Teacher education is not meant to train researchers, but rather good, curious and critical professionals. In this project, we shift the focus from the current research paper to evidence of research ability as graduation work. Researching attitude and researching practice are central to this. We will develop a formative didactic instrument for the supervision and assessment of research competences, which will enable students, as well as trainers and supervisors in the field, to gain insight into their development.
What is the reason for the project?
With graduation research, programmes aim to develop the inquisitive capacities of students, with a focus on the inquisitive attitude. However, research at teacher training colleges shows that it is mainly research skills that are trained and tested. Many students find current practical research a difficult, delaying part of the curriculum and do not expect to conduct research in their future work. In addition, many teacher educators find the supervision of practical research difficult. Several institutes for higher professional education are faced with similar problems, and the research report seems to have become an end in itself. Despite these problems, both students and teacher trainers are convinced that learning to conduct practical research contributes to better future teachers in primary education. The added value for teacher training students is that they actually learn to connect theory and practice and feel like experts on a subject that is important to their internship. All in all, both students and trainers are in need of a form of education and testing that better suits their future profession.
The project consists of 5 phases, in which we will test, adapt and improve the prototype of the instrument several times. From phase 4 onwards, the instrument will also be implemented in the academy for secondary education and vocational education. At the end of each phase, the three intended project outcomes will be evaluated and the instrument adjusted. During all phases, lessons learned will be exchanged with other study programmes of NHL Stenden.
Prior to the start of the project, a good connection was made with the curriculum development of the academies of higher education, secondary education and vocational education towards Design Based Education (DBE). In order to stimulate the development of the AVO & MBO education teams, research was started in the autumn of 2020 by the research group Vitale Vakdidactiek, headed by Lidewij van Katwijk and Floris de Jonge. For this purpose, they have developed a card set 'DBE and research competence'.
Main and preliminary results
We aim for three things in this project:
- A planning, supervision and assessment instrument linked to characteristic professional tasks and products of beginning teachers at Bachelor's level, which makes the development of research competences visible. On the one hand, the instrument will consist of a card set which enables students to plan a (DBE) activity and to gain insight into related aspects of research competences. With the help of indicators and on the basis of performed professional tasks and products, students will demonstrate every six months how their inquisitive mind is further developed.
- A manual, knowledge clips and training in the use of (didactic handling of) the tool for:
- Trainers internally: PPI (Personal Professional Identity) supervisors and DBE workshop supervisors
- Trainers external: school trainers and mentors at the internship school
- Insight into the results of working with this instrument (development of research competences) and its contribution to successful graduation.
In the autumn of 2021, a pilot group of students and a teacher in Leeuwarden started working with the research ability card set. We also gave training to other teachers in order to be able to use the card set in the supervision of DBE workshops. Teachers who supervise workshops in the second and third years are asked about the bottlenecks they encounter in supervising students in workshops, in order to determine whether and how the card set needs to be adjusted. In February 2022, knowledge clips will be developed about the design and use of the card set as a didactic tool to help students gain insight into the development of their research competences.