Research Guide for Ed 300: Education Reform Past & Present

created by Librarian Katy Hart and Professor Jack Dougherty

Trinity College, Spring 2007


This research guide is divided into three parts, which reflect the different entry points or portals we use to recover information: library catalogs, databases and the internet. The portal we select is determined by the publication format (book, graphic, journal article, report, manuscript, etc.) and the distribution (print or electronic).



The catalog is used to find information that is published in monographs (books), documents (reports published by government agencies or research institutions), newspaper or journal titles (not the individual journal articles), anthologies (collections of articles or essays on a common topic), encyclopedias, dictionaries and almanacs (compilations of statistics, historic events, scientific charts, calendars, etc.). Except for the content of the almanacs, most of the information packaged in this format is narrative; memoirs, histories, biographies, social science and scientific research reports. The majority of this material will be in a tangible format (print, CD, DVD, microform) but some will be electronic. Government documents in particular are now often published electronically, so the bibliographic record will have an internet link to the text.


TOR: (Trinity Online Resources)

TOR is the Trinity College web site for all their subscription databases and for web sites that contain research material. Use TOR to find journal articles, conference reports and book reviews. The results of most academic research is first published in scholarly journals or announced at conferences. Databases are the resource we use to find the most recent research in any academic subject. A few databases, which will be particularly useful in this course, are listed below. To access any of our databases click on TOR.


America History and Life:

Indexes abstracts of scholarly literature written on the history and culture of the United States and Canada from prehistoric times to the present. Citations for journal articles, book reviews, media reviews, and dissertations are included.  NOTE: Subscription is limited to 6 simultaneous users. Please use the EXIT button when done.


Archives USA:

This is an excellent resource for locating archival material.  However, none of the collections are online. You must request photocopies, borrow microform copies, or visit the relevant institution to use the documents, manuscripts, etc.


Education Fulltext:

This is the online version of the Education Index and covers topics pertaining to every age and sector of the educational community. It indexes supplements, book reviews and some series and provides full-text coverage for selected periodicals beginning in 1996. NOTE: On the WilsonWeb Search screen, choose "Education Full Text" from the database menu.  The print version is available in the Reference Collection (REF Z5813 .E23) beginning with v.1 (1929/1932) through v.50 (1999/2000).



Educational Resources Information Center is a database is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. It provides extensive coverage of both the educational and related literature found in Resources in Education (RIE) and Current Index to Journals in Education (CIJE).


Hartford Courant:

The Hartford Courant database is divided into two sections: The first part (Hartford Courant) covers 1992 to the present. The second part, (Historical Hartford Courant), covers 1764 to 1982. Currently, there is a 10 year gap (1982-92) which is not indexed. The entire paper, from 1840 until the present, is also available on microfilm. Both databases provide full text coverage of all news articles. The Historical Hartford Courant also includes classified ads. Both databases can be searched by keyword.



JStor is a full text database that indexes back issues of scholarly journals from all academic disciplines, often extending back several decades. It is not a current issues database. NOTE: Follow JStor’s printing instructions; do not use the print function on your browser. The journal articles are pdf files so the print command on your browser will only capture the frame. 


Lexis Nexis Academic - Legal Research:

This database indexes both the decisions of the state and federal courts (including the Supreme Court), and news articles on legal issues and events.  For court decisions select “Get A Case” from the left sidebar.  For articles on court issues or events select “Legal News.”


Reader’s Guide Retrospective (1890-1982):

Readers’ Guide Retrospective indexes many of the popular magazines that were widely distributed between the late nineteenth century and the late twentieth century. Select Reader’s Guide Retro from the menu on the search screen. It is not fulltext; use TC Linker to locate the text of the articles.


Social Services Abstracts, (1980 - present)

Provides bibliographic coverage of current research focused on social work, human services, and related areas, including social welfare, social policy, and community development.


Sociological Abstracts (1963-present)

Provides abstracts and indexes the international literature in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences.



The advent of electronic publishing has greatly enhanced our opportunities for research and increased the number of available resources. Many institutions (both public and private) now publish the results of their research directly to the web. Information is distributed globally and it is more current. Web sites are an excellent place to look for statistics, government reports, surveys etc. However, whenever you use a web site remember to critically evaluate both the author’s credentials and the content. Below are a few pre-screened web sites that will help you with your research.


Connecticut State Dept. of Education:  <>

This is the official web page for the Connecticut Department of Education. From this page you can access many online publications. Scroll down to the middle of the page in order to see links to various topics within the site. Click on “Connecticut Education Data and Research (CeDar)” for quantitative data and school reports.


U. S. Department of Education:  <>

The Ed.Gov site covers current policies and publications, with links to the web sites of subordinate agencies where more detailed information is available, such as the National Center for Education Statistics. 


Educational Studies Program, Trinity College  <>

This is the homepage for the Trinity College Educational Studies Program. It lists additional resources, such as course syllabi and senior research project papers.


 Office of Institutional Research <>

Trinity’s Office of Institutional Research and Planning is designed “to inform and guide planning and evaluation." There are links to reports about the College and its student body, which are limited to users on the Trinity College network.


Hartford Studies Project, Trinity College   <>

A Trinity College project that encourages students and faculty “to explore Hartford's history and present experience of issues such as race, immigration, culture, labor, and local politics." Within the collection you will find resources in print and online. There is a list of links to additional online resources for the study of Hartford.


Chronicle of Higher Education   <>

A weekly newsmagazine that reports on college and universities in the United States and aboard.  NOTE: See Blackboard for your professor’s instructions on accessing articles since 1989.


Education Week:  <>

A weekly newsmagazine that reports on pre-K to 12th grade policies and practices in the US and aboard.  NOTE: See Blackboard for your professor’s instructions on accessing articles since 1981.


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Last updated February 14, 2007 bot="Timestamp" endspan i-checksum="41409"