Page 84 - Empowering pre-service teachers through inquiry - Lidewij van Katwijk
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                                Chapter 4
 revitalisation and renewal of teaching practices (e.g., Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 2009; Day, 1999; Elliott, 2004).
In turn, practitioner research - or practitioner inquiry- “refers to a variety of educational research modes [..], including action research, teacher research, narrative inquiry, [..]and the use of teaching as a context for research” (Cochran-Smith et al., 2009, p.18). It takes an insider perspective, unlike conventional education research (Cochran-Smith et al., 2009), such that it is more closely linked to professional development. Practitioner research aims to understand and improve practices within the teacher’s own, local context (Borko, Liston & Whitcomb, 2007). Although practitioner research mostly has served professional learning purposes, it offers a range of potential outcomes, such as increasing teachers’ knowledge and understanding of students (Butler & Schnellert, 2012; Jacobs, Yendol-Hoppey, & Dana, 2015; Levin, 2013; Rinke & Stebick, 2013), improving teaching practice (Ermeling, 2010; Levin, 2013), and fostering teacher empowerment and transformation (Esposito & Smith, 2006; Merino & Holmes, 2006). Learning how to conduct practitioner research also can lead to a more critical, reflective habit of mind, increase understanding of scholastic culture, support adaptations of teaching to pupils’ needs, encourage innovative methods, and prompt participation in professional learning communities (Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 2009; Dobber, Akkerman, Verloop, & Vermunt, 2012; Zeichner & Noffke, 2001).
For this article, we focus on pre-service teacher research as a form of practitioner research; the pre-service teacher is a practitioner, who uses intentional, systematic methods and a specified learning strategy to inquire into and improve his or her own practice (Cochran-Smith et al., 2009), ideally driven by curiosity and knowledge of some educational problem in a particular context (Jacobs et al., 2015). For teacher education, practitioner research represents a professional learning strategy, in the context of becoming a teacher, that aims to focus pre-service teachers explicitly on setting and achieving goals for student learning and underpinning their own practice with scientific knowledge (Dana & Yendol-Hoppey, 2014). The presentation of pre- service teacher research in teacher education settings varies from programme to programme, as Munthe and Rogne (2015) show in their review of pre-service teacher research in Finland, Norway, the United States, and Scotland.

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