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Research Guides

CGU EDUC 473 - Qualitative Inquiry - Prof. Bermudez - FA 2017

Background sources are used to provide justification, rationale, or context for your research problem. These are usually used to answer  "why should I care about this?"


Education statistics - United States

National Center for Education Statistics. The primary U.S. federal entity for the collection and dissemination of data on education. Examples of resources include:

  • Digest of Education Statistics. Comprehensive statistical compendium for education in the United States. Enrollments, dropout rates, state teacher salaries, etc. 
  • State Education data profiles: Statewide information in elementary/secondary education characteristics and finance, postsecondary education, public libraries, assessments, and selected demographics for all states.

California Department of Education: Data and statistics collected from California schools

California Postsecondary Education Commission. The Commission closed in 2011, but data about higher education in California, including enrollment, school characteristics, transition from high school to college, and more, are still available on the site.

United States Census education data. Summary of statistics on the social, political and economic organization of the United States.

Historical Statistics of the United States. Contains statistics on a wide spectrum of social and economic developments.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) : Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), from the University of Michigan, maintains and provides access to a vast archive of social science data for research and instruction.

Data Planet Statistical Insight. Provides access to U.S. and international statistical information. Includes some full text tables.

Literature reviews

Literature reviews

Literature reviews are articles that review and evaluate published scholarship in a specific area of research. They can help you get a feel for the background and current state of research on your topic.

Searching for literature reviews is not the same process in all databases. In general, try including key words or phrases such as literature review or synthesis in a keyword or subject (descriptor) search to locate reviews. For example: literature review and school choice.

Education encyclopedias and dictionaries

Dictionaries and encyclopedias provide background information on a topic or concept.