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Research funding increase important for educators

12 March 2004
Research funding increase important for educators

The doubling of funding for the Teaching and Learning Research Initiative (TLRI) has been welcomed by the New Zealand Association for Research in Education (NZARE).

NZARE Councillor Dr Mary Hill said it was gratifying to see the Government supporting improvements in educational outcomes by increasing annual funding for the TLRI to $2 million.

“The importance of educational research cannot be under estimated, and in this context the TLRI is an important programme because it stresses partnerships between researchers and practitioners. This focus ensures the outcomes from the research will be both practical and relevant, and be useful for teachers, students policy makers and parents.

“Last year more than 180 applications were received, yet only 13 projects were able to be approved so the increase in funding will give researchers more scope when putting forward proposals. It will also allow the educational research community to build more capability and allow specific research to be undertaken in areas in which there is the greatest need.”

Dr Hill said that in its first year in 2004, the TLRI had developed robust systems to ensure that people or groups applying for funding received excellent mentoring and support throughout the entire research process.

"Education in New Zealand is continually evolving. This means that ongoing research is required to ensure that current practices and curriculum are in step with the changing socio-demographic needs of New Zealanders.”

Dr Hill noted that funding could be granted for between one and three years depending on the style and depth of the research being undertaken, thereby potentially allowing researchers to assess the development of specific types of teaching and learning on a longitudinal basis.

ENDS

DISCLOSURE

Dr Mary Hill is the immediate past-President of NZARE. She is a Senior Lecturer in Education at Waikato University and is currently undertaking a two year research programme funded through the TLRI - Great expectations: enhancing learning and strengthening teaching in primary schools with diverse student populations through action research.

ABOUT - New Zealand Association for Research in Education, Te Hunga Rangahau Mätauranga o Aotearoa

NZARE seeks to foster high standards in the practice of educational research in New Zealand. It promotes research and development throughout the education sector through publishing (monographs and newsletters), holding conferences and mentoring researchers in their professional development. Founded in 1974, NZARE has nearly 500 members throughout New Zealand. For further details, go to www.nzare.org.nz

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