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Characteristics of academic research output and dilemma of teaching and research at selected universities in the Chinese mainland

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Abstract:

This study's aim is to discuss the conditions and characteristics of Chinese academics' research output, how they respond to the challenges of new employment reform, and how they balance teaching and researching. Despite the central reality of rapid expansion(Altbach, 2010), higher education in the Chinese Mainland is also facing some other critical changes influenced by globalization(Lo&Chen, 2004). In this contextualized situation, the output of scientific research, as a result, becomes a key issue. Our research investigated the conditions and characteristics of academic's research output, considering the factors of personal background, personal achievement, job satisfaction and institutional environment.(Blackburn&Tien, 1997; Fox, 1985; Wood, 1990; Harris&Kaine, 1994; Welch, 1997) In the qualitative part of our study, we find the main obsession of academics is the relationship between research and teaching, which has been and continues to be a dilemma in higher education(Boyer, 1990).,Mmuch ink has been spilled over building different models which help to understand the relationship, negativa(Moore,1963; Eble,1976; S. Clark, 1986), positive(Borgatta,1970; Deming, 1972; White,1986; Westergard, 1991), zero(B. Barnett 1992; Seldin, 1985; Feldman,1987)or having mediating variables (Marsh&Overall, 1979; Friedrich&Michalak,1983). When we give consideration to the specific societal culture, historical trajectory and policy ecology, the dilemma has a new picture in Chinese higher education. Methodologically, this research employed a mixed-method as the main strategy of data collection. In phase one, we developed a questionnaire to scrutinize the general situations of 2880 faculty members. The respondents were from four main disciplines of nine universities, which represented and covered the three levels and types of universities in Mainland China. In phase two, based on the preliminary analysis of the data, the follow-up interviews had been conducted among 60 respondents in three universities in each level. In order to enrich the achieved data, five scholars had been selected from each discipline in respect of the main strategy for interviewee selection. Using cluster analysis to classify faculties into three output groups, we find that on the distribution of groups, there are significant difference among types and levels of universities, various subject areas, gender, professional titles, highest degrees, countries issing e teachers' highest degrees, whether they have executive position or not, and whether they are a master supervisor or a PhD supervisor. Although most of the respondents agree that teaching, as a critical aspect in education, has its root in Chinese traditional culture and history, the reward system strongly challenges the balance between teaching and research. Ironically, on one hand, the institutions encourage the scholars to give teaching more priority to improve quality; on the other hand, the evaluation system does not value teaching as much as research. One of the significant results of this dilemma is that faculty members keep struggling to balance the two major aspects of academic work life in teaching and research.
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Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492663_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Linlin, Li., Manhong, Lai. and Ping, Du. "Characteristics of academic research output and dilemma of teaching and research at selected universities in the Chinese mainland" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Apr 30, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492663_index.html>

APA Citation:

Linlin, L. , Manhong, L. and Ping, D. , 2011-04-30 "Characteristics of academic research output and dilemma of teaching and research at selected universities in the Chinese mainland" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492663_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This study's aim is to discuss the conditions and characteristics of Chinese academics' research output, how they respond to the challenges of new employment reform, and how they balance teaching and researching. Despite the central reality of rapid expansion(Altbach, 2010), higher education in the Chinese Mainland is also facing some other critical changes influenced by globalization(Lo&Chen, 2004). In this contextualized situation, the output of scientific research, as a result, becomes a key issue. Our research investigated the conditions and characteristics of academic's research output, considering the factors of personal background, personal achievement, job satisfaction and institutional environment.(Blackburn&Tien, 1997; Fox, 1985; Wood, 1990; Harris&Kaine, 1994; Welch, 1997) In the qualitative part of our study, we find the main obsession of academics is the relationship between research and teaching, which has been and continues to be a dilemma in higher education(Boyer, 1990).,Mmuch ink has been spilled over building different models which help to understand the relationship, negativa(Moore,1963; Eble,1976; S. Clark, 1986), positive(Borgatta,1970; Deming, 1972; White,1986; Westergard, 1991), zero(B. Barnett 1992; Seldin, 1985; Feldman,1987)or having mediating variables (Marsh&Overall, 1979; Friedrich&Michalak,1983). When we give consideration to the specific societal culture, historical trajectory and policy ecology, the dilemma has a new picture in Chinese higher education. Methodologically, this research employed a mixed-method as the main strategy of data collection. In phase one, we developed a questionnaire to scrutinize the general situations of 2880 faculty members. The respondents were from four main disciplines of nine universities, which represented and covered the three levels and types of universities in Mainland China. In phase two, based on the preliminary analysis of the data, the follow-up interviews had been conducted among 60 respondents in three universities in each level. In order to enrich the achieved data, five scholars had been selected from each discipline in respect of the main strategy for interviewee selection. Using cluster analysis to classify faculties into three output groups, we find that on the distribution of groups, there are significant difference among types and levels of universities, various subject areas, gender, professional titles, highest degrees, countries issing e teachers' highest degrees, whether they have executive position or not, and whether they are a master supervisor or a PhD supervisor. Although most of the respondents agree that teaching, as a critical aspect in education, has its root in Chinese traditional culture and history, the reward system strongly challenges the balance between teaching and research. Ironically, on one hand, the institutions encourage the scholars to give teaching more priority to improve quality; on the other hand, the evaluation system does not value teaching as much as research. One of the significant results of this dilemma is that faculty members keep struggling to balance the two major aspects of academic work life in teaching and research.


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