Teachers lack too much time for research: study

Teachers lack too much time for research: study

Australian educators do not have enough time to access research to help them improve their skills.

Search by Monash Q Project surveyed 1,725 ​​Australian educators, who confirmed that although teachers place a high value on research, they do not have time to engage in research that could lead to better classroom outcomes.

The findings have been published in a new report titled ‘What, Why, When and How — The Use of Research by Australian Educators in Schools’. This report builds on previous work undertaken by the Monash Q project.

Despite previous findings that 83.1% of teachers believe there is a direct link between research use and improved student outcomes, the new report finds that:

  • 76.2% of educators feel they don’t have time to access and review research
  • 75.9% of educators struggle to keep up to date with new and emerging research

These time constraints had a marked impact on the frequency with which educators used research, with time-poor educators being much less likely to regularly use academic research or guidance to inform their practice.

Project Q researcher Dr. Joanne Gleeson said that with nearly one in three educators using personal time before the school year to engage in research, and one in four engaging in research during school holidays, teachers need scheduled time during school hours to properly engage in research.

“If we expect teachers to be informed by evidence, they must have the time and ability to engage in research. This involves structured, scheduled time during school hours, such as formal meetings or professional learning sessions. This challenge cannot be met at the school level alone; system leaders need to think about how access to research and research time can be improved for educators. »

Gleeson said it could also be important to more clearly link the use of research to teaching standards and other education frameworks to ensure it is prioritized in school operations.

“This report comes against a backdrop of growing expectations in Australia and around the world that schools and school systems will use research to inform their improvement efforts,” she said.

“Educators want to use research and believe in its value; however, there are significant concerns about having enough time, which influences the extent to which research is used in practice.

The report also confirms that, whether research is accessed and used in school and during class time or in educators’ personal time, the majority spend less than 30 minutes on these tasks.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/olgahofman

Paul N. Strickland