Economics education

Directing Research and Scholarship in an Educational Institution

The role of research and scholarship (however defined) in an educational institution is to: enable knowledge growth; aid in achieving institutional goals and improve practice. (Tushman & O’Reilly 2007, Anthony & Austin 2008, Ignate, 2008, Prichard 2000, Paul and Rubin 1984)

Given these facts, one task of the person or team responsible for directing research and scholarship is to enable, improve, change, predict and facilitate improved students’ learning. The team or person must enable knowledge growth among faculty and achievement of the institution’s present and future goals; suggest changes to the nature, role, teaching mode and main goals of the institution and predict trends and changes in students’ needs and preferences and the need for ‘new’ courses of study.

The other task of the person or team responsible for directing research and scholarship is to construct a vision for developing these areas in the institution. The vision should have inward and outward perspectives.

Inwardly, this should involve developing and facilitating professional development activities which enable and encourage the ‘scholarship of teaching’. Strategies to encourage this should include: awards/incentives for outstanding teaching based on researching/studying ones’ teaching and developing policy and criteria for this recognition scheme; developing and facilitating in-house training in the scholarship of teaching and organizing special lecture to discuss the idea of the scholarship of teaching.

The inward perspective of the vision should also include developing or facilitating engagement in research and publications. This should involve: building time in teaching schedule for engagement in research; providing funding for attendance and participation in local and overseas conferences and developing policy to regulate attendance and participation; awards/incentives for outstanding research and scholarship attainment; internal forums aimed at showcasing research and presenting research ideas for discussion. Internal review of publications that are to be submit to journals or conferences should be encouraged and where appropriate, facilitate student research by requiring the completion of a thesis or portfolio as a part of courses they are pursuing.

Outwardly, the vision should include the encouragement of consultancy work by staff by showcasing to the community their credentials, experiences and achievements; hosting and organizing annual or biannual conferences to discuss issues relevant to the wider community and the use of the institution’s website to display staff research and scholarship achievements. Doing these can also aid in facilitating ‘research impact’ which is now an area of concern for UK Higher Education institutions involved in research enterprise.

References

Anthony, E. K & Austin M.J. (2008). The Role of an Intermediary Organization in Promoting Research in Schools of Social Work: the Case of the Bay Area Social Services Consortium. Social Work Research 32(4) 287-294

Ignate, V. V. (2008). Sociological Research in a Military School. Russian Education and Society 50 (12), 40-49.

Paul, C.W and Rubin, P.H. (1984) Teaching and Research: The Human Capital Paradigm. Journal of Economics Education 15(2), 142-147

Prichard, R. (2000) Future Directions for Research in Caribbean Higher Education Institutions. Chapter 11 in Higher Education in the Caribbean: Past, Present & Future Directions. 251-265, ISBN 9789766400798

Tushman, M & O’Reilly III, C. (2007). Research and Relevance: Implications of Pasteur’s quadrant for doctoral programs and faculty development. Academy of Management Journal 50(4), 769-774

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