Action research in initial teacher education: an explorative study

Mar. 20, 2008

Source: Educational Action Research, Volume 16, Issue 1,  March 2008,
pages 55 – 72.

The aim of the study was to describe students' and teacher educators' practical experience with action research and to identify a number of special points for consideration (opportunities and limitations) which could play a role in putting research into practice in concrete terms in the courses.

Students and teacher educators on three Dutch initial teacher education programmes which treat action research as both a means of professional development and a necessary professional qualification were involved. These were programmes for specific teaching levels and subjects in Dutch schools.

Four special points for consideration are identified: action research and the educational core qualifications of the profession; difference between action research by student teachers during their initial education and experienced teachers in their own workplace; students' mixed experiences and perceptions of research; and embedded research-based activities in the programme.

The authors conclude that action research should be considered from different perspectives: as a professional approach, a body of skills that is needed to make the connection between knowing that and knowing why; and as a way of improving practice by systematically building up practice-based knowledge.

Updated: Apr. 01, 2008