Even if a piece of research meets technical and ethical standards of quality, it may not be practically useful to all early childhood research consumers. Some other questions to consider:
- Are the results found in just one piece of research (for example, in a single study of whether a certain curriculum has positive effects) or are there many studies that together lead to this conclusion? Research syntheses (bringing together results from many separate studies) or comprehensive literature reviews often have this kind of information.
- Was the research conducted with children and programs that have similar characteristics to those you are interested in? If not, you may have questions about how “generalizable” or applicable the results are to your own situation.
- Do the researchers acknowledge the limitations of their work as well as its strengths?