Page 14 - Empowering pre-service teachers through inquiry - Lidewij van Katwijk
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                                Chapter 1
 Considering the many positive claims made about the value of pre-service teacher research and inquiry as a teacher education pedagogy and the lack of studies regarding its learning outcomes in a bachelor’s degree programme, the main question of this thesis is as follows: What is the added value of pre-service teacher inquiry in primary teacher education?
2 Previous research
The past decades have witnessed worldwide growth in attention to practitioner research and the role of pre-service teacher research in teacher education. In Appendix A, we present an overview of previous research, identifying the focus, countries involved, main findings and methodology of these studies. We determined that although findings from master’s degree and post-graduate programmes in various countries can provide some insight into the contribution of practitioner research to professional development of (pre-service) teachers, a knowledge gap remains regarding pre-service teacher research in bachelor’s degree programmes for teacher education. Furthermore, this overview uncovered a variety of definitions and a confusion of concepts. Therefore, the next paragraphs define the essential concepts regarding pre-service teacher research in primary teacher education in the Netherlands.
When describing teacher education programmes, extant studies typically use the terms ‘research’ and ‘inquiry’ interchangeably (Munthe & Rogne, 2015). In our context, we prefer the term ‘inquiry’ to ‘research’, though the distinction between the two does not exist in Dutch. ‘Inquiry is a process of systematic, rigorous and critical reflection about professional practice, and the contexts in which it occurs, in ways that question taken-for-granted assumptions. Its purpose is to inform decision-making for action’ (Reid, 2004, p. 4). Inquiry involves educators pursuing their ‘wonderings’, as well as using theory behind practices and exploring alternatives systematically. By contrast, the use of a variety of quantitative and qualitative research methods, scientific, international literature and peer review, as well as the construction of advancing knowledge that is applicable to other researchers, is essential to research but optional for inquiry. The ability to conduct research is a requirement at master’s degree and doctoral levels (Munthe & Rogne, 2015). One of the major goals of teacher research is to contribute to the knowledge base of educational research (Hammerness, 2006; Zwart et al., 2015); therefore, the term ‘inquiry’ fits better with the aims of primary

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