Source: Journal of Education for Teaching, Vol. 40, No. 1, 65–77, 2014
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
This article examines the development of reflectiveness and research skills in eight pre-service teachers, through their participation in a funded research project to develop the handwriting of children with literacy problems. The project aimed to analyse the reflections of the trainee teachers participating in an authentic research study and to consider what this reflection on practice might offer to the education of teachers in the current UK training context.
The participants were eight pre-service teachers, who enrolled a program which offered them an opportunity to work in partnership schools with pupils and teaching assistants (TAs).
Data were collected through written reflections and video recordings of the three fortnightly review and reflection meetings held during the six weeks of fieldwork, which included all eight pre-service teachers.
This article reported on a roject considered written reflections and spoken interactions at meetings, none of which involved assessed work. The evidence from this study supports a model of teacher preparation which involves novice teachers in original research, as well as the call for an enquiry focused model of teacher education. The teacher preparation context in England is one where pre-service teachers may train to teach without any requirement for assessed academic study, and where Training Schools are being called to lead both initial teacher preparation and further professional development. Many pre-service trainees choose to do award bearing courses involving research through initial teacher education (PGCE) or masters and doctoral awards and develop their research skills in this way.
The authors argue that this project is an example of evidence-based practice, which identified that it is the creation of the evidence which is important and the shared professional involvement with compelling outcomes for pupils which develops teachers as thinkers, not simply technicians.
The experience of reflection and discussion about a shared topic has the potential to develop pedagogical thinking and a profound concern for the results and impact of research. This is precisely the type of reflection that the authors would hope to see in schools.