Date of Award

2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Education by Research

School

School of Education

First Advisor

Dr Mandie Shean

Second Advisor

Associate Professor Paul Chang

Abstract

Previous investigations into educational research in Australia have highlighted important issues affecting research, with the majority of issues remaining to date. The Australian government and several research academics have examined issues relevant to educational research, including areas such as research design, dissemination of research results, and effectiveness of research. However, few studies have given voice to the academic researchers working in this field. Therefore, in light of the complexities and broadness of issues faced by educational researchers, this study aimed to investigate what current issues were pertinent to academic educational researchers through an examination of their experiences. This study also sought to determine the reasons for these issues and ascertain possible solutions.

This study used a qualitative approach within a critical theory framework. In addition, this study also utilised a radical interactionist philosophical perspective. The technique used to gather data was through a questionnaire using open-ended questions. There were 18 participants currently engaged in academic educational research in this study. The questionnaire transcripts were analysed through open coding and axial coding to establish categories. These categories were developed into a model and included the themes of: research purpose, ethics processes, collaboration, value of educational research and academic freedom. The overarching theme to which all other themes were connected was research culture.

The results of this study revealed that issues faced by academic educational researchers are of a perpetual nature and highlights the significant difficulty in overcoming these issues. This study also demonstrated that the issues in academic educational research are sustained through a lack of research culture. This lack of research culture was found to provide a significant barrier to research activity and recommendations are provided toward developing a research culture within the field of academic educational research. For future research, the categories within the developed model may be investigated in more depth, and knowledge structures and strategies within research-intensive universities may be further investigated in relation to research activity and research cultures.

Access Note

Chapter 3 and Appendix B are not included in this version of the thesis

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