CIE members have employed multiple approaches to the production of research knowledge and evidence around our core concerns of education and development. We offer a wide range of expertise in research that includes the development and use of a variety of research methods: surveys, interviews, observations, video observations, focus group discussions and documentary collection and analysis.
The centre has a commitment to building knowledge about education, development and the Global South. This is a broad spectrum that demands research and analysis at different levels, from the macro-global perspective to the micro-personal level. We also adopt different approaches depending on the kinds of questions we are exploring. These include the more objective and policy-oriented approaches that may be found in evaluations, the study of statistical trends and analyses of outcomes above the level of the individual. Other predominantly macro-level studies may include correlation and causal analysis of social survey data, exploration of patterns in administrative and census data, simulation and projections relevant to medium term planning, time series cross sectional analysis and other techniques within social sciences drawn from sociology, economics, anthropology and psychology.
Within more local-level studies, interactionist analysis and more anthropological or ethnographic approaches are used. These often open spaces for discourse analysis informed, for example, by feminism, postcolonialism and/or poststructuralism. All have a prt to play in understanding the social contexts, experiences and relations, as well as informing policy, strategy and practice working towards improving education and social life.
In addition to providing workshops on research methods (eg. evaluation, participatory research) and on conceptual frameworks to support new ways of addressing complex education issues (eg. on gender, conflict reconciliation, teacher development, access, educational planning and governance), funded projects are designed with a commitment to working collaboratively in the interests of better understandings and shared ownership of research results.