Teachers and Teacher Trainees As Classroom Researchers: Beyond Utopia?

March 2007

Source: Educational Action Research, Volume 15, Issue 1  March 2007,
pages 107 - 126.

In Flanders, action research as a means of enhancing quality in initial teacher training and in teaching practice is not as widespread as in some of the neighbouring countries. In this article the authors argue for trainees and qualified teachers setting up and conducting research in their teaching practice.

Rather than perceiving this as an additional assignment for the parties involved, this is put forward as an inherent part of the profession, just as it is the general medical practitioner's duty to keep up with the latest scientific developments, implement new approaches, and confer and exchange experiences with confreres.

The authors suggest that such an approach could contribute to a stronger tie between theory and practice in teacher training itself, and to a reinforcement of the knowledge basis in the teacher training curriculum and the teaching profession.

The authors discuss how research can be conceived in the teacher training curriculum and subsequent professional setting, and propose establishing a narrow link between action research and the learning cycle intrinsic to experiential learning. The article draws on the authors' experiences at the Department of Teacher Training of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Free University of Brussels), where action research is a compulsory subject in the curriculum.

Updated: Jan. 07, 2008