What education research is done and why?

Year: 2012

Author: Harrison, Neil, Bennett, Dawn

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


This paper considers the nature of education research, its methodologies and networks that constitute the socio-spatial ecology of Australian education research. It draws on the classification of Australian education related academics identified through the analysis of ERA data (paper 2), and the detailed analysis of survey data (paper 3), to provide a clearer mapping of what research is being produced, where and in what formats publication is taking place. The survey also provides data that provides insights into the educational and occupational trajectories of education researchers and the institutional barriers and opportunities they experience in their workplaces. Analysing these data will help us to see the way research outputs are patterned across Australia's geography, universities, university groupings, academic organisational units and, to some extent, disciplinary traditions. Understanding this socio-spatial ecology of education research begins to reveal the way knowledge and expertise is fixed at specific universities and also where academic's mobility and relationships create flows and enable sharing of knowledge and expertise between education researchers. These patterns have particular resonance for education research. First they offer insights into the possibilities and practicalities of supporting research capacity building through collaborative research networks. Second, the open up the possibility of better understanding the way publication sources and ERA trends interface with academics' growing commitment to open source publishing and international collaboration.