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IN 2002, the Committee on Scientific Principles of Education Research of the National Research Council (NRC) revisited long-standing ideas about the nature of science, so as to place them in the context of modern education research. Their report, Scientific Research in Education (3), investigated "scientifically based" education research to be used for improving education policy and practice. The report showed that while researchers may disagree about philosophical or methodological approaches to education research, they readily agree about the definition and pursuit of good quality education research (3). Research designs were categorized as quantitative versus qualitative, depending on the type of data collected. There were also categorizations of experimental versus observational, depending on the study design and the investigators' ability to draw conclusions about cause and effect. This featured topic sponsored by the American Physiological Society Teaching Section was designed to host Drs. Margaret Eisenhart and Robert DeHaan, members of the NRC committees and experts in the field of educational research. Their talks were complemented by selected educational research abstracts submitted to the Experimental Biology meeting in Washington, DC, in 2007.
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