Investigation on competency in educational research of lecturers working at educational universities

Abstract. The paper investigated educational lecturer’s competency of educational research including areas as follow: Identifying research topic; developing research proposal; conducting research; compling and analysing data; and publishing and applying research results into practices. The results showed that competency of educational lecturers on research were low. There were positive correlations between the competency areas. Positive correlations also appeared between the research competency and other factors such as participants’ educational levels and number years of working.

pdf12 trang | Chia sẻ: thanhle95 | Lượt xem: 61 | Lượt tải: 0download
Bạn đang xem nội dung tài liệu Investigation on competency in educational research of lecturers working at educational universities, để tải tài liệu về máy bạn click vào nút DOWNLOAD ở trên
JOURNAL OF SCIENCE OF HNUE DOI: 10.18173/2354-1075.2016-0231 Educational Sci., 2016, Vol. 61, No. 11, pp. 175-186 This paper is available online at INVESTIGATION ON COMPETENCY IN EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH OF LECTURERS WORKING AT EDUCATIONAL UNIVERSITIES Le Thi Xuan Thu The Center of Educational Research, Hung Vuong University Abstract. The paper investigated educational lecturer’s competency of educational research including areas as follow: Identifying research topic; developing research proposal; conducting research; compling and analysing data; and publishing and applying research results into practices. The results showed that competency of educational lecturers on researchwere low. There were positive correlations between the competency areas. Positive correlations also appeared between the research competency and other factors such as participants’ educational levels and number years of working. Keywords: Competency, Competency educational lecturer, educational research, educational, lecturer. 1. Introduction Through literature review, competency of scientific research in education for lecturers working at universities of education has been studied by many authors from different countries. Authors have defined competency on conducting educational research through different areas/skills; demonstrated the role of research capacity impacting on professional development of lecturers; described factors influencing on lecturers’ research capacity; stated the significance of developing research capacity for lecturers; stated the significance of organizing activities to enhance research capacity for educational lecturers [1, 2, 4, 5, 8]. Teferra (2007) stated that university professionals have three main roles: teaching, conducting research, and serving services [7]. Teferra literally explained doing research is as building a power house for knowledge one. The professional development on lecturers’s research capacity within universities has been important because it will contribute to the development of a national education system. Doing research and lecturing are two main tasks for professionals working at universities. Two these tasks have been seen as criteria for accreditation, reputation for universities and also reputation for professionals. World-class universities and that in South-East Asian countries have invested for doing research through developing research environments within each university, improved professionals’s research capacity, provided competative grant opportunities for professionals to pursue [7]. According to Lee Sing Kong, conducting research is equal to lecturing. At the National Institue of Education, Singapore (NIE), three main professional areas are evaluated as: Research – Lecturing – Other Activities. The NIE has provided activities for professional development, and improved the university’s infrastructrure such as information technology, library and laboratory Received date: 12/11/2016. Published date: 25/12/2016. Contact: Le Thi Xuan Thu, e-mail: lethixuanthu@gmail.com 175 Le Thi Xuan Thu using for teaching and conducting research. Two groups of professionals are grouped based on the ratio between teaching and doing research: Group 1 professionals of doing research and teaching at ratio of 6 and 4 (out of ten); Group 2 professionals of those at the ratio of 3 and 7 (out of ten). The NIE has been accredited as a world-class university on the ranking of university throughout the world. The University of California (US) has evaluated its professionals based on two riteria: teaching and doing research. The university has contributed many good research results into practice within the state, the whole country and worldwide [6]. One of the roles of universities of education is to provide training for students to become graduated teachers who are creative, self-study, self-reflection and sustainable development. Research skills are parts of the training curriculum at universities. It requires professionals providing training for students to have capacity in conducting educational research. In fact, the professionals working at universities of education have been evaluated and showed with the limitations in research capacity. Their limitations have described through different areas. For example, university professionals do not participate in any research project; are not able to identify issues for doing research; do not conducting any research project at schools in the national general education system; conduct educational research but with the low efficiency of research results; lack of opportunities to update the knowledge and skills in doing research [3]. It is essential to examine the level of research competency in education and to provide solutions to improve research skills for professionals working at universities of education. Therefore, it is important to investigate the competency in scientific research in education of professionals working at universities of education, to provide suggestions to improve professional’s research skills, to fill the gap between teaching and doing research. Doing these activites are not only assists to improve the quality of doing research but also to improve the quality of university training. 2. Content 2.1. Methods The participants of the study included: 294 lecturers aged 25-45; 100 students studying in education faculties; and 40 managers at educational faculties at Hung Vuong University and Thai Nguyen University. The participant’s research competency was rated on a 5-point Likert scale from “Can not do/ Never do” (1) to “Do very well” (5) on each item of research competency. 2.2. Results Competency of Scientific Research in Education of lecturers working at universities of education were investigated based on capacity to conducting a good quality research in different educational topics and planned research goals. Competency of scientific research in education of lecturers working at universities of education included: identifying research topics, developing research proposal, conducting research, analysing collected data, publishing and applying research results into practices. Results of competency of scientific research in education of lecturers working at universities of education were presented in following areas as below. Competency on identifying research topics Competency of scientific research in education of particants on the area “identify research topics” included 4 items: Update current trends in educational research; Identify research issues rising from current practice; Identify significance of research topics; and Express research issues into research titles to write a research project. Participants rated these 4 items at moderate (M = 1,84; 2,39; 2,47 and 2,85) (see Table 1). 176 Investigation on competency in educational research of lecturers working at... Table 1. Competency on identifying research topics Items Ratings Total r(N= 294) Hung Vuong University (n= 158) Thai Nguyen University of Education (n= 136) M SD M SD M SD Update current trends in educational research 2,57 0,84 3,09 0,99 2,85 0,95 0,905 Identify research issues raising from current practice 2,27 0,93 2,71 1,03 2,47 1,00 Identify significance of research topics 2,08 0,84 2,75 0,85 2,39 0,91 Express research issues into research titles to write a research project 1,72 1,03 1,98 1,09 1,84 1,07 (Rating range 1-5) To be able to conduct scientific research, specialized scientific qualifications of researchers must be good enough to identify the issues which require further study or has no scientific and satisfactory answer. Not very good qualifications of the researchers may result in identifying impertinent research problems and therefore, their research has no value. Modern science is built under the perspective that scientific knowledge is only temporary, and it is constantly evolved, from little to much, from simplicity to complexity ... Such development is mainly done by scientific research, because the purpose of scientific research is creating new knowledge. Therefore, scientists must have enough adequate knowledge to detect the boundary between "the known thing" of science and “the unknown thing”. To achieve this, each individual must self – study to enrich or complement the specialized scientific knowledge. Therefore, scientific research always begins with self-studying and self-training on the basis of regular, continuous training to improve researchers’ qualification. Competency on developing research proposal The competency on developing research proposal had positively significant correlations between two universities (r = .81, p= .000). There were moderate ratings on competency on developing research proposal. The results for items of formulate research hypothesis; conduct literature review; Anticipate research results and timeframe for conducting; Write a good research grant were moderate (M ranging from 2.23 to 3.18). High ratings were for the item Select appropriate research methods and the item Identify research scope (M = 3.43 and M = 3.52, respectively) (see Table 2). The data show that "the competency on developing research proposal" of pedagogical university lecturers is very low. In fact, low qualified teachers lack essential skills to carry out a scientific research. While studying at college or university, or even master, most trainers conducted scientific research a few times but often had the guidance of their lecturers through suggesting topic, outline, and content of each chapter or section. These lecturers haven’t been active in carrying out a scientific research project from the beginning to the end. Particularly, their scientific researches are competed severely from those of experienced lecturers; therefore, their researches 177 Le Thi Xuan Thu are seldom selected by Division of scientific research management. On the other hand, they aren’t still active in identified topics for researching. The research done by low qualified lecturers is mostly from the assignment of the Dean of the Faculty or Division who usually have ideas and enthusiasm for research. Because of that, when the low-qualified lecturers start carrying out their research projects, they will face many difficulties so they often leave their research unfinished midway. Moreover, low-qualified teachers do not have much time for scientific research activities because they have to improve their academic qualifications to meet the school’s demand. It takes them quite much time to learn, revise and take exams. Besides, they also have to take over an amount of other work of the school, such as ensuring sufficient standard teaching hours, preparing lesion plans, being examiner ... Therefore; they almost do not have enough time for scientific research. Should the school be converted research hours into reducing standard teaching hours to encourage research activities of low qualified lecturers. Table 2. Competency on developing research proposal Items Ratings Total r(N= 294) Hung Vuong University (n= 158) Thai Nguyen University of Education (n= 136) M SD M SD M SD Formulate research hypothesis 2,35 0,97 3,42 1,16 2,85 1,18 0,809 Conduct literature review 2,10 0,85 2,51 0,89 2,29 0,89 Research aims 2,74 0,67 3,22 0,49 3,18 0,73 Identify research scope 3,27 1,05 3,62 0,72 3,43 0,93 Identify research participants 3,01 0,84 3,39 0,52 3,18 0,73 Select appropriate research methods 3,35 1,14 3,71 0,87 3,52 1,04 Anticipate research results and timeframe for conducting 2,04 0,70 2,44 0,75 2,23 0,75 Write a good research grant 2,35 0,97 2,50 0,95 2,42 0,96 (Rating range 1-5) Carrying out a research needs to have procedures and plans. These must be planned (before starting the research) in a document which is called Research Proposal in English, and is translated into Vietnamese as "The research proposal". According to Nguyen Van Tuan (2012), the first word is understood as recommendation; the second word is seen as a credo. Research proposal, therefore, is a document in which scientists recommended credo or working program. This is the most important document in a research project, through it; the donor agency can approve funding. He said that research proposal could be seen as an architect’s drawing. As a result, scientists can be viewed as an architect. Architects sketch out construction works in the drawings in detailed. Scientists outlined the details of the process to do research, gather and analyze data. If the drawing is a work of an architect, we can also see the research proposal as scientifically written work with the aim of finding out the answers for research questions. Dao Thi Oanh (2009) emphasized that, in scientifically educational research, research proposal is an objective commitment, a legal basis so that the collection of researchers can base on 178 Investigation on competency in educational research of lecturers working at... that to urge and push each other to cooperate in a harmonic way. The first proposal is a theoretical draft; it must be regarded as a design for the future "construction". But in fact, there are always some adjustments during the actual deployment. It isn’t exaggerated that the process of maturation of a researcher can be measured by the rapprochement between the research proposal and the practical deployment of that proposal. In that process, proposal is outlined increasingly closer to real conditions and the conduction is closer and closer to the proposal. However, on his own part, the researcher must consider it as a covenant which they are obliged to follow seriously. Thus, it is regarded just as style rehearsals and scientific working methods, mental training and character formation of scientific researchers. In reality, many young teachers shared that they had a lot of difficulties in building scientific and educational research outline, therefore, they usually feel fearful to do scientifically educational research. Developing research proposals is a very important skill, it determines the success or failure of a research. Research proposal is not available thing, but is the result of a complex and dialectic process: from identifying research issues to perceiving specialized knowledge, observation skills, reality analysis and contrasting the analysis with the current knowledge situation .. to produce a detailed research proposal for a study. Therefore, the wishes of being fostered, trained in forming educational scientific research is a legitimate demand of the young lecturers. Competency on conducting research Table 3. Competency on conducting research Items Ratings Total r(N= 294) Hung Vuong University (n= 158) Thai Nguyen University of Education (n= 136) M SD M SD M SD Design and use research instruments 2,78 1,02 3,31 1,06 3,03 1,07 0,705 Conduct experimental research design in education 3,10 0,91 3,34 0,73 3,21 0,83 Identify and write about theories related to research project 2,12 0,65 2,44 0,53 2,27 0,62 Write research manuscripts 2,96 0,79 2,98 0,65 2,96 0,93 Conducting seminars, workshops related to research project 2,87 0,65 3,04 0,76 2,95 0,71 Apply ICT in conducting research in education 3,64 1,23 3,63 1,20 3,63 1,21 Use foreign languages in conducting research 2,18 0,69 3,05 0,61 2,58 0,78 Gather appropriate research members for conducting a good research project 2,56 1,13 3,52 0,74 3,00 1,08 Present research results 3,01 0,66 3,03 0,67 3,02 0,66 179 Le Thi Xuan Thu Collaborate partners in conducting research project 3,04 0,89 3,15 1,00 3,09 0,94 Collaborate between members in the research team 3,06 1,03 3,18 0,93 3,13 0,99 Conduct a research project appropriate with phenomenon and situation 2,99 1,13 3,38 0,95 3,17 1,07 Apply knowledge in research methodologies and methods in conducting research project/ research aims 3,26 1,02 3,55 0,79 3,39 0,93 Apply educational and psychological knowledge into explanation of research results 3,21 1,01 3,47 0,80 3,33 0,93 Structure and complete research report 3,12 0,91 3,38 0,70 3,24 0,83 Apply knowledge of management into conducting research project 3,05 0,91 3,06 0,72 3,05 0,83 Conducting a research project based on a time frame, process and adaptation 3,12 0,93 3,32 0,75 3,21 0,86 Conducting a research topic related to current practice 3,18 1,05 3,51 0,82 3,34 0,96 Participate in research grants at national level 1,34 0,70 1,52 1,14 1,43 0,93 Participate in core research grants funded by MOET 1,44 0,86 1,79 1,14 1,60 1,00 Participate in research grants funded by MOET 1,45 1,07 2,15 1,21 1,77 1,19 Participate in research grants funded by the Province 1,42 0,86 2,03 1,23 1,70 1,10 Participate in core research grants funded by the University 2,35 0,97 3,21 1,36 2,75 1,24 Participate in research grants funded by the University 2,61 1,20 3,62 1,20 3,62 1,20 Participate in research grants funded or organized by other stakeholders, NGOs, social committees,. . . 1,39 1,26 1,46 1,40 1,40 1,35 (Rating range 1-5) 180 Investigation on competency in educational research of lecturers working at... The competency on conducting research had positively significant correlations between two universities (r = .71, p = .000). There were moderate ratings on competency on conducting research skills; however, there were significant differences within participants. Expression of lecturers’ competency of educational scientific education through "Competency on organizing, conducting research," there is a correlation between the results of self-assessing organizing, conducting research of lecturers of two schools with r = 0.075 and p = 0.000. Overall, lecturers self-evaluate "Competency on organizing, conducting research," with X = 3.03, however, it is only at the average level and has strong differentiation in the sample of objects of the study (standard deviation ranged from 0, 62 points to 1, 35 points (table 3). There are both subjective and objective reasons leading to this reality, partly because the limited competency of teachers somewhat obstructs them to participate in the work, for some lecturers, they even have handled ideology when joining the research as collaborators to have works for emulation and commendation later, or to calculate labor norms, it is time – consuming and effort but receive small income when conducting the scientific research. In fact, many teachers teaching 200% -300% exceeds norm hours is normal, particularly, some teachers teach more than 1,000/1 semester. Even many lecturers also have extra classes in other private schools because they get higher payment for each period. Therefore, it is not difficult to understand the fact that teacher seems to "oblivion" or not really keen on scientific research. Besides, there has been no sanction for those who do not participate in studying. Many teachers at schools currently who have no studies yet / or been the head of a scientific research project for a long time still teaching is a common condition. There is a need for orientation for research activities: Currently, we are under the sanction of "approving" study mission and "bidding" the research. This has brought certain effects in the study; however, as mentioned, the individuals involving in the research often pursue their own strength topic (of course, they must convince the Council of its urgency), meanwhile, there are many problems which are really necessary and effective, but due to its "toughness" or difficulties, nobody wants to carry out such topic. Therefore, besides bidding the research, there should have "mechanism” to assign these topics for individuals /organization, especially, young lecturers with ability to implement the proje
Tài liệu liên quan