Preparing Pre-service History Teachers for Organizing Inquiry-Based Learning: The Effects of an Introductory Training Program

April, 2017

Source: Teaching and Teacher Education, Volume 63 (2017) 206-217
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

This study examines the effects of a pre-service teacher training on inquiry-based learning (IBL) in history education. This training consisted of a workshop and an assignment that required student teachers to prepare and implement an IBL activity during their teaching internship.

The participants in this training program were two student groups from different teacher training programs in Flanders (Belgium). 27 participants followed an academic training (AT) program. Most of this program consists of theoretical training in teaching methodology combined with practical training. Another 27 participants followed a nonacademic training (NAT) program, which is taught at university colleges, and can be followed right after secondary education.

Data were collected through a pretest and two posttests, the lesson plan of student teachers' IBL-activity, two reflection papers and interviews.

The findings reveal that student teachers found the workshop valuable, and afterwards felt significantly more capable to organize IBL activities in the classroom.
The authors found that the workshop was also able to convince student teachers of the value of IBL.
After its ending, almost all student teachers indicated that they mainly wanted to use sources for conducting full-scale investigations, whereas, previously, about half of them had held a different opinion.

The authors also argue that next to stimulating active learning, the program was specifically designed to change student teachers' attitude toward IBL, and provide them with a practical guide necessary for organizing such activities.
These principles alternated with practical support and feedback that prompts reflection on student teachers' work and beliefs, may also help to consolidate the effects of a training on IBL.
The authors conclude that this study emphasize that it is important for future research to further investigate what happens after a training on IBL. 

Updated: Nov. 14, 2018