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Teacher Education - David Turner

Researcher David Turner

CQUniversity's Willingness to Work Closely With School Teachers and Leaders, Both in Researching Practice and in Applying New Knowledge, is a Real Strength

Teacher Education – David Turner

Personal Experience

I started out as a teacher and moved to a principal position in a small school early in my career. While my career progressed, taking me to communities across Queensland, I completed an MBA and then a second masters degree in Educational Management and Leadership.

During my time as a principal in the Noosa area, I became involved in working with staff at CQUniversity’s Noosa campus to deliver a new teacher education degree.

My role as school principal in this partnership was to help CQUni staff understand the day-to-day operations of a school and focus on quality outcomes for university students. It was the university’s willingness to work with the schools that made this partnership highly successful. This is where I became interested in the contribution practicing school leaders could make to the school leadership research and literature, and I decided to undertake my doctorate.

My doctoral studies and subsequent research focused on the importance of schools and the university working together to ensure quality graduates from teacher education programs. In late 2005, I won the role of Head of Campus at CQUniversity Noosa where I continued developing this partnership, but from the university side.

Research at CQUniversity: Teacher Education

Researching what is effective in teacher education means we develop sound understanding of what will result in improved outcomes for teachers and students. The challenges teachers face in schools are becoming more complex and the more insights we can develop from quality research, from how we prepare teachers through to the leadership in schools, the better our schools will be.

In the same way, the leadership of schools is becoming increasingly complex work, but it is vital to quality educational outcomes for students. The demands on school leaders are significant, but there are outstanding examples of practice in leadership that should be researched and, where proven to be effective, shared.

Bridging the gap between the research community and professional practice means we can take new knowledge, and more seamlessly and effectively have it implemented in a way that will benefit school leaders, teachers and ultimately students. CQUniversity’s willingness to work closely with school teachers and leaders, both in researching practice and in applying new knowledge, is a real strength.

CQUniversity is working closely with Queensland’s largest professional association for school leaders, the Queensland Association of State School Principals. This collaboration indicates the potential for relevant, in-the-field research that will impact school leader practice. This builds on CQUniversity’s already strong reputation in teacher education that has been established over many years. This reputation is built on a focus in initial teacher education, on embedding quality evidence, informed pedagogy and a willingness to build connections between the research community, teachers and school leaders.

CQUniversity also offers contemporary approaches to supervision with outstanding support for RHD students, including regular symposiums at university and faculty level that build a strong and supportive research culture. This includes generous financial support for conference presentations and research projects. This means researchers are quickly exposed to a strong research culture that ensures success.

Current Research Projects

I am currently involved in a few different research projects, including teacher education, improving teaching practice, the role of leadership teams in schools, the preparation and development of teachers and school leaders, and effective facilitation of teaching improvement.

I am also investigating practitioner research and how the profession and the research community can better work together. Developing the research skills of practicing school leaders in areas including school improvement, pedagogical reform and teacher feedback, provides a significant opportunity to add new knowledge to the field. What’s more, working with practitioners who are undertaking research in our schools is the perfect way of making a long-term contribution to the teaching profession.

Research Career Highlights

Presenting at my first international research conference, which was in Italy, remains a highlight. More recently my involvement in research projects around school improvement and blended learning has provided further opportunities to work internationally. However, the research I am most engaged with now is supervising practicing school leaders who are undertaking RHDs on a range of topics related to school leadership.