In Making Sense of Research, Elaine McEwan and Patrick McEwan bring the best of two worlds to the writing of this book - the "real" world where education is practiced daily and the "research" world where the "disciplined search for knowledge" (Smith & Glass, 1987, p.6) is ongoing. Making Sense of Research is for those who make decisions - from the seemingly smallest teacher-made decision regarding time allocation during reading instruction to major national policy decisions such as reducing class size. When carefully read and thoughtfully considered, quality research can inform, enlighten, and provide direction to practitioners that will save time and money, but more importantly enhance the effectiveness of schools and increase the opportunities for student. Making Sense of Research is also about doing your own site-specific, user-driven research as a way of sustaining school improvement, keeping vision alive, and attaining your mission.
Patrick J. McEwan is Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and an affiliate of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University. Previously, he taught in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and served as Assistant Director of Research at the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. He completed his PhD in education at Stanford University, in addition to master's degrees in economics and international development. His published books (with Henry Levin) include Cost-Effectiveness Analysis: Methods and Applications, Second Edition (2001) and Cost-Effectiveness and Educational Policy: 2002 Yearbook of the American Education Finance Association (2002). He is the author of numerous journal articles, book chapters, and reports, and he has consulted on education policy and evaluation at the Inter-American Development Bank, RAND, UNESCO, and the ministries of education of several countries. His recent research (with Martin Carnoy) has evaluated the impact of Chile's national voucher plan on the effectiveness and efficiency of primary education. Elaine K. McEwan is a partner and educational consultant with The McEwan-Adkins Group, offering workshops in instructional leadership, team building, and raising reading achievement. A former teacher, librarian, principal, and assistant superintendent for instruction in a suburban Chicago school district, McEwan is the author of more than thirty-five books for parents and educators. Her Corwin Press titles include Raising Reading Achievement in Middle and High Schools: Five Simple-to-Follow Strategies for Principals, Second Edition (2006), Seven Strategies of Highly Effective Readers: Using Cognitive Research to Boost K-8 Achievement (2004), Ten Traits of Highly Effective Principals: From Good to Great Performance (2003), Making Sense of Research: What's Good, What's Not, and How to Tell the Difference (2003), Seven Steps to Effective Instructional Leadership, Second Edition (2003), Teach Them ALL to Read: Catching the Kids Who Fall through the Cracks (2002), and Ten Traits of Highly Effective Teachers: How to Hire, Mentor, and Coach Successful Teachers (2001). McEwan was honored by the Illinois Principals Association as an outstanding instructional leader, by the Illinois State Board of Education with an Award of Excellence in the Those Who Excel Program, and by the National Association of Elementary School Principals as the National Distinguished Principal from Illinois for 1991. She received her undergraduate degree in education from Wheaton College and advanced degrees in library science (MA) and educational administration (EdD) from Northern Illinois University.