Action research, pedagogy and change: the transformative potential of action research in pre-service teacher education
Although action research is recognized as an important tool in promoting reflective practice and educational change, little has been written about what it would mean for pre-service teachers to engage in action research. I examine 11 pre-service teachers' experiences of action research and unravel ways in which they made connections among pedagogy, research, and change. I contend that crafting an action-research course needs careful deliberation, because its content can powerfully influence the shape of teaching practice. I explain four critical components of such a course: reflection and inquiry; learning about students; learning about pedagogical content knowledge; and learning about social justice and democracy. Through a close study of three teacher candidates' action-research studies, I show how they used this framework as a springboard to develop and enhance their commitments, ideas, and practices as beginning teachers.