Reference resources are a great way to get started with your research. They can help you gather fast facts about a topic, focus your argument, and find lists of further readings written by experts in the field. Use the indexes and tables of contents to understand what you will find in each and go from there.
Many of the encyclopedias listed below are accessible via Credo Reference. You can do a more general (not publication-specific) search in the Credo Reference database:
There are numerous encyclopedias that provide an overview and background information on every education topic imaginable. There are also a number of encyclopedias on ecology. These entries are citeable and can provide useful perspectives on how topics might be organized and/or keywords/phrases to use in more in-depth searching. See the Education research guide for a list of resources that focus more specifically on teaching and learning.