Page 12 - Empowering pre-service teachers through inquiry - Lidewij van Katwijk
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                                Chapter 1
 1 Introduction
Since about ten years, pre-service teacher research has been a compulsory component of the primary teacher education programme in the Netherlands. Over 90 % of the pre-service teachers primary education attend a bachelor programme at a university of applied sciences, which are traditionally more focused on teaching than on research. Pre-service teacher research was introduced after the declaration of Bologna, which aimed to harmonise European higher education systems. Student research emerged as a suitable and popular way to teach and assess the core competences as described by the Dublin descriptors (Griffioen, 2014). Implementing research activities in the curricula of universities of applied sciences turned out to be complicated because these institutes lack research experience and culture (Verburg & Elen, 2013). In the Netherlands, research universities are focused on research and served as an example for curriculum design on research education in universities of applied sciences. In universities for applied sciences, teacher educators, who are often recruited because they have had successful teaching experience in primary schools, have had to learn to conduct research themselves, in addition to professionalize in teaching research skills and supervising student teachers’ research and inquiry (Geerdink et al., 2015). The pressure to improve research education was high, because the last accreditation round for primary teacher education in 2015 has focused on the quality of capstone projects, which are pre-service teacher research projects assessed by teacher educators with scoring rubrics on research reports. After all the institutes were accredited in 2015, the question ‘How can we implement research in our curriculum?’ has shifted to ‘Why did we implement pre-service teacher research? Do we get better teachers?’ Pre-service teacher research takes a great deal of effort and is time consuming and demanding (Maaranen, 2009; Reis-Jorge, 2007). It also takes time away from the more practical and more highly appreciated aspects of the curriculum (Dunn, Harrison, & Coombe, 2008; Joram, 2007), which raises the question, ‘What is the purpose and value of pre-service teacher research?’
The assumption is that knowing about research and conducting research oneself strengthens the quality of teaching. Teachers who use practitioner research as a professional learning strategy are encouraged to substantiate their actions with the scientific knowledge of others and are more aware of their own professional goals to improve practice (Darling-Hammond, 2017; Livingston & Flores, 2017; Menter, Peters & Cowie, 2017). Teacher education is assumed to play a crucial role in enhancing and

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