About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4972-4975
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.2117

Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain


E. Rosales-Asensio, E. González

La Laguna University (SPAIN)
The relations between research and teaching practice have always been complex and unfriendly for the Spanish University, at least as far as technical teaching is concerned. Many teachers do not seem inclined to incorporate the advances of research into the field of teaching and learning. They view the researchers with suspicion, as theorists (although their investigations are empirical) who do not know the reality of the classroom. It is remarkable that this dissociation between research and professional practice should occur in teaching (teaching is a professional activity) while in other professions, professionals are very aware of the latest research. This paper investigates this dissociation and compares the integration of research and teaching practice existing in other countries with the situation in Spanish technical education.

For this research, a survey was carried out on a representative sample of professors from Spanish universities (both public and private) in technical areas. In this survey, the university professors were asked about what they were most interested in, research or teaching; if they believed that there was an overemphasis on research and publications as a means of promotion; and if the first criterion of promotion should be teaching rather than the number of publications.

The intention of this survey is to evaluate whether there is an overemphasis on research and publications as the obligatory and almost unique route for the promotion of Spanish university professors in technical areas. Naturally, this article, rather than questioning the important research function of the university professor (which is beyond doubt) as it has always been understood, aims to unveil the feelings of the faculty in Spanish technical universities about the debate "research versus teaching" and assess whether it is necessary to reconsider such relationship.

It is pointless to speak of improving the quality of teaching without acknowledging the efforts of so many teachers to improve it. If research is more important than the effort (and time) involved in getting students to learn, it is not easy to motivate teachers to improve their teaching practices and to think about possible and often necessary innovations. In the promotion activities of the universities, in the speeches, in the documents present on Web pages, etc., there is talk of the excellence of the training offered by Spanish universities, but according to the current scheme, the teachers who truly dedicate themselves to teaching excellence risks not having enough merit for their own promotion.

Sometimes, it is heard in informal comments that what matters to progress and consideration in university is to dedicate oneself to research, to publish numerous papers, and consequently, to consider teaching a waste of time. It seems that in some university areas, there is no shortage of people who think that teaching and students are a necessary evil and who act accordingly. In some academic centers, decisions regarding the curriculum, schedules, etc., are made depending on the desires, convenience, and pressure of some teachers who prefer to focus on other things (such as research projects) because they strive for promotion, which gives them prestige and even brings them higher income and additional benefits. The students and their learning are in the background because at the moment of truth, they have very little in the professional career; matter what rewards.
author = {Rosales-Asensio, E. and Gonz{\'{a}}lez, E.},
series = {9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN17 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-3777-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2017.2117},
url = {https://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2017.2117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {3-5 July, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {4972-4975}}
AU - E. Rosales-Asensio AU - E. González
SN - 978-84-697-3777-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2017.2117
PY - 2017
Y1 - 3-5 July, 2017
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN17 Proceedings
SP - 4972
EP - 4975
ER -
E. Rosales-Asensio, E. González (2017) RESEARCH AND EDUCATIONAL INNOVATION, EDULEARN17 Proceedings, pp. 4972-4975.