The Western Australian Institute for Educational Research (WAIER) is a voluntary, non-profit-making organisation. It is also the regional arm of the internationally known Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). It has been established by interested staff members of various Western Australian educational institutions to promote public awareness of philosophical, ideological, curriculum, policy, administration and pedagogical issues in education. Its activities include public debates, seminars and an annual forum which facilitates the dissemination of educational research and provides support for graduate students. The 1990 forum Presentation Abstracts have been included at the end of this issue as a record of the diverse interests of its participants.
Issues In Educational Research (IIER) was originally published under the same name as a series to register special features of WAIER activities. As the demand on documented information from WAIER increased throughout the years, it was felt that there was a need to change its format to a journal. "In the absence of good research", as Professor Gordon Stanley commented in his Opening address of the 1990 WAIER Forum, "opinion and superstition prevail". This remark sets the scene for educational researchers to confront the broad spectrum of educational problems in the face of rapid social, technological and economic change.
This issue of IIER addresses problems relating to education in a variety of ways. John Hall, in his Being Methodical in Educational Research, questions the assumptions of objectivity and technique in educational research. He argues that "being methodical" also entails commonsense interpretive work, and that we as researchers would do well not to forget our cultural roots.
By the same token, to foster understanding among educators and recipients of education, the younger ones in particular, and to advance the importance of the uniqueness of the individuals, traditional didactic instructions may have to be supplemented or even supplanted by alternative means. The "category system" proposed by Len King, Collette Tayler and Carmel Maloney in their Small Group Cooperative Learning to capture the force of group dynamics, presents a challenge to education researchers.
Greater understanding of research and teaching methods may help educators better cope with change to a certain extent. But as Clare McBeath points out in her Research into Curriculum Dissemination in TAFE, a lack of understanding of the process of curriculum dissemination by teachers will result in undesirable consequences at the implementation stage. Implicitly McBeath's pilot study further exposes one of the side effects of teaching - frustration.
Teacher stress has recently become a common concern in the educational community. Elizabeth Tuettemann's study of it in secondary schools in her Teaching: Stress and Satisfaction bears witness to this dimension upon which the quality of education may hinge. The picture she has painted looks somewhat grey but, as Professor Stanley observes, we are "dealing with a complex multidimensional analysis problem." Indeed, as Tuettemann further indicates, teachers do have their moments of teaching satisfaction.
The contributions to this issue exemplify the diversity and range of educational research and help to dispel in part "opinion and superstition," by suggesting useful directions based on sound research practices. On behalf of WAIER, I invite you to make your voice heard through its functions and its official publication, IIER, and to bring educational research to fruition.
Curtin University of Technology
The views and styles expressed in the articles in this publication are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily shared by the editor or members of the editorial advisory board.
Copyright © 1991 WAIER
Published by the Western Australian Institute for Educational Research (WAIER), Perth, Western Australia. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior written permission from WAIER. Printed (1991) by G.P. Print, North Beach, Western Australia.
|Please cite as: Chiang, L. (1991). Editorial. Issues In Educational Research, 1(1), iii. |
© 1991 Issues in Educational Research
Last revision: 10 Aug 2001. URL: http://education.curtin.edu.au/iier/iier1/editorial.html
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