Page 122 - Empowering pre-service teachers through inquiry - Lidewij van Katwijk
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                                Chapter 5
 et al., 2015). Third, they indicate confidence in undertaking practitioner inquiry after finishing their capstone inquiry project. Although this self-efficacy for undertaking inquiry might be influenced by their recent completion of their inquiry project, it still might contribute to their involvement in inquiry-based working in a future job (e.g., Baan et al., 2019a; Uiterwijk-Luijk et al., 2017). These positive perceptions are in line with some previous studies about master’s degree programmes (e.g., Aspfors & Eklund 2017; Kowalczuk-Walędziak et al., 2019; Ulvik, Ries & Roness, 2017), though other studies report negative perceptions among pre-service teachers, who stated they did not see the connection with their teaching practice (e.g., Puustinen et al., 2018). The explicit link between theory and practice and the possibility of applying findings from previous research to their own practice seems to contribute positively to pre-service teachers’ perceptions.
We find a significant positive correlation between scores on pre-service teacher practice and scores on pre-service teacher inquiry. It is not a very strong relation, and no causality has been proven. To gain deeper insight in this relation and the link to the perceived value of pre-service teacher inquiry, we conducted a cluster analysis to identify pre-service teacher profiles on the basis of the quality of their pre-service inquiry and teaching. The pre-service teachers in the low achievers and good practitioners profiles expressed less positive attitudes toward pre-service teacher inquiry than the high achievers. The differences in perceptions of the most important learning outcomes were remarkable. The high achievers realised that the development of an inquiry habit of mind, characterised by being critical and curious, wanting to share and wanting to achieve, is their most important learning outcome; this perception corresponds to the most important purpose of pre-service teacher inquiry, as described in the teacher education programme (Van Katwijk et al., 2019b). We view this finding as similar to the results obtained with students who wrote stronger papers in Cochran-Smith et al. (2009): When the authors scored inquiry projects, they found that in the stronger papers, the research question was connected to a larger theoretical or conceptual vision about teaching and learning, signalling that the inquiry experience functioned as ‘a springboard for further learning about learning’ (p.25). The average students and low achievers in our study might not have understood the recursive nature of research, and the assessment part with scoring rubrics might have encouraged a procedural understanding of practitioner research and inquiry (Cochran-Smith et al.,2009). At minimum, the pre-service teachers in all four profiles noticed the value of linking theory and practice.

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