Research to improve specialist knowledge: An HE in FE perspective

Denis Feather

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to establish if lecturers in further education colleges (FECs) delivering higher education business courses (HEBCs) undertook research to improve specialist knowledge. A critical analysis of the literature was undertaken, providing an overview of what is understood by the term 'research'. Lecturers in FECs were then asked if they undertook research to improve their specialist knowledge. The primary research comprised the narratives of 26 lecturers, geographically dispersed across the Yorkshire and Humber region in the United Kingdom. Barriers to undertaking research identified from the narratives were those of time, bureaucracy, and heavy workloads. The findings showed that for some lecturers, research is viewed as bipolar - that is, research to keep abreast of the subject(s) they delivered, or research to provide new knowledge. Further, that some lecturers had a laissez-faire approach to their subject area and the acquiring of new knowledge, instead practising what one lecturer coined as 'reading to teach'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-322
Number of pages13
JournalResearch in Post-Compulsory Education
Issue number3
Early online date7 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2014


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