A close up on close-to-practice research: reflecting on teacher educator’s experiences of and engagement with a classroom based research project

Lewis, Helen and Brooks, Sian and Parker, Gail and Thomas, Diane (2018) A close up on close-to-practice research: reflecting on teacher educator’s experiences of and engagement with a classroom based research project. Wales Journal of Education, 20 (1). pp. 76-92. ISSN 2059-3708

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Recent drives to improve initial teacher education in Wales identify the need to build professional capital and to develop and sustain research capacity within the sector (Furlong, 2015). However, such capacity, and the integration of research into teacher education remains underdeveloped (Leat et al, 2014; Furlong, 2016). This paper reports on the experiences of three teacher educators who are novice researchers. They engaged in a small-scale close-to-practice research project with primary and secondary schoolteachers, under the guidance of a more experienced research colleague. Using evidence from self-study (Lunenberg and Willemse, 2006) and reflective enquiry (Lyons, 2006) the paper discusses how collaborative engagement in research allowed the participants the opportunity to reclaim a ‘sense of wonder’ (Berry, 1998) about their practice (where we define a sense of wonder as a sense of inquiry into their practice). The paper’s central argument is that whilst a national policy drive has necessitated a change in research culture within initial teacher education, reasons for involvement go beyond a feeling of ‘because we have to’. The participants regarded involvement as key to their professional growth. Time and opportunity to research pedagogical practices in other teacher’s classes opened up space for the participants to ‘wonder’ about their own practices. They also felt that the experience supported a shift towards adopting the identity of ‘researcher’. The paper considers why this is so important in the current climate of educational change in Wales.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Teacher education, Close to practice research, classroom based research
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Institutes and Academies > Institute of Education and Humanities > Academic Discipline: Teacher Education
Depositing User: Helen Lewis
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2017 16:01
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2023 10:19
URI: https://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/807

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