22 SES 07 C, Employability and Transition to Work of Higher Education Graduates
We present the results of a research (Research project “Educational research impact: linking research-policy and practice (94/5.10.2011) funded by the Romanian Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding) that aims to analyse how scientific research in education has an impact on educational practices in the Romanian educational system. In this paper we present the perspective of the postgraduate students involved in Master and PhD programs in five public universities in Romania. The role of postgraduate students in terms of their contribution to the total research activity, the breadth of research undertaken, and the linkage between schools and research is one of particular interest from this study. Postgraduate students constitute one of the largest single group involved in educational research in Romania. They are mainly part-time students who work in the education sector as school teachers and administrators or NGO-s practitioners.
Recent years have been marked by a revival of interest in research and especially its impact in the Romanian educational system. The interest for the research impact is even greater as lately there are some voices who believe that educational practices are not long enough based on the research findings.
The focus of any investigation of the impact of educational research is a conception of what educational impact is and also educational research. It needs to be emphasised at the outset that research impact is a major area of interest and concern across disciplines and among business and communities (Davenport, 1997) and has been the subject of widespread systematic investigation (Rich, 1991). In education, an emphasis on studying research use is reasonably recent. Common reasons suggested for low levels of use include poor or inappropriate dissemination of research findings, alienating language and alien concepts, poorly targeted and inapplicable research findings, and problems associated with different “cultures” including the receptiveness and knowledge of potential users (Kennedy, 1997).Concerns about impact of research have been tied to concerns about the quality of research, including fears about unsubstantiated findings and fads driving educational change. Ways of drawing findings together and filling the gap between researchers and practitioners through developing consistent communication or mediation strategies are high on the agenda of major government agencies and universities (Gorard, 2008). Regarding the realations between research and practice in education, especially teaching, the scientific contributions are numerous. Hoddinott & Wuetherick (2005).Similarly, in their discussion of “research-led teaching” Holbrook and Devonshire (2005) describe the research-teaching nexus in terms of research-informed teaching – where disciplined-based research informs content – and research skills teaching – where students develop research skills. They add, however, the additional element of research-inquiry teaching, when academics use research to investigate the effectiveness of teaching and learning activities, which Griffiths (2004), in his conception of the research-teaching nexus, refers to as “research-informed teaching.”
In this context, our study explore the postgraduate students involved in master and PhD programms in education, about the use of research in their workplace with special focus on how the research affects their practice.
1. Griffiths, R. (2004). Knowledge production and the research-teaching nexus: The case of the built environment disciplines. Studies in Higher Education, 29(6), 709-26. 2. Holbrook, N. J., & Devonshire, E. (2005). Simulating scientific thinking online: An example of researchled teaching. Higher Education Research & Development, 24(3), 201-13. 3. Willcoxson, L., Manning,M., Johnston, N & Gething, K. (2011) Enhancing the Research-Teaching Nexus: Building Teaching-Based Research from Research-Based Teaching. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. 23(1), 1-10 4. Gorard, S. (2011). A re-consideration of rates of 'social mobility' in Britain: or why research impact isnot always a good thing'. British Journal of Sociology of Education. 29: 3, 317 — 324 5. Davenport, T.H., (1997). Information Ecology. New York: Oxford University Press from the Founding Editor of Knowledge. Knowledge: Creation, Diffusion, Utilization 12(3), 319-336. 6. Kennedy, M. M., (1997).‘The Connection between Research and Practice. Educational Researcher, 26(7),4-12.
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