Australian Education Research Journals: A conceptual and thematic analysis of academic output from 2009-2019

Year: 2019

Author: Hyndman, Brendon

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Australian educational research has been described as continuing to broaden in definition, membership and contextual circumstances. Research in education draws on wide ranging epistemological traditions to investigate a wide range of problems and the trajectory of Australian educational research has long been a subject of debate. One way to determine the directions of research in an area is to analyse the research output, yet the academic outputs of Australian’s major education research journals has received a scarcity of research attention. The aim of this research was to conduct a conceptual and thematic analysis of the academic output in Australian educational research journals from 2009-2019. To generate key concepts and themes, a Leximancer text mining analysis was conducted for all journal articles (except editorial articles) in the (i) Australian Educational Researcher and the (ii) Australian Journal of Education between April 2009 and July 2019. The time-focused study included 77 journal issues (including 11 special issues), 536 journal articles and almost 3 million words for the analysis. Preliminary intra-journal comparisons (2009-2013 v 2014-2019) suggest the emergence of themes such as ‘indigenous’, ‘NAPLAN’ and ‘parents’ in comparison to the previous period where ‘curriculum’ or specific contexts such as ‘university’ or ‘secondary school’ were more prevalent. This presentation will shed light on a range of intra-journal and inter-journal trends from education-focused academic output, which has the potential to provide future directions for the planning or inclusion of Australian educational research.