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Teaching and Educational Research in New Zealand: Directions, dilemmas, and dangers

Noeline Alcorn

The last few years have seen a burgeoning of official interest in educational research as the Ministry of Education espouses evidence-based policy making and teaching. A number of best evidence syntheses have been commissioned and published. These are encouraging trends even if the definition of best evidence is sometimes narrower than some of us would wish. At the same time the research imperative for academics across the country has sharpened following the Tertiary Education Commission’s research assessment exercise the Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF). There has been much rhetoric on the need for education academics to research and publish more. There are dilemmas here: how to increase research activity without denigrating teaching and professional activities; how to develop a genuine desire to explore problems and question practice; how to determine broad definitions of research evidence; and how to report findings to the wider education community.

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