An educational researcher is a professional who studies various aspects of education to advance knowledge and improve educational practices and outcomes. They use a variety of methods, including surveys, experiments, case studies, and statistical analysis, to gather and analyze data in order to answer questions about education.

View inside a straw. Researchers look at the details from different perspectives.

The goal of educational research is to generate new knowledge and insights about education and to inform the development of evidence-based policies and practices. Educational researchers may work in a variety of settings, including universities, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private sector organizations, and they may focus on early childhood education, K-12 education, higher education, or adult education.

Some examples of the topics that educational researchers might study include:

  • Teaching and learning methods, including the effectiveness of different instructional approaches and the use of technology in the classroom.
  • Curriculum design and evaluation, including the development and implementation of curriculum standards and assessments.
  • Student motivation and engagement, including the factors that influence student motivation and the impact of different interventions on student engagement and achievement.
  • Teacher development and professional learning, including the design and implementation of professional development programs for teachers and the impact of these programs on teacher practice and student outcomes.
  • The relationship between education and other social and economic factors, including the impact of poverty, race, and gender on educational attainment and opportunities.

Educational research is an important field that plays a key role in advancing knowledge and improving education for students of all ages. By synthesizing existing research, conducting original studies, and engaging in critical analysis, educational researchers work to support evidence-based decision making in the field of education.


  • National Center for Education Research (2020). What is Educational Research?
  • American Educational Research Association (2020). What is Educational Research?
  • Educational Researcher (journal). American Educational Research Association.
  • Stufflebeam, D. L. (2001). The CIPP Model for Evaluation in Education. In Handbook of educational policy (pp. 267-296). Routledge.
  • Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2011). Research methods in education (7th ed.). Routledge.
  • (2023) ChatGPT in response to inquires from Dr. James Colquitt.