Page 140 - Empowering pre-service teachers through inquiry - Lidewij van Katwijk
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                                Chapter 6
 7 Implications for practice
Pre-service teacher inquiry, a form of practitioner research, which aims to understand and improve practices in the (pre-service) teacher’s (educator’s) own context (Borko et al., 2007), is not only the focus of this study; indeed, this dissertation has a similar focus, in that we examined the first author’s own context (though in a broad sense), who is a teacher educator at one of the participating institutes for primary teacher education. Throughout this study, we have gained a deeper understanding of pre- service teacher inquiry, and our findings suggest three main implications for practice.
The first implication concerns aspects of curriculum design for development of an inquiry stance during teacher education and beyond. The main aspect is coherence in the various components of the programme. Overall constructive alignment among intended learning outcomes, teaching activities and assessment regarding an inquiry stance is important. Assessment should be focused not only on research knowledge and research skills but also and especially on characteristics of an inquiry habit of mind. Other forms of assessment than an inquiry report with a scoring rubric could be designed to show growth in the development of the integrated inquiry competences, the inquiry stance. The development of an inquiry stance should begin in the first year, or even on the first day, of teacher education by encouraging wondering and critical thought about children and educational practice. The inquiry stance provides and captures the lenses through which pre-service teachers learn to view and generate knowledge that guides practice (Cochran-Smith, 2009). Attention to inquiry competences, including an inquiry habit of mind, should be part of every course and all fieldwork experiences. For the development of the inquiry stance, a continuous interaction between existing knowledge and practice is essential; experiences from practice feed intentions and directions to deepen personal and professional knowledge. Increasing knowledge about educational concepts stimulates application of previous findings in practice. Drawing on our insights, we designed a model (Figure 6.1). In this model for curriculum design, improvement of practice and development of an inquiry stance reinforce each other and contribute to the development of personal and professional identity of pre-service teachers. The lemniscate illustrates the infinite nature of continuous professional development‒that is, lifelong learning (looking forward to being able to improve and looking back to be able to apply insights from others). Improvement of practice, above the ‘waterline’, is more tangible than the development of an inquiry stance and can be measured in various ways, such as observation of teaching skills and assessment of designed lessons. Improvement of

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