Page 128 - Empowering pre-service teachers through inquiry - Lidewij van Katwijk
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                                Chapter 6
 1 Introduction
Pre-service teacher inquiry is increasingly required in teacher education worldwide, largely because research literacy is assumed to constitute an important foundation for teachers’ continuous professional development. In the Netherlands, pre-service teacher inquiry became compulsory in the professional bachelor of primary teacher education about ten years ago, as a result of European agreements in the Bologna Process. However, few empirical studies have explicitly investigated what teacher educators and pre-service teachers perceive as the purpose, value and learning outcomes of such research requirements in teacher education programmes at universities of applied sciences. Furthermore, few studies address the relationship of pre-service teacher inquiry with the quality of pre-service teachers’ teaching practice.
The main aim of this thesis is to gain insight into the contribution of pre-service teacher inquiry to self-reported changes in attitude, knowledge/insight, skills and expertise of pre-service teachers, along with improvements in their professional practice. To achieve these underlying goals, we formulated the following research questions:
1. What is the purpose and value of pre-service teacher inquiry in primary teacher education (in intended, implemented and attained curriculum)?
2. How is the development of pre-service teacher inquiry competences implemented in teacher education programmes?
3. What are the most important perceived and actual learning outcomes from pre-service teacher inquiry?
4. What are the relationships among pre-service teacher’s perceptions, quality of pre-service teacher inquiry and teaching quality?
These research questions guided us along the various perspectives of the teacher education curriculum. The curriculum model of Van den Akker (2003) formed the framework of analysis (see Figure 1.1, p. 11), which also is reflected in the presentation of the main findings. We conducted a document analysis to explore the descriptions of pre-service teacher research and inquiry in the ideal and the formal curriculum of primary teacher education (Chapter 2). To analyse the implemented curriculum, we used perceptions of teacher educators and pre-service teachers in the Netherlands and

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