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 a variety of world 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. This paper 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 a unconstructive manner upon research can create tension and dissonance among 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.
|Keywords:||Research, Politics, Change, Learning|
Lecturer in TESOL, Faculty of Education, University of Tasmania, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia