Theory and Best Practices
Edited By Issa M. Saleh and Myint Swe Khine
PART II PRACTITIONER RESEARCH: PATHWAYS TO PRACTICE
79 CHAPTER 5 From Portrait to Practice Learning to research into learning and teaching Johanna F. Schwarz & Michael Schratz Abstract: This chapter presents a promising practitioner research approach initiated at the Department of Teacher Education and School Research at Innsbruck University. It first ex- plores the embedded assumptions or “deep structures” of schooling that prevent change in the school system and highlights specific beliefs which prevent teachers from aligning their prac- tice with their own articulated beliefs despite all well-intended efforts to foster new practice. New approaches to teacher education require to alter conventional ideas about the na- ture of knowledge itself and how it is acquired. In an innovative pilot model student teachers conduct research in a case study mode that focus on the learning processes of indi- vidual learners in close collaboration with teacher educators and supervising teachers. The paper outlines and evaluates how closely observing and shadowing individual learners that represent a difference in gender, achievement level, behavior, or culture helps student teach- ers focus more distinctly on the learner, when designing instruction. It further investigates to which extent the insights gained by the students’ portraits of the learners support the devel- opment of educational (research) literacy, of inquiry as a stance, and, increased willingness to research their own practice. Searching for a new approach to learning to teach Similar to the situation in other countries, teacher education in Austria is mod- eled along the apprenticeship paradigm. Students in teacher education programs proceed through a curricular corridor...
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