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ERIC Number: EJ795059
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 16
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-1474-9041
The Infrastructure of Educational Research in Scotland
Humes, Walter
European Educational Research Journal, v6 n1 p71-86 2007
This article offers a descriptive and analytical account of the current state of educational research in Scotland, viewed against the background of constitutional change within the United Kingdom and debates about the nature, function and quality of research activity and output. It starts by considering how to undertake the task in hand and argues that it is necessary to draw on a combination of institutional, developmental and interactive approaches. Thereafter the relatively disappointing Scottish results in the 2001 UK Research Assessment Exercise are reported to set the scene for subsequent efforts to improve research capacity. The role of the Scottish Executive in determining research priorities, commissioning projects and using the findings of research in helping to inform policy is outlined, taking account of important structural changes following devolution. A key development has been the Applied Educational Research Scheme (AERS), a collaborative university-led initiative, funded jointly by the Scottish Executive and the Scottish Funding Council (previously the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council). This consists both of substantive research networks and a capacity-building programme of research training for beginning and developing researchers. Established research centres, with different histories and emphases, are described in order to raise issues about the balance between applied research, linked to policy priorities, and fundamental research which seeks to develop new theories and models. The role of the Scottish Educational Research Association, which has links with the British and European Educational Research Associations, is considered. Various attempts by different bodies to promote teacher engagement in research are also described. In the final section an attempt is made to assess what progress has been made. It is concluded that while the overall climate for the conduct of educational research has improved, providing real opportunities to demonstrate the value of research, there remain a number of challenging problems. These include: issues of research quality; inadequate opportunity to undertake fundamental (as distinct from applied) research; tensions between the demands of teacher education programmes and universities' research aspirations; the risk of "collaboration" becoming "consensus"; and the absence of a developed international perspective. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom; United Kingdom (Scotland)