Stenhouse was interested in research method basically for its educative potential not for reasons of the disinterested pursuit of knowledge'. Thus, for him, the task of educational research was to serve teachers. Moreover, Stenhouse saw teaching as itself grounded in the research activity of the teacher, rather than in a body of subject knowledge produced by others. Stenhouse wanted a procedure for studying selected, individual cases (not randomly drawn samples); cases of classroom or school practice selected by experienced and insightful educators for their potential value in illuminating educational decisions and enhancing practice.
Stenhouse was a prime mover in the founding of the Centre for Applied Research in Education, at the University of East Anglia. John Elliott, another founding member, has summarised the view of educational research shared by the Centre's staff as including the following two elements: "the overriding purpose of educational research is to bring about worthwhile educational change"; and "research is only educational when it is directed towards realising educational values in practice"

Stenhouse's Research Model of the 1970's reveals evaluation is a part of curriculum. There must be a continuous cycle of formative evaluation and curriculum improvement at the school level. The relationship between the curriculum developer and evaluator is central and the developer offers solutions. The developer is the investigator; teacher. This model evaluates an experienced curriculum. The developer studies others and testing ideas. It's more about self-study and research than objectives and data gathering. The evaluator acts as a practical voice in the process by tempering enthusiasm with judgment.