Source: Journal of Education for Teaching, Vol. 42, No. 2, 252–264, 2016.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
This study examined how policy-makers described their work and motivations. Furthermore, the study focused on policy-makers' perceived relationship with teacher educators researchers and their understandings about research.
The participants were twenty Australian policy-makers (ten men and ten women). The author interviewed the participants about the teacher education policy context within which they were working.
The findings revealed that policy-makers described research as necessary to shape their decision-making and important to justify their work.
However, some of the participants appeared acutely aware of their own lack of ‘research literacy’ and were quick to note they wished for greater support in this area.
The author found that policy-makers viewed teacher education as a policy problem and research as the solution.
The policy-makers sought better communication strategies to utilise research findings in a timely, free and publicly accessible, user-friendly manner.
They argued that they had three main for them in utilising teacher education research: these were accessibility, relevance and generalisability.
The participants claimed that a lack of accessibility of teacher education research was framed in two ways. There was a lack of physically being able to find and access research that would assist policy-makers in their work.
Furthermore, the participants revealed they struggled with sifting through dense language and the way the information was presented.
The author concludes that this vision calls for the creation of cross-border spaces between research and policy.