10 SES 10 C, Giving Voice to Teacher Educators
The 2016 ECER conference engages with the question of how education researchers might meet their professional responsibilities to the public interest and to their professions given that they/we are increasingly working in a policy climate determined to establish ‘what works’, rather than one that privileges rigour, public commitment to education, and debate. The politics of by whom and how best education research should be led and conducted are in question. In our study of university based initial teacher education (UBITE) in Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ) the question of research as a component of the work of teacher educators (TEs) has arisen as a controversial site of systemic intervention and debate. We plan to engage with delegates regarding our study’s findings as we contribute to the remit established for ECER 2016.
Straddling policy environments of higher education and initial teacher education (ITE), UBITE plays out in related but distinct activity systems. In NZ it is subject for instance to dual programme approval by the Education Council (NZ’s professional teaching body, ECNZ) and the Universities’ NZ Committee on University Academic Programmes (CUAP). In order for ITE programmes to be approved by ECNZ they must be staffed by research active TEs some of whom can undertake the work of visiting, mentoring, and assessing ITE students within professional settings (ECNZ, 2015). To do this, TEs themselves must be registered and hold a current practising certificate – which presumes they hold a teaching qualification. CUAP approved university programmes are required to be delivered within institutions where research facilities and support are adequate, the level of research activity of staff involved in the programme is satisfactory, and where research informed teaching occurs (Universities NZ, 2015). Furthermore, NZ universities have not been immune from the institutional shaping that research quality evaluations have caused internationally (Middleton, 2009). In NZs case, such metrics have come with additional pressures on individuals; the system (the Performance Based Research Fund), measures the research quality of individuals rather than university departments (Smart, 2013). We argue elsewhere (Gunn et al., 2015) that this competitive and high-stakes environment has substantially shaped the construction, by universities, of the work of TEs and holds negative consequences for teacher education. This paper examines the place of educational research in the mix of TEs work to ask: to what extent are the rules and objects of the activity system of UBITE contributing to aspirations for research-informed, publically minded, and rigorous research practice?
We show how institutional intervention over the work-object of research effects TEs ability to conduct scholarship in the public and professional interests of education. We discuss a double-bind within UBITE brought about as NZ universities, like others around the world, respond to intersecting policy demands of initial teacher education and higher education (including funding regimes). We note the high value placed on educational research but also that only some TEs are supported to research and have their research work recognised by institutional metrics. We argue that this is a major obstacle to the development of teacher education and potential ability of UBITE to inform the profession. Furthermore, the situation undermines TEs’ abilities to address their professional responsibilities to the public interest and wider worlds of schooling and early childhood education.
Education Council New Zealand. (2015). Approval, Review and Monitoring Processes for Initial Teacher Education Programmes. Wellington: Author Ellis, V., A. Blake, J., McNicholl, & J. McNally. (2011). The Work of Teacher Education, Final Research Report. WOTE Phase 2. Oxford: Department of Education, University of Oxford. Ellis, V., McNicholl, J., & Pendry, A. (2012). Institutional conceptualisations of teacher education as academic work in England. Teaching and Teacher Education, 28(5), 685–693. doi: 10.1016/j.tate.2012.02.004 Engeström, Y. (2013). Foreword: Formative Interventions for Expansive Learning. In, J. Virkkunen & D. S. Newnham, The Change Laboratory. A tool for collaborative development of work and education. (pp.xv-xviii), Rotterdam: sense Publishers Gunn, A. C., Berg, D., Hill, M. F., & Haigh, M. (2015). Constructing the academic category of teacher educator in universities’ recruitment processes in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Journal of Education for Teaching, 41(3), 307-320. Hill, M. and M. Haigh. 2012. “Creating a Culture of Research in Teacher Education: Learning Research within Communities of Practice.” Studies in Higher Education, 37 (8): 971-988. Middleton, S. (2009). Becoming PBRF-able: research assessment and education in New Zealand. In: Besley, T., (ed.) Assessing the Quality of Educational Research in Higher Education: International Perspectives, pp. 193–208. Rotterdam: Sense. Nuttall, J., M. Brennan, L. Zipin, K. Tuinamuana, and L. Cameron. (2013). ‘Lost in Production: The Erasure of the TE in Australian University Job Advertisements.’ Journal of Education for Teaching: International Research and Pedagogy 39 (3): 329–343. doi: 10.1080/02607476.2013.799849 Smart, W. (2013). In Pursuit of Excellence: Analysing the Results of New Zealand’s PBRF Quality Evaluations. Wellington: Ministry of Education. Universities New Zealand – Te Pōkai Tara, (2015). Committee on University Academic Programmes (CUAP) Handbook 2015. Wellington: Author.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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