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Engaging Research: Profession, Practice, Politics Postgraduate Research Conference University of Queensland, September 19, 2009 Jo-Anne Reid Faculty of.

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Presentation on theme: "Engaging Research: Profession, Practice, Politics Postgraduate Research Conference University of Queensland, September 19, 2009 Jo-Anne Reid Faculty of."— Presentation transcript:

1 Engaging Research: Profession, Practice, Politics Postgraduate Research Conference University of Queensland, September 19, 2009 Jo-Anne Reid Faculty of Education CSU AARE

2 Why does educational research matter? In what ways does the research we do matter to the field of education? Who reads it, whose thinking and practice is changed by it? How does it make a difference in the lives of teachers, children, parents and in the history of the nation?

3 Engagement challenges for educational research the range of education professions that require the advocacy and evidence of our research to build and strengthen themselves as communities; the range of everyday teaching, leadership and academic practices that contribute to renewal and strengthening of education through research; and the range of political circumstances, constraints and possibilities that frame the work of educational researchers at the present time.

4 Drawing on the evidence of six years’ reflection on the sorts of educational research Australian universities have nominated as the very best doctoral theses in the nation, I argue that educational researchers must continue to ask the difficult questions about our field and engage more fully with the challenge of ensuring that education research continues to matter.

5 The Problem of ‘the Problem with Educational Research’ McWilliam & Lee (2006) suggest that the different positions on the problem with educational research, and hence on the solution to the problem, fail to engage in the question of education itself as a problem of the present. They argue that this problem is produced through twin fantasies about education: a redemptive fantasy about the possibility and the imperative for education to solve problems of social disadvantage; and a disciplinary fantasy that faculties of education can do this by themselves.

6 Through an examination of the ‘de-sciencing’ of education in the past decade or so, and its recent ‘re-sciencing’, they conclude that, with all the problems that might be identified as pertaining to educational research and to Faculties of Education, the most significant might well be a failure of research imagination. Overcoming this problem demands engagement with provocative ideas coming from outside traditional educational expertise. McWilliam, E & Lee, A (2006) The Problem of ‘the Problem with Educational Research’, Australian Educational Researcher, Vol 33, No 2, pp 43-60

7 What needs to be studied? Wagner (1993) reminds researchers of the difference between what he calls ‘blank spots’ and ‘blind spots’ in our construction of knowledge. Blank spots are the bits of the picture that we think need to be ‘filled in’ by research. To fill in blank spots we do not need to change or question the existing picture at all. Research that fills in the ‘blank spots’ in our knowledge as teachers does not challenge existing constructions or values. Even when such research works right out at the edges of what is already ‘sketched in’ to our picture of high quality educational practice, it remains within the frame of the big picture it assumes to represent reality and truth. But when things in our professional practice are not ‘picture perfect’ within our frame; when some of our students are failing to learn in our classrooms; when our school is not achieving the same level of outcomes as others; when we feel we could do things better but don’t quite know what to do: we are seeing our blind spots….

8 Teaching becomes a strategy for using research to reduce ignorance, and research a strategy for preparing to teach. While this articulates research closely with teaching, it also suggests how complicated teaching really is. … Research itself is a form of learning – and research reporting a form of teaching (Wagner 1993:19, 21). In order to generate new knowledge about education and schooling, Wagner claims, “educational researchers must begin with ignorance, not truth” (1993:15). In this way, some of the ‘blind spots’ we have in our educational vision are more likely to appear, and demand our attention. Sometimes, indeed, we might be taken by surprise by having a look at somebody else’s picture of normality and truth. Wagner, J. (1993) Ignorance in Educational Research, or How could you Not know that? Educational Researcher, Vol. 22, No. 5, 15-23.

9 AARE Doctoral Thesis Award 2004 Professional Work in the New Work Order: A sociological study of the shift from professional autonomy based in expertise to professional accountability based in performativity Shaped by the Book: Changing Profession, place and practice in school librarianship under the impact of new communications technologies Western Australian Principals' Theorising on 'Good Schools‘ Semiotic Reflections of Clinical Chemistry: For 'Knowledge Work' in the Medical Sciences Adolescence, Schooling and English/Literacy: Formulations of a Problem in Early Twentieth Century South Australia A People Learning: Colonial Victorians and their Public Institutions for Adult Learning, 1860-1880 Intertextual turns in curriculum inquiry: fictions, diffractions and deconstructions In the neighbourhood of uncertainty: Poststructuralisms and environmental education

10 2004 Is Success a Matter of Choice? Exploring Indigenous Australian notions of success within the context of the Australian university Parental Involvement in their Children's Education in Taiwan Decisions by 'Science Proficient' Year 10 Students About Post-Compulsory High School Science Enrolment: A Sociocultural Exploration The Influence of Students' Conceptual Perceptions on Motivational Goal Pursuit in the First Year of Middle School Exploring Flexibility and Lifelong Learning: the rhetorical work of policy discourse Students' Engagement and Disengagement Behaviours When Learning with IMM Integrated Mass Lectures School Leadership and Cognitive Interests: The development of a leadership framework based on Habermas' theory of knowledge-constitutive interest The role of affective distress in final years school student achievement motivation Reforming the System of School Administration in Thailand: facing the Challenges of the 21st Century

11 2004 But do they learn anything? Student learning at an interactive road safety exhibition Breaking the Mind-Forg’d Manacles: a study of adolescent transformation Unimaginable bodies: Intellectual disability, performance and becomings Competition, competence and conversation: a case study of strategic learning in a petrochemical organisation Alternative Subjectivities: Reading difference in media texts on Indian women entrepreneurs Action Research as a Professional Development Model for the Teaching of Writing in Early Stage One/Stage One Classrooms Why bother to be a student leader? An exploration of the school experiences and self-perceptions of Year 12 students in three Catholic schools The Development of Sport in Singapore: An Eliasian Analysis What is the nature of transformative learning and pedagogy?

12 2004 Context, complexity, and contestation in curriculum construction: developing Social Studies in the New Zealand Curriculum The Study of Teaching: A Longitudinal Study of Post-Compulsory Students’ Perspectives on a Course in Teacher Education School Governance: Phases, Participation and Paradoxes The Design and Evaluation of a Cooperative Reading Instructional Strategy for Children Experiencing Reading Difficulties Complicit Institutions: Representation, Consumption and the Production of School Violence A Study into Support Provision for Primary School LOTE (Languages Other than English) Teachers in the Context of the Inclusion of Students with Special Needs Emagining change: English teachers and technology

13 2005 Acting in the middle: the dialogic struggle for professional identity in adult literacy and basic education in Victoria Becoming leaders: An investigation into women’s leadership in male dominated professions Measuring and Modelling Student Engagement in Online and Campus-based Higher Education The Hungarian in Australia: A portfolio of belongings Online Learning as Curricular Justice? A Critical Framework for Higher Education Peers helping peers: The effectiveness of a peer support program in enhancing self-concept and other desirable outcomes An evaluation of the dominant assumptions and practices of training packages in Australian Vocational Education and Training and the extent to which they coincide with the emergence of mode-2 society and its imputed education and training needs

14 2005 A Study of Successful Implementation and Management of Educational Technology in Three New South Wales Primary Schools Classical Instrumental Musicians: Educating for Sustainable Practice Teaching about teaching, learning about teaching: A self-study of my practice as a teacher educator Education for a just democracy: the role of ethical enquiry Mentoring, Women and the Construction of Academic Identities Glonacal' Contexts: Internationalisation Policy in the Australian Higher Education Sector and the Development of Pathway Programs The Social and Discursive Construction of Itinerant Farm Workers' Children as Literacy Learners Parent conceptions of their role in early childhood education and care: A phenomenographic study from Queensland Australia The structural and cultural dynamics of a multi-campus college: A case study inquiry of four multi-campus colleges in New South Wales

15 2005 Effect of Dual-Modality Instruction on Comprehending English as a Foreign Language: A Cognitive Load Approach Phonological processing and early reading acquisition: a longitudinal study Relations of Power and Competing Knowledges Within the Academy: Creative Writing as Research Silent Voices: A study of English teachers' responses to curriculum change Sense of Humour and teacher-student relationships in school-age children Improving Intellectual and Affective Quality in Mathematics Lessons: How Autonomy and Spontaneity Enable Creative and Insightful Thinking The contexts and purposes of school literacy pedagogy: 'Failing' in the early years

16 2006 A Study of Successful Implementation and Management of Educational Technology in Three New South Wales Primary Schools Classical Instrumental Musicians: Educating for Sustainable Practice Teaching about teaching, learning about teaching: A self-study of my practice as a teacher educator Education for a just democracy: the role of ethical enquiry The Hungarian in Australia: A portfolio of belongings Mentoring, Women and the Construction of Academic Identities

17 2006 Glonacal' Contexts: Internationalisation Policy in the Australian Higher Education Sector and the Development of Pathway Programs The Social and Discursive Construction of Itinerant Farm Workers' Children as Literacy Learners Parent conceptions of their role in early childhood education and care: A phenomenographic study from Queensland Australia The structural and cultural dynamics of a multi-campus college: A case study inquiry of four multi-campus colleges in New South Wales Effect of Dual-Modality Instruction on Comprehending English as a Foreign Language: A Cognitive Load Approach Phonological processing and early reading acquisition: a longitudinal study Relations of Power and Competing Knowledges Within the Academy: Creative Writing as Research

18 2006 Silent Voices: A study of English teachers' responses to curriculum change Sense of Humour and teacher-student relationships in school-age children Emagining change: English teachers and technology Improving Intellectual and Affective Quality in Mathematics Lessons: How Autonomy and Spontaneity Enable Creative and Insightful Thinking The contexts and purposes of school literacy pedagogy: 'Failing' in the early years

19 2007 The spatiality of English language teaching, gender and context Thirnda Ngurkarnda Ityrnda: Ontologies in Indigenous Tertiary Education Constructing Visual Literacy: An investigation into Upper Primary Teachers' Construction of Visual Literacy Teaching Contemporary Ways of Learning in Secondary Teacher Education: Towards a deeper understanding of teacher learning Delineating and Developing Expertise in Three-Dimensional Computer Aided Design Organisational Learning in a Food Value Chain Learning to be Kunwinjku: An Australian Indigenous Pedagogy Multiliteracies for academic purposes: A metafunctional exploration of intersemiosis and multimodality in university textbook and computer-based learning resources in science

20 2007 Going digital: The impact of ICTs on the identities and professional practices of teachers of English Enhancing Resilience for Children and Young people: Implications for Teacher Education Please knock before you enter: An investigation of how Rainforest Aboriginal people regulate outsiders and the implications for western research and researchers A Grounded Theory: Realising Family Potential through Choice of Schooling Multiliteracies: A Critical Ethnography. Pedagogy, power, discourse and access to multiliteracies The construction and practice of creativity policy in Singaporean education (1985-2004): A holistic discourse-oriented policy analysis

21 2007 Participation in School Leadership and Management (PSALM): Its Impact on the Creation of Better Philippine Public Secondary Schools Examination of a profile of the ideal lecturer for teaching international students The Principalship: A Study of Prescriptions, Practices and Perceptions within a Christian School Context (Re)searching shared meanings of identity: collaborations between teacher- researchers and children

22 2007 Demystification and Reconceptualisation of the Intricate Web of Metacognition Source of the Communicative Body Circus Acts: Performative subjectivities of women who teach drama The Experience of River Places in Outdoor Education: A Phenomenological Study The disabled culture of schooling: Becoming and being autistic

23 2008 Mothers and school choice: Effects on the home front The impact of a leadership training program on school-based management and school community action in Praya Barat Daya, Indonesia Teacher identities: professional experience as discursive practice A sociocultural perspective as a curriculum change in Health and Physical Education Psychopathic-like traits and aggression in suspended mainstream school children and adolescents Getting up close and textual: An interpretive study of feedback practice and social relations in doctoral supervision

24 2008 Young children’s learning in two rural communities in Tanzania Setting events and social interaction between preschool children with disabilities and regular peers Practice in context: teaching and learning about history and the past in secondary school classrooms Schooling attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders Identity, image and meaning beyond the classroom: Visual and performative communicative practice in a visual 21 st century. The experience of university academic staff in their use of information communications technology A study of the Geelong Local Learning and Employment Network

25 2008 Professionally developing teachers or teachers developing professionally. Inquiry-based professional learning of English Literature teachers: negotiating dialogic potential Learning approaches and outcomes in a first-year Biology topic Jumping through spinning hoops, chance or a carefully constructed learning journey The shifting sands of curriculum development: A case study of the development of the Years 1 to 10 The Arts Curriculum for Queensland schools The social and discursive construction of boys experience of their schooling.

26 2009 Doing school well Supportive online learning environments for primary students: Literature circles in an Education MOO Linguistics training in indigenous adult education and its effects on endangered languages Australian schools: social purposes, social justice and social cohesion Race matters in talk in inter-racial interaction Reading in the margins: EAP reading pedagogies and their critical, post critical potential Picturing currere towards cura: Rhizo-imaginary for curriculum Teachers’ literacy programming and context The Big-Fish-Little Pond Effect under the grill: tests of its universality, a search for moderators and the role of social comparison

27 2009 Global routes/rural roots: Identity, rural women and higher education Adolescent literacies for critical social and community engagement Finding social relevance: young people, wellbeing and regulated support Lost in translations: A socio-technical study of interactive videoconferencing at an Australian university. A theatre of the observed: A study of adolescent meaning making An investigation into my career chapter: A dialogical autobiography Disciplining the principal Towards inclusive standards The emergence of a dominant discourse associated with school programs: A study of CLaSS Our schools and their war: Victoria’s Education Department and the Great War 1914-18

28 AARE Thesis Award nominations by topic – 2004-2009 Topic200420052006200720082009Total Literacy/English/Reading1111111111111 111111111130 Sociology of Ed1111111111111111117 Psychology of Ed11111111 11 15 Higher Education111111111 114 School subjects1111111 110 Leadership111111111110 Teachers & teaching11111117 Indigenous education1111116 ICT111115 History of Ed1113 Curriculum theory1113 Adult Education112 International Ed112 Inclusive/Special Ed112 Philosophy and ethics112 Education Policy1112 Early Childhood Ed11 Other (research/ Hungarians)11 TOTAL3323182319

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30 References McWilliam, E. & Lee, A (2006 forthcoming) The Problem of ‘The Problem with Educational Research”, Australian Educational Researcher. Wagner, J. 1993, ‘Ignorance in Educational Research, or How can you not know that?’, Educational Researcher, Vol. 22, No. 5, pp. 15-23. Yates, L. (2004) What Does Good Education Research Look Like? Berkshire, Open University Press.


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