Ethics in Educational Research

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Ethics in Educational Research

By | October 2008
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Ethics in Educational Research
The relationship between ethics and research is one of the most important problems faced by educational researchers. The demand for accountability and ethical responsibility in research is valid and has become irresistible, as instances to the contrary have resulted in impaired research opportunities, infringement on the autonomy of peoples studied, and in some instances harm to research participants (Howe & Moses, 2002). Many education associations have their own codes of ethics to guide members’ research activity. As a professional educators’ association, the AERA documents the initiative involved in educating researchers to produce research of high integrity and quality with respect to human research protections. Ethical principles are vital for educational researchers because important ethical issues frequently arise in their work. This set of principles is intended to heighten awareness of the ethical issues that face these researchers and to offer them workable guidelines to help resolve these issues. It encourages educational researchers to educate themselves in this area, and to exercise their own good judgment. It is also intended to provide protection for researchers who come under pressure to act in ways contrary to their professional ethics (American Educational Research Association, 1991). Taken in conjunction with typical codes of research ethics, linking teaching and research ethics is helpful in identifying criteria and principles to be met by teacher researchers when conducting formal investigations in their classroom or school (Copeland, 2003). These include having a valid research design, their responsibilities to the research participants, their responsibilities to the students, and using data with integrity. Additionally, educators collect and analyze data to guide them in making decisions to help improve the success of the students and their schools. Poorly designed research wastes participants’ time and often...
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