative research, where numerical measurement is either impossible or undesirable. Their book demonstrates that the same logic of inference underlies both good quantitative and good qualitative research designs, and their approach applies equally to each. Providing precepts intended to stimulate and discipline thought, the authors explore issues related to framing research questions, measuring the accuracy of data and uncertainty of empirical inferences, discovering causal effects, and generally improving qualitative research. Among the specific topics they address are interpretation and inference, comparative case studies, constructing causal theories, dependent and explanatory variables, the limits of random selection, selection bias, and errors in measurement. Mathematical notation is occasionally used to clarify concepts, but no prior knowledge of mathematics or statistics is assumed. The unified logic of inference that this book explicates will be enormously useful to qualitative researchers of all traditions and substantive fields.

Methods in Comparative Effectiveness Research

Author: Constantine Gatsonis
Publisher: CRC Press
ISBN: 9781466511972
Release Date: 2017-02-24
Genre: Mathematics

Comparative effectiveness research (CER) is the generation and synthesis of evidence that compares the benefits and harms of alternative methods to prevent, diagnose, treat, and monitor a clinical condition or to improve the delivery of care (IOM 2009). CER is conducted to develop evidence that will aid patients, clinicians, purchasers, and health policy makers in making informed decisions at both the individual and population levels. CER encompasses a very broad range of types of studies—experimental, observational, prospective, retrospective, and research synthesis. This volume covers the main areas of quantitative methodology for the design and analysis of CER studies. The volume has four major sections—causal inference; clinical trials; research synthesis; and specialized topics. The audience includes CER methodologists, quantitative-trained researchers interested in CER, and graduate students in statistics, epidemiology, and health services and outcomes research. The book assumes a masters-level course in regression analysis and familiarity with clinical research.

Running Randomized Evaluations

Author: Rachel Glennerster
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400848447
Release Date: 2013-11-24
Genre: Business & Economics

This book provides a comprehensive yet accessible guide to running randomized impact evaluations of social programs. Drawing on the experience of researchers at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, which has run hundreds of such evaluations in dozens of countries throughout the world, it offers practical insights on how to use this powerful technique, especially in resource-poor environments. This step-by-step guide explains why and when randomized evaluations are useful, in what situations they should be used, and how to prioritize different evaluation opportunities. It shows how to design and analyze studies that answer important questions while respecting the constraints of those working on and benefiting from the program being evaluated. The book gives concrete tips on issues such as improving the quality of a study despite tight budget constraints, and demonstrates how the results of randomized impact evaluations can inform policy. With its self-contained modules, this one-of-a-kind guide is easy to navigate. It also includes invaluable references and a checklist of the common pitfalls to avoid. Provides the most up-to-date guide to running randomized evaluations of social programs, especially in developing countries Offers practical tips on how to complete high-quality studies in even the most challenging environments Self-contained modules allow for easy reference and flexible teaching and learning Comprehensive yet nontechnical

Counterfactuals and Causal Inference

Author: Stephen L. Morgan
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107065079
Release Date: 2014-11-24
Genre: Mathematics

This new edition aims to convince social scientists to take a counterfactual approach to the core questions of their fields.

Design of Observational Studies

Author: Paul R. Rosenbaum
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9781441912138
Release Date: 2009-10-22
Genre: Mathematics

An observational study is an empiric investigation of effects caused by treatments when randomized experimentation is unethical or infeasible. Observational studies are common in most fields that study the effects of treatments on people, including medicine, economics, epidemiology, education, psychology, political science and sociology. The quality and strength of evidence provided by an observational study is determined largely by its design. Design of Observational Studies is both an introduction to statistical inference in observational studies and a detailed discussion of the principles that guide the design of observational studies. Design of Observational Studies is divided into four parts. Chapters 2, 3, and 5 of Part I cover concisely, in about one hundred pages, many of the ideas discussed in Rosenbaum’s Observational Studies (also published by Springer) but in a less technical fashion. Part II discusses the practical aspects of using propensity scores and other tools to create a matched comparison that balances many covariates. Part II includes a chapter on matching in R. In Part III, the concept of design sensitivity is used to appraise the relative ability of competing designs to distinguish treatment effects from biases due to unmeasured covariates. Part IV discusses planning the analysis of an observational study, with particular reference to Sir Ronald Fisher’s striking advice for observational studies, "make your theories elaborate." The second edition of his book, Observational Studies, was published by Springer in 2002.

Multi Method Social Science

Author: Jason Seawright
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107097711
Release Date: 2016-09-08
Genre: Political Science

This book provides the first systematic guide to designing multi-method research, considering a wide range of statistical and qualitative tools.

Desire and Decline

Author: Frances Katherine Vavrus
Publisher: Peter Lang Pub Incorporated
ISBN: 0820463116
Release Date: 2003
Genre: Education

<I>Desire and Decline explores the privileged place of education in local, national, and global development discourses about population, HIV/AIDS, and environmental conservation. -Desire- signals the global consensus on the view that education is central to solving problems of development. -Decline-, on the other hand, draws attention to the growing gap between those who have access to basic social services - such as education - and those who do not. Based on multiple periods of fieldwork on Mount Kilimanjaro, Frances Vavrus links local and global narratives about the potential of education to enhance development but also reveals its limitations in postcolonial countries experiencing the pressures of globalization. Vavrus concludes with portraits of local development initiatives that leave readers with a clear sense of the complexity of education's role in development, and the importance of political economic analysis for global population, health, and environmental policy."

Inside the Black Box of Classroom Practice

Author: Larry Cuban
Publisher:
ISBN: 1612505562
Release Date: 2013
Genre: Education

A book that explores the problematic connection between education policy and practice while pointing in the direction of a more fruitful relationship, Inside the Black Box of Classroom Practice is a provocative culminating statement from one of America's most insightful education scholars and leaders. Inside the Black Box of Classroom Practice takes as its starting point a strikingly blunt question: "With so many major structural changes in U.S. public schools over the past century, why have classroom practices been largely stable, with a modest blending of new and old teaching practices, leaving contemporary classroom lessons familiar to earlier generations of school-goers?"It is a question that ought to be of paramount interest to all who are interested in school reform in the United States. It is also a question that comes naturally to Larry Cuban, whose much-admired books have focused on various aspects of school reform--their promises, wrong turns, partial successes, and troubling failures. In this book, he returns to this territory, but trains his focus on the still baffling fact that policy reforms--no matter how ambitious or determined--have generally had little effect on classroom conduct and practice.Cuban explores this problem from a variety of angles. Several chapters look at how teachers, in responding to major policy initiatives, persistently adopt changes and alter particular routine practices while leaving dominant ways of teaching largely undisturbed. Other chapters contrast recent changes in clinical medical practice with those in classroom teaching, comparing the practical effects of varying medical and education policies. The book's concluding chapter distills important insights from these various explorations, taking us inside the "black box" of the book's title: those workings that have repeatedly transformed dramatic policy initiatives into familiar--and largely unchanged--classroom practices.