Within many present-day debates on the teaching profession, the role of research within the profession is often emphasized. Within these debates, a close link is assumed between the process of research and teaching (Toom et al. 2010; Bronkhorst 2013; Munthe & Rogne 2015; Smith 2015). This link can be recognized in literature on research-based teacher education, which focuses on the development of student teachers as autonomous and reflective teachers who are capable of using research in their teaching (Toom et al. 2010), and who can act as consumers as well as producers of research (Smith 2015). However, the relation between research by student teachers and their future practice is often not very clear. In most publications the impact of research skills is mostly seen at the level of students and teachers being able to base their pedagogical decision making on a theoretical foundation, to reflect on their work as teachers (Toom et al. 2010; Smith & Sela 2005) and to use that to make independent pedagogical judgements (Toom et al. 2010). However little is known about the impact of the focus with teacher education programmes on developing research identities and research skills of (future) teachers. Studying and comparing case studies from different countries can help to increase our understanding of this interaction.
Teacher-researcher identity development in Ireland
Working with teacher-researcher graduates from across a spectrum of postgraduate programmes, each with discrete modular components dedicated to developing practitioner-led research, we explore salient identity dimensions of teachers as researchers, varying conceptual understandings of what it means to be a researcher, and the extent to which postgraduate teacher-students view themselves as practitioner researchers. Their stories are captured through audio-video technology and selected edited samples will be drawn upon at the Roundtable. We consider how the graduates widen the sphere of influence of their research, by exploring what they do as teacher-researchers in the following domains: the personal/professional, the school community, and the national arena.
Researching teacher leadership and innovation: teachers as contracted researchers in the Netherlands
In the Netherlands an increasing number of teachers have developed research competences through participation in post-initial in-service masters programmes, but have little opportunities to engage in research projects within their own schools. To strengthen the opportunities for teachers to engage in research activities, the national professional teacher body – the Onderwijscoöperatie – decided to hire six teachers to carry out an evaluative research study on the impact of a large national innovation programme.
However, this requires a new role of teachers as they were contracted for research activities beyond their own daily practices. To study the impact of this on their role and identity, the experiences of the teacher-researchers were collected through logbooks and reflective
questionnaires, to learn from their reflections.
Protecting the emergence of teacher researchers during a policy ‘landslide’: a Scottish case study
In Scotland, competing visions around the nature and purpose of teacher professional learning have left the profession in a state of flux. While previous reform agendas highlighted the importance of teacher autonomy, agency and engagement in and with research, current policy discourse appears to prioritise teacher accountability, increased inspection and ‘streamlined’ professional learning. This policy ‘landslide’ places the concept of ‘teachers as researchers’ at risk. In spite of this, a strong tradition of teacher research remains. Given its vulnerability, partnership models between schools and universities
are of increasing importance. This paper explores the experiences of school and university-based researchers involved in research collaboration at one Scottish university and considers the role that higher education can and should play in protecting the emergence of
Bronkhorst, L. H. 2013. Research-based teacher education: Interactions between research and teaching. Utrecht: Utrecht University.
Munthe, E., and M. Rogne. 2015. "Research based teacher education." Teaching and Teacher Education 46: 17-24.
Smith, K. 2015. "The role of research in teacher education." Research in Teacher Education 5 (20): 43-46.
Smith, K., and O. Sela. 2005. "Action research as a bridge between pre-service teacher education and in-service professional development
for students and teacher educators." European Journal of Teacher Education 28 (3): 293-310.
Toom, A., Kynäslahti, H., Krokfors, L., Jyrhämä, R., Byman, R., Stenberg, K., Maaranen, K. and Kansanen, P., 2010. "Experiences of a
Research‐based Approach to Teacher Education: suggestions for future policies." European Journal of Education, 45 (2): 331-344.