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Measuring up? Metrics and research assessment in UK teacher education

Hulme, Moira and Wood, Jeffrey and Shi, Xin (2020) Measuring up? Metrics and research assessment in UK teacher education. Journal of Education for Teaching, 46 (2). ISSN 0260-7476

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Abstract

This paper offers a multi-dimensional analysis of publication outputs from teacher education research published in the UK between 2000 and 2013. The analysis draws on a sample of 727 articles published in 39 journals. Using metrics data extracted from Elsevier’s Scopus database, the analysis outlines the distribution of outputs and explores characteristics associated with productivity and influence. Conceptual and methodological issues with the enumeration of research quality and impact are identified, including quality criteria, citation practices and coverage in leading bibliometric databases. Several contextual factors are taken into consideration. These include author affiliation at the time of publication, university research ranking, Education subject ranking and the size of intake for programmes of initial teacher education. The analysis confirms an association between publication productivity and institutional type, with an inverse relation between large-scale engagement in the practices of teacher education (represented by student numbers) and the production of research on teacher education that is judged to be of high quality. This has implications for how the activities of university Schools of Education are valued and the prospects for research-informed teacher education in the UK.

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