Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Policies and trends in the field of psychological and educational research
Published: 2012-05-06

Emerging trends and recent developments in education research

University of Bucharest

Cătălina Urlich

University of Bucharest, Faculty of Psychology and Sciences of Education

network methodology phronesis policy scientifically based research


This article reports an analysis on methodological and thematic trends in the field of educational research. The introduction presents main challenges regarding recent insights and pressure for research in universities as well as main objectives. Theoretical framework section reflects actual debates regarding educational research within the social science area and under pressure of public accountability and funding in European Union universities and US. Next section describes data sources and processing, using mainly content analysis on three largest research networks: AERA (founded in 1916), EERA (founded in 1994) and WERA (founded in 2009). Comparative analysis provides interesting information regarding the history, missions, priorities, principles and regulations on carrying educational research. One the one hand, there are noticeable differences in time gap, practice-orientation, social responsibility and funding policies for university research in Europe and US. On the other hand, EU's struggle in competition with US puts pressure on education researchers; university ranking and impact evaluation are seen as external and mainly originated in US tradition. Findings about the dynamics of research networks, problem-driven and contextual sensitive approach, integrated research endeavour (inter and trans-disciplinary), teams flexibility and emerging interests could have a double impact. It could inspire ongoing efforts of redesigning the doctoral studies programs at the University of Bucharest and also the PhD students' identity and career building occurring in real institutions and academic sphere.


  1. BABBIE, E. R. (2010). The Practice of Social Research 12th edition. Belmont: Wadsworth Cengage Learning
  2. DENZIN N. & LINCOLN, Y.S. (2011) The SAGE Handbook of qualitative research 4th Edition (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage).
  3. EPARVIER, P. (2010). ERAWATCH Research Inventory Report: Overview across EU countries.
  4. FLYVBERG, B. (2011). Case Study in Denzin, N & Lincoln, Y. S. eds., The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research, 4th Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  5. FLYVBERG, B. (2001 ). Making social science matter: Why social inquiry fails and how it can succeed again. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  6. JOHNSON, B. R., ONWUEGBUZIE, A. J. & TURNER, L. (2007). Toward a Definition of Mixed Methods Research. Journal of Mixed Methods Research. April 2007 vol. 1 no. 2. 112-133.
  7. KIRKEBY, I. M. (2011 ). Transferable knowledge: an interview with Bent Flyvbjerg. arqvol 15. no l.
  8. MACHKIEWCZ, W., HAZELKORN, E. & BERGHOFF, S. (2010) Assessing Europe's University-Based Research Expert Group on Assessment of University-Based Research Brussels: Directorate-General for Research http:/ /
  9. McALPINE, L., HORN, J & RATH, J. (2011). Beyond teaching and research: inclusive understandings of academic practice. In Studies in Continuing Education. Vol. 33, No. 1.261-280
  10. PLANO CLARK, V. L. (2010). The Adoption and Practice of Mixed Methods: U.S. Trends in Federally Funded Health-Related Research". Qualitative Inquiry. vol. 16 no. 6.428-440.
  11. POSTLETHWAITE, T. N. (2005). Educational research: some basic concepts and terminology International Institute for Educational Planning UNESCO Paris DEP
  12. SCHNEIDER, B., CARNOY, M., KILPATRJCK, J., SCHMIDT, W. H., & SHA VELSON, R. J. (2007). Estimating causal effects using experimental and observational designs Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.
  13. SHAVELSON, R. J & TOWNE, L. (eds.). (2002). Scientific Research in Education Center for Education Division of Behavioural and Social Sciences and Education National Research. Council. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

How to Cite

Urlich, C. (2012). Emerging trends and recent developments in education research. Studia Doctoralia, 1(1-2), 65–84.