Changing practice in teacher education through inquiry-based learning

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Major, Jae

This case study outlines an initiative by a teacher educator that was aimed at engaging student teachers in a primary initial teacher education course with different ways of conceptualising knowledge and learning in the social studies learning area. It reports practitioner research that explored student teachers’ responses to the initiative and the nature of their shifting conceptualisations of knowledge, teaching and learning. Shifting epistemological understandings are theorised in relation to knowledge dimensions and realist and relativist perspectives. The initiative that forms the context of the research introduced, and involved student teachers in, inquiry-based learning as a pedagogical process to explore issues relating to teaching culturally and linguistically diverse learners. Findings suggest that student teachers developed clear understandings of inquiry learning as a dynamic, exploratory learning process that can support diverse students’ learning, and that the student teachers understood that the use of inquiry pedagogies challenged assumptions relating to the nature of knowledge and ways that students acquire knowledge. The findings also suggest that both the teacher educator and the student teachers experienced tensions as they attempted to reconcile disjunctions between their older and newer epistemological understandings, and between their ideas and their teaching practice.

Major J (2012). Changing practice in teacher education through inquiry-based learning. Teaching and Learning Research Initiative (TLRI). 14pp-.
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ANZSRC fields of research
39 - Education::3903 - Education systems::390307 - Teacher education and professional development of educators
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