Presentation on theme: "How should we determine quality in research in geography education? Graham Butt University of Birmingham."— Presentation transcript:
How should we determine quality in research in geography education? Graham Butt University of Birmingham
Introduction Criticisms of quality and relevance of UK educational research since late 1990s. Whitty (2005) claims educational research ‘lacks rigour and culmination’, contains ‘theoretical incoherence and ideological bias’, ‘irrelevant’, ‘weak user engagement with findings’, ‘poor dissemination’, ‘inaccessibility’, ‘low value for money’. Furlong and Oancea (2005) ‘a perception of poor quality remains prevalent in government circles’.
Measures of quality in research in geography education. Naish (1993) – six papers in IRGEE on the quality of research in geography and environmental education. ‘Never mind the quality – feel the width!’ Little relevance to teachers – ‘research tells them what they already know’(p.64) Small scale, under-funded, driven by particular interests, invalid, unreliable, non- generalisable. Range of quality questions.
McElroy (1993) State the research problem clearly Explain and justify the study approach Locate the investigation (within a current body of knowledge/paradigm) Plainly portray the context in which the research is set Report and justify the research design, methodology, instruments and means of analysis State its limitations Acknowledge the amount and kind of researcher involvement Concede the interests that are inherent in the study Show how ethical considerations were handled
Purnell (1993) Succinct writing style, appropriate language (gender inclusive, non-racist), abstract, how research was carried out, major recommendations/findings, review of related literature, discussion, conclusions, suggestions for future research. Schrettenbrunner (1993), Clary (1993), Benejam (1993), Boardman(1993) –broad agreement, with minor philosophical or methodological variations.
Broader conceptions of research quality How do large scale research organisations view quality? TLRP: still methodological and theoretical, but also: i. user engagement ii. knowledge generation by project teams iii. knowledge synthesis through thematic activities iv. knowledge transformation for impact v. capacity building for professional development vi. partnership for sustainability
Furlong and Oancea (2005) Epistemic – traditional theoretical and methodological robustness Technological – provision of facts, evidence, new ideas Capacity building and value for people – collaboration and partnership Economic – value for money, marketability and competitiveness
Conclusions shift from ‘pure’ research to ‘what works’ ‘new social contract’ for research, ‘marketisation’ challenging circumstances for researchers in geography education – time; resources; nature of research funding to institutions (RAE); lack of professional infrastructures for knowledge creation, transformation and dissemination; co-ordination of effort. Pollard (2005) ‘whilst diversity may contribute to innovation, the potential for duplication of effort, waste of resource and confusion is also considerable’