Source: Studying Teacher Education, Volume 6, Issue 2, August 2010, pages 161 – 174.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
This article describes a collaborative research journey undertaken at the University of Edinburgh, which has a strong reputation for research.
The researchers' purpose was to find a research identity in a university department with a strong commitment to training of student teachers but which existed within a university that has a strong reputation for research.
The research question for the study began as “What kind of a research culture do we want and how can we get it?”
The researchers who undertook the journey were a group of nine teacher educators within the Department of Curriculum Research and Development, part of the university's School of Education. The participants included established and new staff, research active and research beginners.
The methodology was linked to the decision to take a journey as a group.
The journey became the focus of their self-study through a number of exchange platforms including collaborative meetings, agendas which embraced equity and social justice, a shared blog space for self-reflection, and engagement with others through partnership conferences.
Data were qualitative and focused on the ambitions, frustrations, and achievements of the participants as revealed through personal writing on a blog.
This self-study reveals several findings:
First, all the researchers discovered a new collegiality. The researchers realized that they could easily engage in a shared dialogue on research interests, in research approaches and in their personal struggles to find a research identity.
Second, the tension between an identity as educator with a sense of responsibility to students and that of a researcher.
Finally, the researchers have discovered that they need to adopt strategies to help them in issues of time and work balance between teaching and researching.