Inside stories of collaborative teacher research teams

: Spaces for developing extended professionalism in school-university partnerships

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

Collaborative teacher research (CTR) is praised as an approach to foster meaningful professional learning for both in-service and pre-service teachers. Empirical evidence on pre-service teachers as partners within CTR is, however, limited. A systematic literature review of CTR within pre-service teacher education gives insights into the current research challenges, which were translated into four main research objectives: (1) offer insights into the multiple perspectives of all stakeholders in the CTR process and how their interactions lead to professional development, (2) provide evidence for the claim that CTR enables pre-service teachers to become extended professionals, (3) offer insight into the learning outcomes for teacher-educators, and (4) investigate the power of CTR as a practice to enhance collective teacher efficacy. The dissertation is characterized by an educational design research approach in which multiple cycles of case study analysis, improvement of the design and assessment of the intervention were carried out.
The main contribution of this dissertation is that it sheds light on the multiple perspectives of all stakeholders (pre-service teacher, in-service teacher and teacher-educator) in the collaborative teacher research process. Based on an in-depth investigation of these perspectives in four different empirical studies, this dissertation identifies four major shifts in the model of collaborative teacher research as a way of preparing prospective teachers and in-service teachers for becoming extended professionals: a shift (1) from creating professional experiences that meet the ideal learning environment to develop extended professionalism towards recognizing the potential of conflicting models in teacher education, (2) from a unilateral orientation on pre-service teachers’ learning towards a partnership in which the individual learning of all actors and the collective learning of the team are seen as the central outcomes, (3) from a primary focus on teacher voices towards a focus on multiple voices and (4) from a relatively linear model towards a non-linear social interdependency model of professional learning. For each insight, the limitations and contributions of this dissertation research are presented and translated into directions for future research, and implications for policy and schools are outlined.
Date of Award15 Dec 2020
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorNadine Engels (Promotor), Els Consuegra (Promotor) & Katrien Struyven (Promotor)

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