Fostering education research
Education research is the scientific field of study which refers to the systematic collection and analysis of data related to the field of education. It examines education and learning processes and the human attributes, interactions, organizations, and institutions that shape educational outcomes. It may involve a variety of methods and various aspects of education including student learning, teaching methods, teacher training, and classroom dynamics.
Education is considered the backbone of a nation but undoubtedly the backbone of education depends on research. Education itself hardly conveys the purpose strengthening a nation's backbone until it goes through innovations. Research is the single most factor to accelerate innovations in the field of education.
In the developed countries education research is mandatory for all stake holders including students, teaching staff and others who are associated with this profession. One of the most important criteria of the recruitment of teaching staff is the research knowledge. Teachers and students play a crucial role to ensure the quality education in those countries.
But in the low and middle income countries ensuring quality education is still a challenge. It is true that with raising awareness about the importance of education the number of degree holders has increased manifolds in those countries but how far the nations are provided quality education is still a debate.
Education is an integrated approach in which three essential elements are interrelated. These are learning tools and materials, methodology of teaching and learning and teachers training. Until we ensure all these in a student-centered classroom, the outcome in education is hardly realized.
In many cases despite taking strategies in ensuring outcome-based education, materials, methodologies and teachers training hardly come out with effectiveness if traditional pedagogy continues in the classroom discarding the innovations which are urgently needed to enrich the culture and pedagogy of education.
In our country outcome-based education is highly emphasized but can we achieve the quality outcome of education unless we conduct enormous studies analyzing the needs of the learners? If we want to analyze the need of the students, there finds no alternative to ensuring quality research in the field of education.
But the overall scenario in teaching, learning is not appreciative as we see in many cases teachers are indifferent to getting out with new strategies while teaching students. It seems that they are busy with completing their assigned responsibilities as teachers. Even despite receiving training, for many the class management and teaching pedagogy is not appreciated.
At primary, secondary and higher secondary level of education teaching staff hardly get involved in research activities to improve their teaching strategies. It is true that conducting research is not mandatory for them. Even if when they are appointed for teaching profession, they need not demonstrate whether they are capable of teaching students and it is beyond the question whether they have any research experience prior. But in many countries classroom demonstration is a must if someone wants to enter the teaching profession and in some cases someone gets a favor who has research articles in the field of education.
Even at the tertiary level of education conducting research and having research articles is not mandatory to be selected as a lecturer at any university. Academic result along with theory-based performance is given the priority through the selection procedures. Even the applicants need not demonstrate their teaching capability in the class before being appointed.
However, it is mandatory for the teachers teaching at tertiary level of education to conduct education research for promotion purpose. Many teachers are found to struggle to conduct research. Apart from language difficulties, they hardly have a considerable knowledge on research paradigm.
Most often, we see that academic writing seems a challenging task to them. So in many cases, they get involved in plagiarism for their upgradation to senior posts. Not only teachers, students are found to be habituated to copy-paste culture posing a dire threat on our education and research.
The existing promotion practice of the faculties at tertiary level is somehow reflective as only to get promotion dishonest teachers find out short- cut way thus doing plagiarism. It is astonishing to see that a certain number of publications are the basis of a teacher to be promoted from his existing designation.
Only some years of experiences along with a fixed number of publications cannot be the basis of a lecturer promoted to be as professor. But such practice prevails at our universities. So what will be the ground of their teaching if they confine themselves within the limited frame of study only for their sake?
Amid the Covid-19 crisis, the education paradigm has shifted online. In this new normal teaching -learning teachers and students face some challenges to get this approach inclusive and outcome-based. It is pertinent to ask; do we find any alternative except conducting quality education research to come out with a solution? The answer would probably be negative. Another relevant thing is that to address the post-Covid education catastrophe there finds no alternative to conducting quality education research.
It is not undeniable that many may claim that in the country the competitive research culture has not developed along with there is huge fund shortage that discourages the teaching staff to run their research. Yes, we know that fund constrain may be a challenge but the more deepening challenge is to make people research-oriented.
Actually the responsibility of a teacher cannot be confined to mere teaching but be knowledgeable with new innovations and techniques that they only can achieve throughout their engagement in education research. More importantly, classroom is a research place for a teacher to get innovations in teaching.
Alaul Alam teaches at Prime University