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Lost in research: educators’ attitudes towards research and professional development

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The authors report on a study that examined how educators in Austria conceptualise research, how they engage with academic literature and what attitudes they have towards academic development. Growth mindsets, regular engagement with research in a variety of formats and inclusive understandings of research were defined as pre-conditions for teachers to benefit from engagement with research literature. A questionnaire survey was conducted among secondary- and tertiary-level teachers (N = 257), and the data were analysed using descriptive statistics. The findings indicate that educators in the sample tend to have broadly growth mindsets and invest time to read about research findings, especially through professional journals and online resources. Reasons that prevent some teachers from engaging with research were also noted. These include difficulties in accessing research, lack of time and scepticism, among some teachers, regarding the relevance of research output to their teaching. In addition, restrictive understandings of research which exclude practitioner-driven studies were also noted.
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Keywords: Professional development; mindsets; research

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Manchester Institute of Education, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK 2: Department of English Studies, University of Graz, Graz, Austria 3: Department of Innovative Education and Inclusion, Catholic University College of Education, Graz, Austria 4: Training Secondary School and Institute of Practical Education and Action Research, University College of Teacher Education, Graz, Austria 5: Centre for Language, Plurilingualism and Didactics, University of Graz, Graz, Austria

Publication date: May 27, 2019

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