10 SES 11 E, Research on Teacher Induction and Early Career Teachers
In Germany, teacher training consists of two school subjects and complementary didactics modules. Additionally, teacher students deal with aspects of educational science. Usually, this subject is rather marginally represented in teacher training studies; the structures and schedules of educational science vary from university to university (Terhart, 2012). Despite these differences between the universities, the Kultusministerkonferenz (Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs in Germany) maps out requirements relating to teacher training across all university sites. One of these requirements is to promote research orientation of teacher students via inquiry-based learning (KMK, 2014). But why shall teacher students develop research orientation during their studies? And how relevant are the views, research experiences, and research skills of the teacher educators for the effectiveness of inquiry-based learning courses at universities?
To answer these questions, the concept of inquiry-based learning should be revisited. In Germany, the discourse about inquiry-based learning is significantly influenced by the work of Ludwig Huber (2014) who defined inquiry-based learning as learning and reflecting while doing research. In this sense, students carry out the most important parts of a research process by formulating research questions, planning and carrying out research designs, reflecting and presenting their findings to research groups (Dausien, 2007). This conceptualization of inquiry-based learning is further compatible with the international discourse. For Healey and Jenkins (2009), ‘research-based’ activities signify that students undertake inquiry. They participate in research instead of hearing about research and they deal with the research processes and problems instead of focussing on research content. Brew and Mantai (2017) distinguish three forms of engagement in undergraduate research. In contrast to a) ‘undergraduate learning’ and b) ‘atomistic undergraduate research’, c) ‘wholistic undergraduate research’ begins when students are engaged in a comprehensive research process where they can practice research skills in a coordinated manner.
In Germany as well as in many Western countries, a so defined inquiry-based learning is realized in different university settings and related to high expectations (e.g. Fichten & Meyer, 2014; Spronken-Smith & Walker, 2010). Students shall get insight into the process of producing scientific knowledge, build up knowledge about research methods and develop competences in using them up to an inquiry-focused attitude towards their future professional work. In addition, inquiry-based learning is also associated with effects on general competences such as analytical capabilities, communication, cooperation, and reflectivity (Huber, 2009). Hereby skills are named that seem to be necessary to be able to deal with uncertain and indeterminate situations in teaching (Schön, 1983; Helsper, 2001).
It is noteworthy that these high expectations aren’t based on profound research findings. Until today, scant attention has been paid to inquiry-based learning in teacher education (internationally: e.g. Spronken-Smith & Walker, 2010; Cox et al., 2008; Levy & Petrulis, 2012; for Germany: e.g. Feindt, 2007; König et al., 2018; Paseka & Hinzke, 2018). Previous studies have been concerned with the conceptualization and gathering of the views of teacher students and lecturers on inquiry-based learning. They often failed to explore students’ learning and left unanswered the challenges students are facing when engaging into research.
To address this issue, the following research questions will be central to the presentation: Which challenges occur in inquiry-based learning settings for students? How can inquiry-based learning enable teacher students to develop knowledge and skills?
After the presentation of general issues, questions and concepts as well as the methods, empirical findings will be shown and discussed.
Based on two research projects concerning the scientific evaluation of inquiry-based learning settings in educational science, theoretical, methodological and empirical approaches will be presented. The aim is to outline how the teacher students’ experiences can be scientifically dimensioned and analyzed. Specific emphasis is placed on the detection of implicit (knowledge) structures. To reconstruct the challenges students are facing, the underlying research employed a qualitative re-search methodology. The findings from 20 group discussions with teacher students at two German universities will be presented. The students took courses in which they had to carry out a qualitative research study at schools. In the group discussions, they were asked to share their experiences of con-ducting their studies and taking the inquiry-based learning courses. Analyzing the data with the documentary method enabled to explore the discursive knowledge that refers to the knowledge the students put into words as well as analyzing the practical knowledge that remains implicit to them (Bohnsack, 2018). While the first knowledge can be gathered by analyzing the descriptions, argumentations and evaluations of the students, the reconstruction of the second knowledge requires a change in the analytical stance from the question of what constitutes social reali-ty to the question of how reality is produced (Bohnsack, 2010). This is mainly done by working out the frames within which the students develop their discourse and by analyzing so called focusing metaphors, i.e. the moments characterized by communicative density. The analysis allows insight into the talk of the students about inquiry-based learning in the university courses as well as into the underlying knowledge and orientations that structure their research practice.
Our findings from two universities show that being engaged in research leads to some challenges for the students and causes a row of irritations. For example, the students weren’t used to observe teaching and learning in the classroom systematically with the help of a research method. They had to find a way to act as a researcher, not as a teacher. While every group experienced problems with the imple-mentations, the analysis of the practical knowledge nevertheless shows that the groups use different ways to deal with these problems. While some students accept the irritations and problems as a challenge they want to overcome by engaging into further research, others abort their research and refuse the challenges. Based on these findings, the presentation gives an outlook on a way teacher educators – especially pre- and post-docs in educational science – can deal with the challenges of the students. It will be shown how eleven teacher educators from different German universities use common data analysis sessions to develop their research skills and their research attitude. In their research network, they reflect on creating course settings in which students’ challenges can be taken up and inquiry-based learning can lead to meaningful learning processes of students. The contribution shall be a platform for reflection and discussion. That’s why the presentation aims at a discussion about the opportunities and challenges of inquiry-based learning in teacher education – from the view of the students as well as from the view of teacher educators.
Bohnsack, R. (2010). Documentary Method And Group Discussions. In R. Bohnsack, N. Pfaff & V. Weller (eds.), Qualitative Analysis And Documentary Method In International Educational Research (pp. 99-124). Opladen et al.: Budrich. Bohnsack, R. (2018). Praxeological Sociology of Knowledge and Documentary Method. In D. Kettler & V. Meja (eds.), The Anthem Companion to Karl Mannheim (pp. 199-220). London & New York: Anthem Press. Brew, A. & Mantai, L. (2017). Academics‘ perceptions of the challenges and barriers to implementing research-based experiences for undergraduates. Teaching in Higher Education. DOI: 10.1080/13562517.2016.1273216. Cox, A., Levy, P., Stordy, P. & Webber, S. (2008). Inquiry-based learning in the first-year Information Management curriculum. ITALICS, 7 (1), 3-21. Dausien, B. (2007). Reflexivität, Vertrauen, Professionalität. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung, 8 (1). Feindt, A. (2007). Studentische Forschung im Lehramtsstudium. Opladen & Farmington Hills: Budrich. Fichten, W. & Meyer, H. (2014). Skizze einer Theorie forschenden Lernens in der Lehrer_innenbildung. In E. Feyer, K. Hirschenhauser & K. Soukup-Altrichter (eds.), Last oder Lust? (pp. 11-42). Münster: Waxmann. Healey, M. & Jenkins, A. (2009). Developing undergraduate research and inquiry. Heslington: Higher Education Academy. Helsper, W. (2001). Praxis und Reflexion. journal für lehrerinnen- und lehrerbildung, 1 (3), 7-15. Huber, L. (2009). Warum Forschendes Lernen nötig und möglich ist. In L. Huber (ed.), Forschendes Lernen im Studium (pp. 9-35). Bielefeld: UVW. Huber, L. (2014). Forschungsbasiertes, Forschungsorientiertes, Forschendes Lernen: Alles dasselbe? HSW, 62 (1-2), 32-39. König, J., Rothland, M. & Schaper, N. (eds.) (2018). Learning to Practice, Learning to Reflect? Wiesba-den: Springer VS. Kultusministerkonferenz (KMK) (2014). Standards für die Lehrerbildung: Bildungswissenschaften Online: http://www.kmk.org/fileadmin/veroeffentlichungen_beschluesse/2004/2004_12_16-Standards-Lehrerbildung.pdf [30.01.2019]. Levy, P. & Petrulis, R. (2012). How do first-year university students experience inquiry and research, and what are implications for the practice of inquiry-based learning? Studies in Higher Education, 37 (1), 85-101. Paseka, A. & Hinzke, J.-H. (2018). Professionalisierung durch Forschendes Lernen!? Was tatsächlich in universitären Forschungswerkstätten passiert. In T. Leonhard, J. Košinár & Ch. Reintjes (eds.), Institutionelle Praktiken und Orientierungen in der Lehrerinnen- und Lehrerbildung (pp. 191-207). Bad Heilbrunn: Klinkhardt. Schön, D. A. (1983). The Reflective Practitioner. New York: Basic Books. Spronken-Smith, R. & Walker, R. (2010). Can inquiry-based learning strengthen the links between teaching and disciplinary research. Studies in Higher Education, 35 (6), 723-740. Terhart, E. (2012). Vom pädagogischen Begleitstudium zu den Bildungswissenschaften in der Lehrerinnen- und Lehrerbildung. Zeitschrift für Pädagogik, 30 (1), 49-61.
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