Research plays an integral part in the archetype of a college professor. At state and select private universities (often known as Research I schools), a professor’s research record is as important as their teaching and service records, often more so. At mid-major and liberal arts colleges, research may not be as integral but it is still important and relevant. The ability for a professor to conduct topical and relevant research from implementation to publication is considered vital to the growth of the specific discipline as well as academia at large.
This is evident at a conference like the American Educational Research Association’s Annual Meeting, happening right now in San Francisco, where thousands of educators are presenting their research findings to thousands of attendees. The sheer volume of papers and presentations on topical issues across the various strata of education is overwhelming, and AERA has worked diligently to divide their membership mass into divisions and special interest groups so that individuals can find field-specific topics to utilize for their scholarship or to share their scholarship.
I want to ask the question but does it matter? and then cut to the page break, being all provocative and such. That’s not the right question, because it does matter. It matters a lot. But how much of a difference is it truly making? Continue reading