Conceptualising Research in Education Studies Programmes

Research is a constitutive element of Higher Education and a very important component of Education Studies programmes. These programmes comprise specific units or modules dedicated to introduce theoretical and practical issues about educational research. This paper discusses the experience of an Education Studies lecturer reflecting on his teaching practices and interactions with undergraduate and postgraduate students on the subject of research. This study takes an action research approach influenced by the “discipline of noticing” (Mason, 2002) and aims to provide arguments to understand how research is conceptualised within the current political, organizational and institutional changes that are taking place in a post-92 Higher Education Institutions in which this study is contextualised. The barriers constraining the transformation of teaching practices associated to research units and the emergency of different discourses about university, student identity and perception of change, are identified as key elements used to articulate different forms of conceptualising research. Finally, this paper also provides an example of direct implications for the design and implementation of research units, further research in the area and the understanding of Education Studies as a distinctive subject in its own right.