This summary has been prepared for a Research Symposium convened by the Board of Teacher Education in November 1987. Further analysis of the data will be carried out and a fuller report, including a report of the Symposium, will be prepared at a later date.
In August 1987, questionnaires were sent to all 546 full-time academic staff employed in university and college Schools and Departments with major responsibility for teacher education in Queensland (see Appendix 1). The questionnaire sought the following information from each respondent: position and institution and length of time teaching at the institution and in the current position, background in research, supervision of student research, views on the extent to which the institution promotes research, views on a number of general matters relating to research, and views as to the three topics within teacher education having the highest priority for research over the next few years. In addition, respondents who had undertaken research since the beginning of 1986 were asked for information on: time spent on research, nature of research worked on since the start of 1986, extent and sources of research funding, and outcomes of this research. Both objective-response and open-ended questions were used and space was available for respondents to make any further comments they wished.
About a quarter of respondents had been in their current positions for up to two years. Half had been in the position for up to six years.
A greater proportion of college of advanced education respondents than university respondents had been in their positions a very short time (one year or less) or a very long time (more than fifteen years).
Respondents were distributed among institutions as follows: 63 per cent from Brisbane College of Advanced Education (Kelvin Grove Campus - 32 per cent, Mount Gravatt Campus - 20 per cent, Carseldine Campus - 12 per cent); 12 per cent from James Cook University; 10 per cent from the University of Queensland (Department of Education - 8 per cent, Department of Human Movement Studies - 2 per cent); 6 per cent from Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education; 5 per cent from McAuley College; and 4 per cent from Capricornia Institute of Advanced Education.
Respondents had been at their institutions for periods ranging from less than one year up to thirty-one years. Twenty per cent had been in their institutions for up to three years, and 46 per cent for up to ten years.
Sixty-nine per cent of respondents reported they had at least one Masters degree. About a third of respondents (63 per cent of university respondents and 26 per cent of college of advanced education respondents) indicated they had a doctoral degree.
Twenty-nine per cent of respondents (39 per cent of university respondents and 26 per cent of college of advanced education respondents) indicated that they had obtained at least one degree solely by research. Seventy per cent had obtained at least one degree by a combination of coursework and research.
The level of involvement most commonly listed was "team member" or "joint researcher". The next most common were "project director", "sole researcher" and "research assistant".
The majority of projects supervised by respondents were at the postgraduate level.
The major ways institutions promote research, according to respondents' perceptions are:
There were some differences between university and college of advanced education respondents on these items. College of advanced education people were proportionately much more likely than university people to disagree or strongly disagree that research was an important expectation in their job. College of advanced education respondents were more likely to agree that it would be useful to have more opportunities to attend workshops on research. University respondents were more likely to disagree or strongly disagree that avenues for dissemination of research findings were inadequate.
About 45 per cent of the topics were directly in the teacher education area. Of these, a little over one-fifth were concerned with the school experience component of pre-service courses. Other popular areas were: pre-service teacher education in general, selection to teacher education course, teacher development in general, content of pre-service courses, student teacher characteristics, and teacher induction (see Table 3 in Appendix 11).
Of the college researchers, 61 per cent had spent less than 10 per cent of their professional working time on research. When combined with the college respondents not doing research, this result shows that only 17 per cent of the total college respondents were engaged in research for more than 10 per cent of their time. On the other hand, about two-thirds of university researchers had spent more than 20 per cent of their working time on research.
The great majority of researchers, both college of advanced education and university, said they would like to spend more time on research. The remainder were satisfied with the amount of time they currently spent on this.
In explaining why they wanted to spend more time on research, many people gave reasons why they did not currently spend more time: 39 per cent of those giving explanations said the fact that other tasks (particularly teaching and administration) at present took up all or most of their available time, or left only fragmented time for research. About 20 per cent of those explaining why they wanted to spend more time or the same amount of time on research said that teaching and research interacted so both were important.
More than 12 per cent of the projects were not directly in Education, although about half of these were in areas related to Education (e.g. psychology, ideology, social attitudes).
A wide spectrum of areas within Education were covered. A relatively large proportion of projects were in the Educational Psychology and Child Development area. As far as school curriculum areas are concerned, those most studied were Literacy/Reading/Writing/English, Maths/Numeracy, and Social Studies. About 12 per cent of projects were directly on teacher education - mostly on the pre-service stage, but also on inservice and induction (see Table 3 in Appendix II).
The types of research methodology most often listed were case study or ethnographic method, and survey (30 per cent and 27 per cent of responses respectively). Used about half as often each were reflective or critical methods and experimental or quasi-experimental methods. Other approaches to research (e.g. action research and historical research) were used less often.
Respondents were most often undertaking these projects as sole researchers. For smaller, but still large, proportions of projects, respondents were involved as joint researchers or as the principal researcher or project director. A smaller proportion of projects were being undertaken by teams of researchers.
Easily the most common single reason was "personal interest" (recorded as a reason for about 70 per cent of projects). Other popular reasons were: arose from teaching interests or other professional practice, suggested by professional reading, arose from professional practice needs, and arose from discussion with colleagues in School/Department/Institution (32 per cent to 45 per cent of projects each). The least common of the listed reasons were requests from the institution or a school.
Of projects reported to have received external funding, 24 per cent had received less than $1,000, 39 per cent had received amounts between $1,000 and $5,000, 13 per cent had received $5,000-$10,000, 8 per cent had received $10,000-$20,000, 5 per cent had received $20,000-$30,000 and 9 per cent had received more than $30,000.
About half of those answering said that the scope of projects or activities had been restricted by a lack of funds. When asked to what extent each project's scope had been restricted by lack of funds, these people reported that this was "to a great extent" for 25 per cent of the 185 activities reported upon in this question.
Audiences other than those specified were reported to have been used for forty-three projects. These other audiences included other academics, conference participants, and certain groups within the Department of Education.
From this it appears that research results are widely disseminated.
Results for 171 projects (representing 72 per cent of the projects for which respondents had been sole or principal researchers) had been disseminated locally. Sore 42 per cent of projects had received Statewide distribution, 70 per cent national and 50 per cent international distribution.
The outcomes with the highest proportion of responses in the "satisfactorily achieved" and "in progress" categories were "improvement to the respondent's own teaching" and "addition to the research literature". The least common outcome was "contribution to policy within the institution".
|NOT AT ALL|
|TO A |
|(i)||Provision of funds and equipment to undertake research||42||43||9||6|
|(ii)||Provision of support staff to assist in research||65||24||5||6|
|(iii)||Provision of study leave||20||54||20||6|
|(iv)||Use of background in research as a criterion for appointment||17||51||22||10|
|(v)||Use of research as a criterion in promotion||15||48||29||8|
|(vi)||Association of a research company with the institution||71||13||4||12|
|(vii)||Establishment of research consultancies within the institution||41||43||5||11|
|(viii)||Provision of postgraduate research programs||53||24||13||10|
|(ix)||Publication of an institutional research report||34||43||13||10|
|(x)||Provision of information about research in the annual report||17||53||21||10|
|(xi)||Holding of seminars about research methodology||57||28||8||7|
|(xii)||Holding of seminars to present research results||45||35||13||7|
|(xiii)||Allowance for research time in the allocation of teaching loads||66||19||7||8|
|(xiv)||Other (please specify)||4||3||<1||92|
|NOT AT ALL|
|TO A |
|(i)||Provision of funds and equipment to undertake research||53||2||38||59||1||37||8||2|
|(ii)||Provision of support staff to assist in research||74||29||18||45||0||22||8||4|
|(iii)||Provision of study leave||25||1||59||34||8||61||8||4|
|(iv)||Use of background in research as a criterion for appointment||21||1||60||21||8||71||11||7|
|(v)||Use of research as a criterion in promotion||19||-||59||9||13||86||9||5|
|(vi)||Association of research company with the institution||77||46||9||28||1||14||13||12|
|(vii)||Establishment of research consultancies within the institution||46||24||40||53||3||13||11||11|
|(viii)||Provision of postgraduate research programs||67||4||20||38||2||53||11||6|
|(ix)||Publication of an institutional research report||40||14||42||44||6||35||12||7|
|(x)||Provision of information about research in the annual report||19||7||57||37||12||53||11||4|
|(xi)||Holding of seminars about research methodology||68||18||22||47||1||31||8||5|
|(xii)||Holding of seminars to present research results||57||2||33||41||2||52||8||5|
|(xiii)||Allowance for research time in the allocation of teaching loads||80||17||12||48||1||29||8||6|
|(i)||Research is an important expectation in my job||13||1||17||26||21||4|
|(ii)||In my job, what research I do is determined by others||41||36||11||6||2||4|
|(iii)||I need resources, other than time, to undertake research||4||8||7||45||33||3|
|(iv)||I would undertake more research if I could be released from other duties||3||4||8||34||48||3|
|(v)||My research does or would benefit from my working as a member of a team (2 or more people)||4||8||22||44||19||3|
|(vi)||It would be useful to have more opportunities to attend workshops on research topics||3||6||12||53||23||3|
|(vii)||I would welcome regular information on sources of funding for research||2||3||8||49||34||4|
|(viii)||I would welcome the setting up of an information exchange or clearing house for research in progress in other institutions in Queensland||2||1||8||50||36||3|
|(ix)||I would be prepared to contribute information on research in progress to a central clearing house||1||2||11||48||34||4|
|(x)||Avenues for dissemination or publication of my research findings are inadequate||11||30||30||16||7||6|
|(xi)||I would welcome the opportunity to contribute to research as part of an inter-institutional team||3||5||26||43||18||5|
|(i)||Research is on important expectation in my job||16||1||23||2||20||5||28||20||8||69||5||2|
|(ii)||In my job, what research I do is determined by others||41||41||35||37||11||11||6||7||2||1||5||4|
|(iii)||I need resources, other than time, to undertake research||4||2||8||7||7||7||46||42||32||40||4||1|
|(iv)||I would undertake more research if I could be released from other duties.||3||2||4||5||9||4||34||34||47||54||3||1|
|(v)||My research does or would benefit from my working as a member of a team (2 or more people)||3||6||9||2||21||25||45||41||18||24||4||2|
|(vi)||It would be useful to have more opportunities to attend workshops on research topics||3||4||4||12||11||18||56||40||23||24||3||4|
|(vii)||I would welcome regular information on sources of funding for research||2||2||3||6||8||7||51||44||33||35||3||6|
|(viii)||I would welcome the setting up of an information exchange or clearing house for research in progress in other institutions in Queensland||1||1||1||1||9||7||49||52||36||37||3||2|
|(ix)||I would be prepared to contribute information on research in progress to a central clearing house||1||1||2||1||13||7||49||44||31||45||5||2|
|(x)||Avenues for dissemination or publication of my research findings are inadequate||9||17||29||35||33||20||17||15||6||8||7||5|
|(xi)||I would welcome the opportunity to contribute to research as part of an inter-institutional team||3||4||6||2||25||29||44||39||17||24||6||2|
|AREA||NO. OF CURRENT/|
|NO. OF FUTURE|
|Particular population or level|
|Early childhood/preschool/child care||9||2|
|Other population level||13||3|
|School curriculum or content areas|
|Social studies (History/ Geography/ Peace Education/ Developmental Education/Economics)||11||4|
|Arts (Music, Theatre, etc.)||7||12|
|Foreign languages/ second languages||1||2|
|Technology/ Information Technology/ Computers||7||19|
|Life Skill Education||-||1|
|Health and Physical Education||7||9|
|Discipline areas within education|
|Educational Psychology/Child Development||19||34|
|Philosophy of Education||5||6|
|History of Education||2||-|
|Sociology of Education and Politics of Education||10||15|
|Economics and Education||-||2|
|Educational Administration, Leadership||8||10|
|Policy Studies, Planning||2||3|
|Measurement and Evaluation (inc. assessment of pupils)||10||12|
|Other disciplines or audiences||-||2|
|Teacher education (non-specific/general)||1||78|
|Pre-service teacher education (non-specific/ other)||3||35|
|School/field experience - school-based teacher education||10||79|
|Models - structure and length||-||10|
|Content of pre-service||2||20|
|Selection to teacher education||3||37|
|Assessment in teacher education||-||1|
|Theory/practice dichotomy or link in teacher education||-||12|
|Theory of education in teacher education||-||5|
|College component of pre-service courses||-||2|
|Student teacher characteristics/attitudes||12||13|
|Student teacher stress||5||3|
|In-service teacher education/ professional development||9||12|
|Effectiveness of in-service teacher education/ professional development||2||6|
|Particular area of professional growth/development||1||4|
|In-service - run by institutions||-||2|
|Recurrent teacher education||-||2|
|In-service evaluation of particular programs||1||-|
|School-based in-service education||1||1|
|In-service - in touch with reality?||-||1|
|Teacher development in general (e.g. relationship between pre-service, induction, in-service)||3||42|
|Role of educational theory in teacher development||-||2|
|Study of professional ethics||-||1|
|Teacher education - politics and||-||2|
|Teacher education - society and||-||2|
|Miscellaneous teaching/education areas|
|Teaching (non-specific/other)/ Education/Learning||12||85|
|Teachers - thinking of||13||50|
|Selection to teaching position||-||1|
|Teaching strategies/classroom management||2||11|
|Education and the law||-||1|
|Educational environment (architecture, furniture)||-||1|
|Education and technology||-||11|
|Other area not in education but related to it (e.g. psychology, social attitudes, ideology)||22||8|
|Not in education or even related to it (e.g. Foreign Affairs)||26||6|
|Please cite as: Cunningham, D. (1988). Research by teacher educators in Queensland higher education institutions. Queensland Researcher, 4(1), 23-42. http://www.iier.org.au/qjer/qr4/cunningham.html|