26 SES 08 B, Complexity, Entrepreneurship And The Use Of Research For Educational Leaders
The purpose of this study is to reveal reasons for lack of coordination between researchers and practitioners, and the problems that are thought to be caused by this deficiency. In accordance with this general purpose, it has been questioned whether the knowledge produced in the field of educational administration responds to the needs of practitioners. People use different sources of information to solve the problems they encounter and conduct research to obtain knowledge. In this context, educational research provides a scientific view to practitioners in identifying problems and making professional decisions (Armağan & Yıldırım, 2015; McMillan & Schumacher, 2006). However, the contribution of scientific research to the knowledge base in the field of educational sciences has been discussed for a while with many research (Karadağ, 2009; Ogawa, Goldring, & Conley, 2000; Oplatka, 2012; Turan, Bektaş, Yalçın, & Erdoğan, 2016). It is indicated that the research conducted does not go beyond the routine practices of academicians, not address to real problems, and not respond to the needs and interests of practitioners in the field. Therefore, students, teachers, parents or school administrators often act as reluctant objects while participating in research. Mullen, Greenlee and Bruner (2005) also emphasizes that postgraduate programs have been criticized for being theoretical, and failing to provide practical information to help today's school leaders solve their problems. This disconnection between researchers and practitioners, and therefore theory and practice, causes educational faculties and schools to work as institutions unaware of each other, and the ongoing problems remain unresolved. It also leads to communication problems between practitioners and researchers, raises the debates on duality, sustainability and disconnection from practice. On one hand, researchers who focus on academic advancement might be alienated from practitioners' direct needs, key concepts, theories or models, and pursue an effort to produce information in a way that they can easily come to an end. On the other hand, practitioners might prefer to stay away from research that does not work in practice. As a result, the gap between researchers and practitioners, as well as theory and practice are getting wider. The mismatch between expectations and the implications leads to practical problems in the application of theories, concepts or models, while threatening the sustainability and functionality of educational policies. Therefore, it is important to close the gap between research and practice in order to produce realistic solutions to the problems in the education system. However, it is only possible with cooperation between researchers and practitioners rather than a unilateral effort. In conclusion, this study will contribute to the quality of knowledge base in the field of educational administration, and gain an understanding about the gap between researchers and practitioners’ needs and interests.
In this study, qualitative research design is used. Qualitative research design aims to develop insights on how people make sense of their lives, to understand the functioning of these meaningful processes and to describe how people interpret their life experiences. The data are obtained through focus group interviews. The participants of this study consist of 15 school administrators, teachers, and district direct of national education who continue their master’s degree in the field of educational administration. The maximum variation sampling is used to select participants. In order to provide diversity, different school types (public and private) and levels (primary and secondary) are selected. The data obtained is analysed by using inductive qualitative content analysis. An inductive approach has been adopted since the themes and categories are obtained by interacting with each other. Code, category and theme hierarchy has been established. After the development of codes, creation of themes from the codes and organisation of the themes into larger units, interpretation process has begun.
According to findings obtained from this study focusing on the question whether there is a lack of coordination between researchers and practitioners, it is concluded that there is a gap between researchers and practitioners in the field of educational administration. In order words, the research conducted by academicians does not respond to the needs and problems of teachers and school administrators as practitioners in schools. The reasons for this gap are emphasized as the centralized structure and lack of autonomy, pride and prejudice, the gap between theory and practice, and the research conducted with academic anxiety and not address to real problems of practitioners. Lack of autonomy and centralized structure of the system hinder the efforts of practitioners to close this gap. Practitioners could not go beyond the legislation. Therefore, it is indicated that school administrators have so much responsibility but lack of autonomy to solve the problems or make decisions. Another remarkable finding for this study is the quality of knowledge base in the field of educational administration. The participants define themselves as a ship captain who is only allowed to keep the helm, indicate that publications and research reflect the ideal situations rather than reality. Therefore, they do not provide solutions to the problems and practical benefit for schools. As a result, being the objects of research or giving formal permission to research conducted by academicians cause participants to feel abused. These reasons enable the gap to widen. Therefore, in order to solve the problems caused by the gap between these two structures which are vital for the desired improvements in educational processes is increasing day by day. In conclusion, the coordinated processes in which both researchers and practitioners involve must be employed as soon as possible to improve the quality of educational research.
Armağan Y. ve Yıldırım N. (2015). Okul yönetiminde araştırm-uygulama sorunu: Okul müdürleri ve eğitim araştırmaları. Eğitimde Politika Analizi Dergisi, 4(1), 33-60. McMillan, J., & Schumacher, S. (2006). Research in education. 6th. Karadağ, E. (2009). Eğitim bilimleri alanında yapılmış doktora tezlerinin tematik açıdan incelenmesi. Ahi Evran Üniversitesi Kırşehir Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 10(3). Ogawa, R. T., Goldring, E. B., & Conley, S. (2000). Organizing the field to improve research on educational administration. Educational Administration Quarterly, 36(3), 340-357. Oplatka, I. (2012). Fifty years of publication: Pondering the legacies of the Journal of Educational Administration. Journal of educational administration, 50(1), 34-56. Mullen, C. A., Greenlee, B. J., & Bruner, D. Y. (2005). Exploring the theory-practice relationship in educational leadership curriculum through metaphor. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 17(1), 1-14. Turan, S., Bektaş, F., Yalçın, M. ve Armağan, Y. (2016). Eğitim yönetimi alanında bilgi üretim süreci: Eğitim yönetimi kongrelerinin rolü ve serüveni üzerine bir değerlendirme. Kuram ve Uygulamada Eğitim Yönetimi, 22(1), 81-108. doi: 10.14527/kuey.2016.004
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