Evaluating and Interpreting Research Syntheses in Adult Learning and Literacy

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This paper introduces the methods of research synthesis and meta-analysis to researchers and consumers of research in the field of adult learning and literacy. The first section defines key terms and offers a brief history of how the methodologies developed. The second section provides a conceptualization of research synthesis that views it no differently from other research endeavors in the social sciences. Then, the tasks of research synthesis are presented in more detail within the context of a hypothetical example drawn from the literature on adult learning and literacy.

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