Source: Teachers and Teaching: theory and practice, VOL. 22, NO. 8, 965–982, 2016
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
Teacher educators, who work at institutes for higher vocational education, should now engage in research. Hence, they suppose to become familiar with research knowledge and skills. Furthermore, they have to supervise student teachers in conducting research. This study explored whether and how different professional development activities for teacher educators contribute to the tasks set.
This study was conducted in three teacher education institutes in the Netherlands.
The participants were 12 teacher educators, who participated in at least one of the four activities. The authors interviewed them.
Data were collected through semi-structured interviews, which consisted of three main issues: characteristics of the professional development activity; ideas, beliefs and thoughts around research; and perceived learning outcomes and benefits.
The authors found a number of characteristics that seem valuable in all four activities. These include: The opportunity to discuss experiences with colleagues; A connection between the activity’s content and the teacher educator’s daily duties.
The authors also found that all activities influenced the participants’ opinions about practice-based research as a concept and about the need to add research as a new task within teacher education.
Furthermore, it was found that all the participants claimed to have increased their knowledge about research developed a better understanding of research skills. The participants also learned the most about aspects of research that were really taught or were paid special attention.
The authors also revealed that opinions and notions changed as professional development activities hewed closely to the thoughts and concerns of the teacher educators.