Page 143 - Empowering pre-service teachers through inquiry - Lidewij van Katwijk
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                                education by conducting practitioner research and inquiry together, might play an
important role. The current Dutch policy tends to stimulate networks of universities
and primary schools in which pre-service teachers are being educated, which means a
widening of the supported target group. These networks can choose their own focus.
In these days with many vacancies due to a shortage of teachers, primary schools
might choose fast choices and quick solutions to educate pre-service teachers. Instead,
a shared vision on the development of an inquiry stance and the culture of inquiry
in the school is required for long-term improvement and a shift to inquiry-based
working. Most important is the room for curiosity, sharing of findings and dialogue
about educational improvement. More structured time for professional development
of teachers by practitioner inquiry will increase the status of the profession and will
attract more and different types of pre-service teachers. After graduation, the newly
qualified teachers should be supported in building practical experience by induction
programmes. After three to five years of teaching experience, all teachers should have
the opportunity to engage in practitioner research or inquiry in professional learning 6 communities, in which teacher colleagues and teacher educators participate with
the aim to improve practice. Primary schools should stimulate teachers who want to continue academic professionalisation (and are capable of doing so) and maybe even obtain a master’s degree. These teachers can be of added value to the professional learning communities and the reinforcement of the culture of inquiry.
The profiles we found indicate that teacher education could focus on a differentiated approach to educating pre-service teachers depending on their capability of and interest in conducting practitioner research and inquiry. ‘Good practitioners’ as well as ‘high achievers’ are necessary; all should be able to develop their inquiry stance in different ways, which can lead to different functions within schools. The combination of high requirements and possibilities for specialisation in teacher education and in primary schools will support lifelong learning and make the profession more attractive, which could in turn lead to a greater and more varied population of students and to more empowered teachers.
To conclude, in contrast to the intuitive expectation that pre-service teachers experience pre-service teacher inquiry as a burden and do not value inquiry, this study showed that most of them feel empowered because it gives them a broader framework and therefore understanding of their own teaching reality. So, as a teacher education pedagogy aimed at educating good and lifelong learning teachers, pre-service teacher inquiry is a very powerful one.
General conclusion and discussion

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