ERIC Number: EJ1069505
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Questions They Ask: Considering Teacher-Inquiry Questions Posed by Pre-Service English Teachers
Salerno, April S.; Kibler, Amanda K.
Educational Action Research, v23 n3 p399-415 2015
Our study of pre-service teachers' (PSTs) inquiry projects includes two levels of practitioner-research: on one level, we examine the research questions PSTs pose about their classrooms; and on the second, the study is an action-research investigation of our own practice in teaching PSTs both pedagogical and inquiry practices. We study PSTs' inquiry questions specifically in an attempt to understand their concerns about teaching and to improve the ways we instruct PSTs. The project considers three research questions: how do English PSTs pose their concerns about students in inquiry questions addressed to students during field-placement experiences; how do they express these concerns in questions posed about students; and what can we learn from the ways PSTs embed conceptualizations of students in questions? Findings reveal a possible mismatch, with PSTs asking students directly about personal interests but often formulating research questions about academic challenges. Such disparity suggests PSTs might be reluctant to broach difficult subjects with students--a reluctance that might deter PSTs from openly discussing challenges with students or from enlisting students as collaborators in inquiry. Additionally, PSTs expressed that their prior knowledge of students constituted "researcher bias." These findings indicate to us as action-researchers and teacher educators that we need to make changes in how we help PSTs involve students as collaborators in inquiry and that we need to help them understand that teacher-inquiry does not require an unrealistic ideal of researcher neutrality but instead requires teachers to examine their knowledge and to investigate questions systematically.
Descriptors: Preservice Teachers, English Instruction, Inquiry, Action Research, Educational Practices, Teacher Education, Teacher Student Relationship, Secondary Education, Researchers, Qualitative Research
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A