Developing a Research Culture in Higher Education; Educator's Speak

Article excerpt

THE Solution: Develop Research Culture

Culture is defined as the totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought characteristics of a community or population. In academe, there is - or at least there ought to be - such a thing as a research culture.

A research culture may be defined as a tradition of scholarly activities related to the production of new knowledge. It does not just happen. In many academic institutions in the country, it is still to be developed as indicated by the absence of scholarly publications among their faculty, so Balacuit of Mindanao State University (MSU) tells us in 1999.

Developing a culture needs a philosophy. A premier university in Pampanga has this philosophy: Research in higher education aims at developing critical and independent inquiry for the advancement of knowledge observing the highest standards of excellence and integrity. It shall seek to bring about improvement in instruction and extension to propel higher education in being excellent, more relevant and responsive to the needs of a globally competitive but locally responsive human resource base.

The survey done by Bernardo in 1998 "indicates that most of the research on higher education is being done, as expected, in colleges and universities. In particular, the bulk of the researches were undertaken as part of the requirements for the completion of master's and doctoral degrees in education and other related disciplines."

As to motivation for research, Bernardo tells us, ". As Alcala (1996) and other have implied, the thesis and dissertation is viewed mainly as a necessarily evil to obtain a degree rather than 'an activity that enhances one's worth and market value in the academic sphere,' Theses are mere products of 'compliance."'

Bernardo also asks this question: Why is there not as much research being done by faculties of colleges and universities? His answer. "We can only speculate why faculty are not doing more research. We could say that faculty members do not have the time given their teaching and maybe administrative responsibilities. Indeed, in many private colleges and universities in the city of Manila, faculty members carry loads of 18 to 30 units (up to 10 classes!) a semester."

Dr. Racelis suggested that to foster good academic research, college and university deans must have a wide-range initiative for the research such as the earmarking of funds, lightening the teaching load of active researchers and crating on-campus research institutes or centers. This, it is thought will provide a conducive set-up for academic research.

The suggestions for more incentives, reduction of travel constraints, elimination of austerity measures, increment of funds, and more opportunities is like a very loud cymbal played by a solo player. …