Student Teachers Conducting Educational Research
The importance of the self-reflective teacher engaging in and with research is advocated by the Teaching Council (2020) in the criteria and guidelines for initial teacher education programs in which it states that student teachers should have opportunities to “investigate and learn from their practice and derive ideas and conclusions that enriches and advances their understanding of their [own pedagogical and reflective] practices, and enhance their teaching” (p. 19). Building on a research-informed understanding of practice in foundation and profession modules, professional practice, and reflection tutorials, students will engage with the core ideas, and principles underlying practitioner research using a self-study approach.
Self-study as a form of practitioner research will allow the student teacher to reflect systematically upon and study their practice in an effort to identify tensions or dissatisfactions, with the aim to improve practice and understanding of practice with others (Bullock & Peercy, 2018; Samaras, 2011; LaBoskey, 2004; Loughran, 2002). Through critical conversations with Treoraithe on professional placement, peers, and their research project supervising tutor, student teachers will reflect on their professional learning and practice, as appropriate to their stage of learning and identify and plan for areas in which they may need support and/or provide questions for teacher research.
By conducting their own self-study research project in their final year of the Programme, students will demonstrate that they are capable of engaging in and with research while taking an inquiry stance focusing on improving their own practice and their own role in it, and contribute to the knowledge base and ongoing professional learning of the teacher