23 SES 05 C, Dominant Discourses and Higher Education Reforms
Education in Sweden (and elsewhere) is expected to build on research ground and the link between teaching and research is supposed to be strong. Concerning higher education this is an old stance. A research-based education is supposed to bring quality to education and be of value for students’ critical and reflective ability (cf. Barnett, 1995, s 28)
A close relationship between research and education is statutory in several parts of the world, extensive research show however insignificant relation (VA-rapport 2004:2; Carlström Hagman, 2005; Robertson, 2007). There are studies that result in a conclusion of a zero or even negative relationship, which also means that universities with considerable research not naturally, has a coupling to educational quality and research-base in education. (Neff, 1990; Ramsden & Moses 1992; Hattie & Marsch 1996; Jenkins 2000; Hattie & Marsch 2004) In a literature review from 2007 encompassing empirical studies in the field of research and teaching nexus the research is meager, analysis are diverse and research about student learning questionable (Verburgh, Elen & Lindblom-Ylänne, 2007). Worldwide studies have been performed and critique has been raised against insufficient research-based education. For at least fifteen years there has been a huge debate and ditto efforts to develop a high quality teacher education in for example Austria, Germany, Ireland, Spain and UK. The same is true for outside Europe; Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and USA (see, e.g. Jenkins, Breen & Lindsay, 2003; Jenkins & Healey, 2005; Healey, 2005; Toom, Kynäslahti, Krokfors, Jyrhämä, Byman, Stenberg, Maaranen & Kansanen, 2010). Lately there seem to have been some changes for the better in teacher education in Sweden according to a study by Wahlström & Alvunger (2015). Literature in courses is estimated research-based and the students’ a priori perceptions are challenged, but the picture given by Lindberg (2003) in his thesis of a straggly, week unified base is at the same time confirmed.
Albeit nearby forty years of reforms in Sweden teacher education still is questioned on this matter. How is this prolonged problem to be understood? A point of departure in this project was an examination of reports published by the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education 1995-2012. This was done a couple of years before 2013 when the Swedish National Agency of Higher Education was transformed into the Swedish Higher Education Authority. I search for reports, series, evaluations and likewise in which the terms research-linked and/or research-based (in Swedish: forskninganknytning and forskningsbaserad) was defined, described or at all used. In this pre-study I looked into every report where the term research-linked or research-based was used according to the search system.
The result tell us that without exception it is taken for granted what it stands for, generally mentioned in connection with that
-the concept is related to studies, quality and knowledge in higher education and
universities, and demands
-the concept is related to teacher’s competence, their research time and active
-the concept is related to questions about the theory and practice nexus
In evaluation studies the most frequent critique is about lack of research-connected or research-based education related to the ambition to educate towards creative and critical competencies as student abilities. Given this rhetorically interesting result the review otherwise hardly highlighted the concepts looked for. An extensive research design was outlined as the next step trying to find some clues to “the prolonged problem”. The main project consists of first a review of what is published in Sweden since early 1970s. Secondly research published in European context has undergone a bibliometric study.
Ball, S.J. (2003). The Teacher’ s Soul and the Terrors of Performativity. Journal of Education Policy 18(2), 215-228. Barnett, R. (ed.) (2005). Reshaping the University. New Relationships between Research, Scholarship and Teaching. London: SRHE Open University Press. Beach, B and Bagley, C. 2013. Changing professional discourse in teacher education policy back towards a training paradigm: a comparative study. European Journal of Teacher Education 36 (4): 379-392. Brew, A. (2010) Imperatives and challenges in integrating teaching and research. Higher Education Research & Development 29(2), 139-150. Cochran-Smith, Marilyn & Zeichner, Kenneth M. (red.) (2005). Studying teacher education: the report of the AERA panel on research and teacher education. Mahwah, N. J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Emmons, M., Keefe, E.B., Moore, M., Sánchez, R.M., Mals, M. & Neely, T.Y. (2009) Teaching Feldon 2011. Information Literacy Skills to Prepare Teachers Who Can Bridge the Research-to-Practice Gap. Reference & User Services Quaterly 49(2), 140-150. Erixon Arreman, I. (2008) The Process of Finding a Shape: stabilising new research structures in Swedish teacher education, 2000-2007. European Educational Research Journal 7(2), 157-175. Gibbs, G. (2002) Institutional strategies for linking research and teaching. Exchange 3, 8-11. Hattie, J. & Marsch, H.W. (2004) One journey to unravel the relationship between research and teaching. Paper presented at Marwell Conference Centre, Colden Common, Winchester, Hampshire 18-19 March 2004. Theme: “Research and Teaching: Closing the Divide? An International Colloquium”. Jenkins, Alan & Mick Healey (2005). Institutional strategies to link teaching and research, The Higher Education Academy. http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/documents/research/Institutional_strategies.pdf Kinchin, I. M. & Hay, D.B. (2007). The myth of the research-led teacher. Teachers & Teaching 13(1), p43-61. Neff, R.H. (1990) Research-based findings seldom incorporated in teacher in-service education. Journal of Instructional Psychology 17(1), 46-52. Robertson, J., (2007) Beyond the ’research/teaching nexus’: exploring the complexity of academic experience. Studies in Higher Education 32(5), 541-556. Schleicher, Andreas (red.) (2012). Preparing teachers and developing school leaders for the 21st century: lessons from around the world. Paris: OECD Timperley, H. (2011). Realizing the power of professional learning. Open University press. Toom, A., Kynäslahti, H., Krokfors, L., Jyrhämä, R., Byman, R., Stenberg, K., Maaranen, K. & Kansanen, P. (2010). Experiences of a Research-based Approach to Teacher Education: Suggestions for future policies 45(2), 331-344 Zgaga, P.2015, Rethinking Teacher Education in Europe and beyond. Editorial introduction. Education Inquiry 6 (3), 231-239
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