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                                Pre-service teacher inquiry; an international comparison
 of the meetings, completed the questionnaire. Table 4.1 provides a summary of the study methods and numbers of participants in the eight cases. All educators and pre-service teachers participated voluntarily and gave informed consent. Throughout this article, we use pseudonyms for all participants.
4.3 Data collection
4.3.1 Focus groups
In each of the four institutes we organised one focus group interview with the teacher 4 educators and one with the pre-service teachers (see Table 4.1 for the number of
participants). We started each of the focus groups with an explanation of the study,
an overview of the theoretical background, and the meaning of a focus group.
Participants were invited to introduce themselves and, in case of the pre-service teachers’ focus groups, each participant briefly explained the topic of their own teacher research. The central question for discussion in the focus groups was: “Why do you think pre-service teacher research is part of your programme of initial teacher education?” In the Dutch focus group of teacher educators with 12 participants, we invited each participant to first make some notes about their own perceptions before the collective oral exchange. During discussions of the central question in the focus groups, we directed the conversation toward participants’ perceptions of the purpose of pre-service teacher research (RQ1). To prompt statements about learning outcomes (RQ2) and the value of pre-service teacher research (RQ3), we either relied on the initial, central question or asked other, in-depth questions, such as “What did you learn from conducting research?” with gentle follow-up probes, such as “Why do you think so?” to fully explore participants’ ideas. In all focus groups, we emphasized that we would prefer a discussion rather than question and answer session, and that the participants should not hesitate to voice their possible different viewpoints.
We held these focus groups in the Netherlands in June 2016 and in Australia in November 2016. The focus groups with pre-service teachers lasted approximately one hour, whereas those with teacher educators averaged one and a half hours. We video recorded, transcribed, and analysed all focus groups with the help of Atlas.ti. To establish consensus, the first three authors discussed the coding of the Australian focus groups. After general consensus was reached, the codes were applied to the Dutch transcripts correspondingly.

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