Date of Graduation
College of Education and Human Services
Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies
Sharon B. Hayes
David T. Hoppey
James F. Nolan
Adriane A. Williams
In this study, I sought to understand how the preservice teachers I worked with, in a five year teacher education program, developed the perspectives and practices necessary to engage in classroom research. I used the literature on classroom research and my own experiences to frame three research questions. I wondered how preservice teachers developed perspectives towards inquiry through preservice classroom research experiences. I also asked how these developing perspectives towards inquiry were manifested as preservice teachers engaged in classroom research. Finally, I asked what barriers and facilitators affected the development of students' developing perspectives towards inquiry. To answer these questions I examined essays written by 84 students at the conclusion of their preservice program. Making use of narrative analysis, I came to see these essays as the first chapter of a "Life-Long Narrative" that describes how each student developed as a teacher, with an emphasis on how they addressed the dilemmas of teacher practice and student learning they faced. Through this analysis, I also found that embedded in many students' essays were two additional types of narratives. Many students developed one or more "Inquiry Narratives" that outlined how students made use of reflection and action in an effort to resolve the dilemmas they faced. Some students also were able to integrate their teaching and research practice, thereby developing "Classroom Research Narratives" which described systematic and intentional study of new practices designed to address the needs of students. For all students, there were factors that served as barriers or facilitators to the development of perspectives towards inquiry, and some students were able to overcome the barriers they faced, while others were not. In reporting the findings of my analysis, I developed each narrative, its elements and how the presence of these elements allowed students to demonstrate sophisticated perspectives towards inquiry and an ability to manifest perspectives through systematic and intentional classroom research. I also provided evidence of the interconnectedness of these perspectives and practices, and considered the implications of my study for those who help to develop teacher-researchers.
Smith, Jason Jude, "Preservice Teacher Development of Perspectives towards Inquiry through Classroom Research" (2012). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 216.