Page 97 - Empowering pre-service teachers through inquiry - Lidewij van Katwijk
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                                Pre-service teacher inquiry; an international comparison
 use theoretical concepts. It develops my opinion and passion about [my] own topics!” Both educators and pre-service teachers also mention a value of the pre- service teacher research that they experienced during the project, in that it provides a valuable communication tool. Chloe (TE AU1) explains: “It was also valuable, they [pre-service teachers] felt that they had to talk with teachers and principals about this research project. It made them feel that they had something to offer.” Both Dutch and Australian pre-service teachers confirm this notion. As Els (PST NL 1) says, “Through the pre-service teacher research, I made a change from student teacher to
colleague.” Zoe (PST AU1) also notes, “It was a way to connect on a professional level 4 and she [supervising teacher] was able to see what kind of a learner I am and what I
am interested in.”
Surprisingly, both Australian and Dutch pre-service teachers also indicate that they did not expect to conduct research in their future jobs — at least not in the way they learned during their teacher education course. As Lily (PST AU1) explains, “I don’t want to go to a school where I have to do a research [project]. Then it will be a bit too much pressure.” Zoe (PST AU1) adds: “Not this formal way, but I would like a kind of reflective practise about my own teaching in some areas to improve it.” All the participating pre-service teachers in NL1 agree that they learned a lot and believed they were better teachers because of the pre-service teacher research, but none of them thought they would conduct research formally in the future. According to Pien, (PST NL1) “I would never conduct research again the way we did in teacher education,” though Els (PST NL1) acknowledges, “I would like to work with colleagues with an inquiry habit of mind though and to share findings.”
When we asked, “What makes pre-service teacher research in the programme valuable?” all the pre-service teachers mentioned the connection to practice. That is, pre-service teacher research is valuable because it is a way to learn to connect theory and practice. In the Netherlands, more assignments in initial teacher education link directly to the pre-service teachers’ own practice than in the Australian institutes, but all participating pre-service teachers still appreciate the link between the pre-service teacher research and their practice.
Most educators and pre-service teachers consider pre-service teacher research a valuable part of teacher education because they were allowed to choose their own topics, in which they were interested, which encouraged the development of their teacher identity. For the Australian students, these units were the first in which they had influence over the content. Zoe (PST AU1) explains, “It’s important that we could choose our own topics, because we can also use it for job interviews. This is who I am.

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