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Influencing the research and policy agenda in geography education Graham Butt University of Birmingham GTE Conference University of London 27-29 January.

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Presentation on theme: "Influencing the research and policy agenda in geography education Graham Butt University of Birmingham GTE Conference University of London 27-29 January."— Presentation transcript:

1 Influencing the research and policy agenda in geography education Graham Butt University of Birmingham GTE Conference University of London January 2007

2 A starting point…? 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.

3 Geography attracts only limited research money, often for smaller scale, practitioner- based, research - which the government largely sees as a means of providing professional development for teachers. Such research may be of high quality, but usually lacks significant impact.

4 ESRC – Teaching and Learning Research Programme (TLRP) How does a large scale research organisation in education views its programme of research? 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

5 Furlong and Oancea (2005) Over the last 20 years there has been a growing recognition of the need for tighter links between research, practice and policy. There is increasing recognition of the legitimacy of the policy-oriented quest for answers, and the need for research to contribute to solutions; as a result the idea of evidence-informed policy and practice has rapidly gained support and is coming to shape research agendas throughout the country (p.6)

6 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

7 A way forward? to create a clear group identity, recognisable to others in education and policy circles to discuss targeting/bidding for research money from government (etc) to further research in geography education to form sub groupings that might target writing/research on particular issues in geography education to discuss research and publication strategies to read/comment on the research ideas/papers of others in the group to target particular conferences, meetings, funding opportunities, etc with our publications to become a first port of call for government/policy makers on matters related to geography education

8 Discussion: Would it be valuable to form a group of research active geography educationists with an interest in policy making/shaping? What should its aims be? What should its organisational procedures be? How should its membership be determined? What should it target first? In what ways?


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