A Nation at Risk: Education Research Analysis

The study A Nation At Risk deals with the threats American education faced in 1980s. The study reveals concerns that the quality of education in the United States is decreasing and it is necessary to launch immediate changes to prevent the danger of illiteracy in the country.

The purpose of the study was to articulate the tendency of decreasing the quality of education and encourage citizens of the country and officials to react to the trend. The research question of the study was the level of education quality in school and college graduates as compared to previous periods (namely 1970s) and to other “industrialized” countries (“A Nation At Risk,” 1983). It is necessary to point out that the study does not provide proper literature review. Moreover, there is no mentioning of other researches and other viewpoints on the issue. Thus, the present study is not related to “the larger ongoing dialogue in the literature about a topic” (Creswell, 2003, p. 30). The study provides the results obtained (mainly) with the help of quantitative research method. There are some examples (quite few) which suggest that researchers used qualitative data, but the number of such data is insignificant. Thus, it is possible to state that the research used quantitative scientific paradigm. The findings provided in the study prove the major statement that the quality of the education is declining. However, the researchers provide particular recommendations aimed at improving the situation: “essentials of a strong curriculum” are outlined, launching new standards suggested, the necessity of improved teaching and increased financing training is articulated.

In conclusion, it is possible to point out that in spite of the fact that quite definite data and conclusions and recommendation are provided, the study lacks comprehensiveness. Thus, A Nation At Risk can be regarded an article based on a definite data rather than a precise survey.

Research Aspects Quantitative Qualitative Mixed
Research Description The research exploits the quantitative research methods providing numerous data (percentage and precise number and amounts). The study mentioned some information obtained using qualitative scientific paradigm.
Data The study reveals certain data on literacy and quality of education. Qualitative data “We could also hear the intensity of their frustration, a growing impatience with … the complaint that this shoddiness is too often reflected in our schools and colleges)
Findings The findings prove the decrease in quality of education.
Results Recommendations were provided: 1) to strengthen the curriculum paying more attention to such disciplines as English; mathematics; science; social studies; computer science. 2) to raise standards to admission to the higher educational establishments. 3) to increase time devoted to study – implement “more effective use of the existing school day, a longer school day, or a lengthened school year. 4) to improve teaching training. 5) to increase education financing
Applicability The study (and recommendations articulated) are quite applicable, they are precise and logic.
Validity The study provides significant amount of information
Reliability Since the study was based on the survey implemented by governmental agencies it is possible to regard it as reliable enough, however, no definite reference was provided, only results and conclusions so the study is characterized by certain amount of bias.
Consistency The study is consistent and logic, providing certain quantitative data and evaluating them
Sample size The research lasted 18 months and embraced educational establishments throughout the USA
General Characteristics The study is based on comprehensive data, but there is no overview of other viewpoints, more precise information on the process of the survey
Notes To my mind, the study is quite biased, and too emotional. There are too many contemplations and logos. A research should be more accurate and unbiased.


Creswell, J.W. (2003). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Method Approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.

A Nation At Risk. (1983). US Department of Education. Web.