About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1631-1638
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-615-5563-5
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2012
Location: Valencia, Spain

TEACHER EDUCATORS' AS RESEARCHERS: MOTIVES AND OBSTACLES

F. Nasser-Abu Alhija, A. Majdob

Tel Aviv University (ISRAEL)
In the past decade, the role of teacher educators as researchers has gained much attention (Darling-Hammond, 1999; Gor & Morrison, 2000; Kemmis, 2001). The "researcher teacher" concept has been included in the recent literature on reforms in teaching whereby teachers and teacher educators are encouraged to participate in curriculum improvement, their work environment, teaching as a profession, and developing policy. The literature on teacher educators' research activity implies that increasing this activity is still a critical need. In order to conduct good research, teacher educators should be able to investigate important questions, to collect data from credible sources, and to analyze these data in congruence with their research questions and their theoretical framework; finally they should be able to interpret their findings while taking into account their involvement in local policy, planning, and practice (Cochran-Smith, 2005).
The aim of the current study was to examine teacher educators' research activities, to explore their motives to practice research and to learn about obstacles and difficulties which restrain them from practicing research.

Method
Mixed method design was used in the current study. The qualitative method was used to expand and complement the quantitative results. Data were obtained from 161 teacher educators from three Arabic teacher training colleges in Israel. Participants vary in terms of gender, age, experience, level of education, rank, and tenure status. Data were collected using a questionnaire comprised of five parts three of which intended to measure participants' research practices; their motives for doing research; and difficulties which restrain them from practicing research. The fourth part included two open-ended questions that required participants to describe the factors that discourage research activity and asks them to suggest means to increase teacher educators' involvement in research activities. The fifth part included questions referring to participants' background characteristics.

Results
The most salient motive for doing research was affiliation with a research culture and the salient obstacle was lack of resources. Most of the personal and professional characteristics examined in the current study were related to practicing research and to the motives for doing research and the obstacles that hinder research activity.
Participants' responses to the open-ended questions revealed many obstacles such as a deficient academic culture in the institution, lack of recognition and promotion, shortage of resources, lack of proper skills, part time positions, lack of commitment, and teaching overload. Participants suggested allocating time and financial support, clearly linking professional promotion and research practice, supporting change implied by the research findings, providing appropriate facilities, and creating a permanent research forum as means for promoting research.

Importance of the study
This study sheds light on the current state of research practice among a sample of teacher educators. It also contributes to an understanding of the motives and obstacles related to engaging in research. Besides adding to a sparse body of knowledge the findings can be used to guide institutional interventions aimed at increasing teacher educators' engagement in research activity.
@InProceedings{NASSERABUALHIJA2012TEA,
author = {Nasser-Abu Alhija, F. and Majdob, A.},
title = {TEACHER EDUCATORS' AS RESEARCHERS: MOTIVES AND OBSTACLES},
series = {6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2012 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-5563-5},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {1631-1638}}
TY - CONF
AU - F. Nasser-Abu Alhija AU - A. Majdob
TI - TEACHER EDUCATORS' AS RESEARCHERS: MOTIVES AND OBSTACLES
SN - 978-84-615-5563-5/2340-1079
PY - 2012
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2012
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2012 Proceedings
SP - 1631
EP - 1638
ER -
F. Nasser-Abu Alhija, A. Majdob (2012) TEACHER EDUCATORS' AS RESEARCHERS: MOTIVES AND OBSTACLES, INTED2012 Proceedings, pp. 1631-1638.
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