Close to practice research as a means of rethinking elements of student–teacher's classroom practice

Blackmore, K and Hatley, J (2024) 'Close to practice research as a means of rethinking elements of student–teacher's classroom practice.' The Curriculum Journal. ISSN 0958-5176

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1002/curj.262

Abstract

This article explores a form of classroom inquiry linked to postgraduate primary student–teachers’ education, whilst on practicum in England. The inquiry model is congruent with Stenhouse's’ notions of ‘teachers as researchers’ undertaking ‘systematic’ inquiry in a ‘naturalistic’ environment. Feldman further develops Stenhouse's conception into a definition of action research, where teachers come to a better understanding of their practice. The inquiry bases itself on the central tenants of close to practice (CtP), which is defined as research that: focuses on issues defined by practitioners as relevant to their practice and involves collaboration between people whose main expertise is research, practice, or both. As teacher educators, we evaluated the potential of CtP inquiry, by undertaking a critical discourse analysis (CDA) of sixteen student–teacher research reports. CDA revealed that several socio-cognitive processes took place as a result of, student–teachers engaging in CtP research, including explorations of identity, beliefs and values and negotiation of power relationships and structures. Further analysis provided insights into Stenhouses' conceptualisation, firstly, how student–teachers committed to developing their understanding of the curriculum with respect to teaching design. Secondly, the findings resonate with student–teachers rejecting acting as ‘docile agents’ within existing structures and developing ‘pathways to emancipation and autonomy’. Thirdly, testimony revealed that student–teachers valued this mode of learning and developed critical attitudes to educational research. This study has clear implications for the design of initial teacher education programs and the continued professional development of teachers in England and potentially further afield.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: close-to-practice research, initial teacher education, student–teacher inquiry and socio-cognitive discourse analysis
Divisions: School of Education
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1002/curj.262
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2024 13:45
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2024 13:45
URI / Page ID: https://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/16175
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