Page 70 - Empowering pre-service teachers through inquiry - Lidewij van Katwijk
P. 70

                                Chapter 3
 Teacher educators also point out that some of their colleagues are not aware of the entire teaching–learning trajectory or of the requirements of other years or subjects.
Although in the survey pre-service teachers identify inquiry habit of mind as important (i.e., strong point), in the focus group sessions they were not able to identify activities in teacher education that contribute to the development of their own inquiry habits of mind. Instead, they indicated that other aspects of their teacher education and their lives in general (e.g., study periods abroad) are responsible for developing such habits of mind. Yet teacher educators mentioned examples of teaching activities they use to develop students’ inquiry habits of mind, such as assignments in which they asked pre-service teachers to observe the inquiry habits of mind of pupils during STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) classes or give constructive feedback on the research plans of other pre-service teachers.
Analogous to the survey, all student focus group participants mentioned the importance of high-quality supervisors. In their programs, supervision varies between and within institutes, according to the organization, group, or individual format; meeting frequency (from every week to never); and focus (i.e., methodology or subject). Pre-service teachers seem to prefer supervisors with research experience. Although the institutes offer both formal and informal forms of professionalization to supervisors, all pre-service teachers perceive substantial differences in the quality of the supervisors, which in turn directly influence students’ motivation and perceived learning outcomes.
Perceived learning outcomes
In both the survey and focus group sessions, we asked pre-service teachers and teacher educators about perceived learning outcomes. From the survey, we analyzed responses to the Inquiry competence and Ease scales (Table 3.5), as well as answers to open-ended questions about the most important learning outcome. The findings for Inquiry competence show that teacher educators and pre-service teachers agree that
Table 3.5 Descriptive statistics of the Inquiry competence and Ease scales
  Positive *
    Very positive **
   Positive *
   Very positive **
Inquiry competence
5.0(.70) 2.9(.67)
96% 48% 15% 1%
Inquiry 4.6(.57) 96% 15% competence
Ease 2.6(.69) 9% 0%
 Note: Results based on items with 6-point scales (1 = “I fully disagree” – 6 = “I fully agree”). * M > 3.5; ** M > 5.

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