Issues in Educational Research, 3(1), 1993, 56-57.
Policy on research in government schools
Ministry of Education WA
During the 1970s and 1980s the central office of the Education Department
and later the Ministry of Education, took responsibility for approving
proposals for outside researchers to conduct research in government schools.
In recent years awareness of the importance of consultation and discussion
as bases for decision-making in schools has grown. This approach is consistent
with the process of devolution.
The Policy and Guidelines statement (next page) is intended to
reflect the changing responsibilities in the decision-making process concerning
research in government schools and is based on the following principles:
- The decision as to whether to participate in a research project should
lie with the individual school, except where there is a perceived system-wide
value to the Ministry;
- Schools should expect a research institution to have thoroughly vetted
each research proposal in terms of its adherence to appropriate ethical
standards and the professional competence of the researchers;
- Schools should consult with their decision-making groups and seek comment
from them where the content of the research relates to controversial issues;
- If research proposals involve a large number of schools, they should
be forwarded to the central office where officers with substantive responsibility
for the relevant area will determine whether participation is in the interests
of the Ministry as a whole.
Further information if required may by obtained from Corporate Management
on (09) 264 4582.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
8 October 1992
Policy on research in government schools
- Individual schools shall determine whether to participate in research
projects proposed by agencies outside the Ministry.
- Responsibility for the quality control of the research, with particular
regard to ethics and methodology, shall reside with the research institution
initiating the project.
- Where a researcher seeks the involvement of a large number of schools,
or where a State sample is required for a national study, the proposal
should be forwarded to the central office.
- Participation in surveys of teachers initiated outside the Ministry
should be a matter for the discretion of individual teachers.
- The health of students should not be put at risk as a consequence of
participation in a research project.
- Schools are encouraged to participate in educational research where
- Schools should require that researchers draw attention in their research
proposals to any controversial issues They should seek parent comment and
discuss these matters in their school decision-making groups before deciding
whether to participate.
- Where proposals for research which involve a number of schools are
forwarded to the central office, officers with substantive responsibility
or the relevant content area should determine whether participation is
in the interests of the Ministry Individual schools which are then approached
by the researcher retain the authority to decide whether to participate.
- Schools should require written evidence that research proposals have
been thoroughly vetted, with respect to ethics and methodology by the research
- Before agreeing to participate, schools should understand what they
are being asked to contribute in terms of time, personnel, students, space,
organisation, etc and what they will get in return.
- If the request for participation is from a non-tertiary or commercial
organisation, schools should be assured of the benefit to education of
the proposed research and the bona fides of the researcher(s) who will
carry out the work.
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