Learning from the Research Successful

Amount awarded £13,250.00
Completed: November 2011
Leader(s): Professor Jean Murray
Organisation: University of East London
Contact Email: j.m.f.murray@uel.ac.uk
Contact phone: 020 8223 6318 or 020 8223 3000
End Date: 29 July 2011
Interim report received: 14 November 2011
Final report received: 12 August 2011

The Project team

  • Professor Pat Mahony (Roehampton University)
  • Professor Jean Murray (Cass School of Education, University of East London)
  • Julie Hughes, University of Wolverhampton.

This is a study of the experiences and perceptions of a group of now established and ‘successful’ researchers all of whom completed their ‘research apprenticeships’ as part-time mature students and whilst working in teacher education.

The aims of the research are as follows:

  • to explore the experiences of established researchers and the socio-cultural factors which support their development in the professional field of teacher education;
  • to analyse, from the perspectives of these successful researchers, effective strategies for institutional research-capacity building;
  • to analyse the relevance of these findings to research capacity building in HE and in HE in FE teacher education programmes.

The first part of the study sets the background for the empirical research, focusing on exploring the literature on the differentiated research cultures within Schools of Education, the various strategies which such Schools have used for developing (or not developing their research cultures) and the range of micro practices and initiatives in use for research-capacity building. The analysis will be cross referenced to literature on the increasing differentiations between Schools of Education in research-intensive (QR funded) universities and Schools in universities which receive no QR funding for research. The results of the RAEs of 1992 - 2008 will also be used here.

Part 2 of the study will be an email questionnaire sent to a purposive sample of researchers in order to explore their experiences of becoming a researcher of learning life histories of individuals and their perceived effectiveness of the institutional strategies for developing research capacity.

Part 3 will then use semi-structured interviews to explore the learning life histories of a small sample of these researchers in more depth.

Cumulatively, we intend that the three parts of the research will facilitate a well-focused exploration of an under-researched area in HE. The implications of the study for generating research and scholarship in both teacher education and HE in FE will be considered and used to produce a list of suggested strategies for research development in these two contexts. We also hope that our data will enable us to draw out some of the complex relationships between individual biographies, senses of agency and motivation, academic compliance, institutional changes and the shifting national scenarios for research and teaching in the field of Education across various time frames.