Book Chapter or Conference Paper Title

Learning to be practitioner inquirers and researchers: Lessons from a teacher education program

Document Type

Book Chapter

Book Title or Conference Proceedings Title

Search and research: Teacher education for contemporary contexts

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Karachi

ISBN

9788490127698

Editor

Juanjo Mena, Ana Garcia-Valcarcel, Francisco Jose Garcia-Penalvo, and Marta Martin Del Pozo

Publisher

Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca

City

Salamanca

Abstract

The need for teachers to have a clearer understanding of how beliefs and teaching practices impact classroom processes has globally been gaining momentum. To this end, teacher education institutions worldwide have been investing heavily on teacher education programs which aim to develop teachers as effective classroom researchers and reflective practitioners. It has generally been observed that in higher education settings preoccupation with the methodological rigor of research sometimes overshadows the enthusiasm and the zeal which gives life to real inquiry. This paper reports a practical blend of search and research in a teacher education program aiming to develop teachers as change agents who are actively engaged in school improvement initiatives in Pakistan. Data, reported in this paper, have been distilled from careful analysis of teachers’ reflections, personal observations and course evaluations. The findings suggest that for teachers to become passionate searchers and researchers, they need a program of studies which focuses on planned collaborative research exercises, opportunities for practicing theories in the real field based on the principles of ethics and commitment, authentic and interactive engagement of teachers in the various research facets through the process of continuous reflection, helping teachers discover their passion and research interests through continuous dialogue and feedback, and innovative tasks which assist teachers make sense of stories and realities from the field. In conclusion, I argue the need for a contextually relevant and highly stimulating methodological thinking approach which enables teachers to be rigorous researchers as well as passionate inquirers.

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