Using Pre-Service Teacher Research: Educating for Diversity
I have long enjoyed using action research in my own practice as a way of improving and reflecting on my work. I am including here a paper intended for publication but not pursued, which describes my own action research journey in developing a pre-service teacher research course for thinking about inclusion in teacher education.
Increasing attention to inclusive education and the growing diversity of students in classrooms has intensified the pressure on initial teacher education courses to improve pre-service teacher preparedness to manage that same increasing diversity. This paper explains how at one university preservice teachers embarked on a single semester action research study assessment task in order to give them the tools to engage with inclusion and empower them to become change agents in their schools. The development of the assessment task over 5 years of my own practice as a teacher educator is explored, as part of my own action research journey, drawing on feedback sought from colleagues and the pre-service teachers. Pre-service teacher outcomes from the task demonstrates their learning, their growth as teachers, their understanding of the issues, and their willingness to consider engaging in action research as part of their ongoing practice as teachers.
action research; initial teacher education; inclusion and diversity; curriculum development