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ERIC Number: EJ960619
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 27
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 48
ISSN: ISSN-0737-5328
A Stance toward Inquiry: An Investigation of Preservice Teachers' Confidence regarding Educational Inquiry
Truxaw, Mary P.; Casa, Tutita M.; Adelson, Jill L.
Teacher Education Quarterly, v38 n4 p69-95 Fall 2011
Research suggests that effective teaching is a significant, if not the most significant, indicator of student success. However, because teaching has become an increasingly challenging profession, school reformers have advocated that educational practices be based on evidence of student learning, suggesting that teachers should develop a stance toward inquiry. Inquiry as a "stance" moves beyond formal research and involves "consistent positioning or way of seeing, rather than a single point in time or a single activity." Teachers with a stance toward inquiry are able to make "diagnostic and strategic judgment to address the needs of those whom they serve." The call for teachers to become more critical, or at least more systematic, inquirers caused the authors to reflect on teacher education programs in general, and their university's Integrated Bachelor's/Master's (IB/M) teacher preparation program (TPP) in particular, in terms of influences on preservice teachers' (PSTs) development of such a stance. The five-year TPP includes experiences that may promote an inquiry-based perspective throughout the program, but it focuses explicitly on inquiry in the final, master's year primarily through a school-based inquiry project, much like other TPPs. While inquiry projects seem laudable, there has been little empirical evidence about their impact on helping PSTs develop a stance toward inquiry. In this article, the authors investigate PSTs' changes in their confidence related to a stance toward inquiry in their final, master's year prior to and after completing an inquiry project. This research suggests that the PSTs demonstrated increased confidence related to a stance toward inquiry during their final, master's year in the TPP. Specifically, there were moderate increases in confidence in all three subscales of the "Preservice Teachers Evidence-Based Decision-Making" (PEBD) survey (i.e., evidence from educational research; classroom- and school-level assessments; and district-, state-, and national/international data). The open-ended responses corroborated increased confidence and linked it to the PSTs' perceptions of the impact of the inquiry project experience. Further, the findings suggest that while the TPP experiences prior to the completion of the inquiry project (fall data) supported a beginning stance toward inquiry, there was value added to that stance from the inquiry project and associated master's year experiences (spring data). (Contains 8 tables and 3 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A