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Lesson I-4

Integrating Interventions

synthesize graphic
Not all research has to involve an intervention.  Assessing public opinion, undertaking state-wide student achievement testing programs, and examining employee productivity indicators are examples of legitimate research that does not require an intervention. 

Nevertheless, a sizeable portion of social research does examine interventions.  Interventions of interest in research include experimental treatments, innovative practices being demonstrated, and naturally occurring events.  They almost always vary some, even in a set of research studies on a specific topic.  They may vary not only in their nature, but also in their intensity, duration, and continuity.  There also can be varying degrees of departure between the intended or expect intervention and the one that actually occurs.

Means for Integrating Interventions 

The following are several means for integrating interventions across studies on a given topic:

  • Portray: Describe the various interventions used and indicate their interrelations.  Identify what plausible variations in the interventions have not yet been researched.

  • Trace History: Trace how the interventions used have changed over history.  Indicate what precipitated the changes and what have been the consequences of the changes.

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  • Categorize: Classify the interventions based on similarities and differences of underlying characteristics.

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  • Summarize: Identify the commonalities across the varying interventions.

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  • Undermine: Identify and document a widespread shortcoming in the interventions used.  Indicate the implications of that shortcoming for our understanding of the body of research on the given topic.

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  • Synthesize: Invent new interventions based on the best of existing ones and other opportunities.
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Last Update: June 29, 2000Link to the George Washington UniversitySend feedbackLink to Education Policy Page