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The influence of politics on research and implications for TESOL


Throssell, P and Lu, J, The influence of politics on research and implications for TESOL, Linguistics and language education in new horizons: The link between theory, research and pedagogy, Nova Science Publishers, S Fan, T Le & Q Le (ed), New York, pp. 129-139. ISBN 978-1-63482-800-0 (2015) [Research Book Chapter]

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Copyright 2015 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.

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Research is often utilised as being the basis for key areas of change in the world. These include knowledge development, the basis for changes in national governmental policies world-wide and (seemingly) the answer to world health problems. With research valued so highly it can be argued that researchers should have independence in carrying out their sacred mission: to question values and to contribute to knowledge. Consequently, research should not be influenced detrimentally by the politics of institutional or governmental decision makers. Research energy can be drained by research involvement that is ‗side-tracked‘ or deflected from a clear and transparent research focus towards the aims of those who seek to control research choices, activities and results for their own benefits. Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) has increased in prominence throughout the world as English achieves increasing acceptance as the global language. Consequently, research into a wide range of aspects related to the improvement of teaching and learning is needed for the area to continue to be dynamic and open to ongoing change. This chapter critically examines differing levels of research activity and linkages to the influence of politics. The relationship between research and politics is complex and ever-changing. As a result of the shifting nature of the interaction there are elements of conflict and tension inherent in the relationship. However, politics acting in an unconstructive manner upon research can create tension and dissonance among researchers and research communities. It is suggested that the value of the research that is currently being encouraged within the hegemonic research community needs ongoing questioning. Intellectual curiosity in regard to seeking knowledge about learning is being restricted or even stifled leading to a need for a deeper understanding of how this is occurring. The response to the politics of research in a key area such as TESOL may restrict researchers to following discourses that may reduce the focus and quality of research undertaken relating to TESOL.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:research, politics, TESOL, English as a global language, change, learning, equity, social justice, social change
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and pedagogy
Research Field:LOTE, ESL and TESOL curriculum and pedagogy
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Other education and training
Objective Field:Other education and training not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Throssell, P (Dr Paul Throssell)
ID Code:102618
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2015-09-01
Last Modified:2017-10-17

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