This volume helps readers understand the central elements of educational inquiry in the USA - particularly the methods of empirical research and how research results can be used in educational decision making. It emphasizes the practical value of educational research and theory and presents information and exercises to improve the research abilities of students. In particular it stresses the interplay between methodological and substantive concerns in educational research and examines the changes in methods of gaining knowledge from 600 BC to the present. Three different foundations for research - logical positivism, phenomenology and hermeneutics are examined and it offers guidelines for ethical research and the protection of rights for participants in educational research. It should be of interest to undergraduates and postgraduates taking courses in education, arts and sciences, or inquiry in social sciences.