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                                Pre-service teacher inquiry; an international comparison
 and “to improve own practice” fit the purpose of applying research in practice. Some answers did not connect with any of the four aspects but still seemed relevant for the perceived purpose of pre-service teacher research, such as “to use it as a learning strategy,” “to innovate education (incl. to construct knowledge),” and “for academic qualifications.”
In general, the similarities in perceived purpose among teacher educators across
the four institutes are high. An inquiry habit of mind (or its synonyms) is mentioned
most frequently, sometimes combined with the purpose of connecting theory and
practice. For example, Ethan (TE AU2) explained, “I think the research project and the 4 inquiry nature of it ... deepened their thinking. I think that might stay with them in
practice.” Similarly, Jan (TE NL1) noted, “It’s a great tool to connect theory and practice.
To push students into a thinking mode. The critical disposition is very important.” In
the focus groups, the educators and pre-service teachers rarely mentioned gaining
research knowledge as a purpose, with the exception of a few educators from Australia.
The pre-service teachers noted that they use it as a learning strategy and mentioned
being able to conduct research, but they pointed to an inquiry habit of mind as the
most important purpose. For example, Jack (PST AU2) reflected, “The main purpose?
It’s supposed to give us a critical thought process what we do as teachers.” Similarly,
Els (PST NL1) noted the most important purpose was “to learn to look critically and to
take a step backwards.”
An interesting difference between the educators of the two countries is that the Australian educators mentioned that pre-service teacher research is designed to be a learning strategy; for example, Ella (TE AU2) commented: “What I wanted – hoped – this project would do is to give people the opportunity to bring together some aspects of the programme in a way that helps them to move forward. And thinking about this move forward, they might use some of it into their teaching itself.” In contrast, Dutch educators aimed to innovate in education through pre-service teacher research, such as when Roel (TE NL1) expressed “that schools notice the value of practitioner research. We would like to develop learning communities with teacher educators, pre-service teachers and teachers who deal with research questions and burning issues connected to the school practice. Innovative.”
Perceived purposes in questionnaires
In the questionnaires, respondents provided their perceptions of the purposes of pre-service teacher research. As Table 4.3 shows, responses to the questionnaire items related to perceived purposes all show a mean of 4.2 or higher on the six-point

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