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Will scholars trump teachers in New Zealand teacher education?

The Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) assessment process in 2003 highlighted the research imperative for academic staff in New Zealand teacher education. This imperative was not new: it was implicit in the tertiary education changes of 1990, which ended the university monopoly over degree granting and gave autonomy to colleges of education and polytechnics. Previous assumptions about the roles of university and college academics were challenged. Few teacher educators had engaged in research before 1990; staff were recruited from the profession on the basis of their professional expertise. Developing a research culture alongside the demands of teaching and professional involvement in schools leads to tensions that few institutions worldwide have been able to solve. This paper examines the experience of two New Zealand teacher education institutions in responding to the new research imperative, and then considers the impact of the PBRF process and reporting on policy and practice. It identifies significant issues for resourcing and developing capacity but concludes that research is an imperative of professional practice that has the capacity to enrich our teaching and inform policy. However, maintaining balance and equilibrium among the contradictory demands and pressures of research and teaching is still an essential goal if we are to serve education well.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Alcorn, N. (2005). Will scholars trump teachers in New Zealand teacher education? Waikato Journal of Education, 11(2), 3-16.
Faculty of Education, University of Waikato
© 2005 Waikato Journal of Education. It is posted here by permission for personal use.