Developing Research Competence of Pre-Service EFL Teachers
Keywords:Action Research, Enquiry Stance, Pre-Service Teacher Education, Pedagogical Reflection, Research Competence
Action research has become an integral part of a teaching practitioner’s professional activity improving the quality of teaching and contributing to innovations in the educational system. To be able to conduct action research efficiently, a graduate from a teacher training university should not only realize the significance of action research for their personal and professional development but also be equipped with the necessary methods and techniques and have an enquiry stance.
The purpose of the article is to highlight the features of the process of developing students' research competence while their studying for a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree at the Department of Foreign Philology of H.S. Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University. The described model appeared as a result of the implementation of the new national curriculum in methods of teaching English as a foreign language.
The methodology of the study involves both a critical analysis of the models of action research currently employed in teacher education and empirical methods investigating our own daily activities as educators (observation and the participants’ structured interviews). Structured interviews of 20 student teachers were taped, transcribed and analysed by the research educators engaged in the study.
Results. The authors described the principles and stages of developing students’ research competence at the Department of Foreign Philology of H.S. Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University. The results of the structured interviews prove the significant role of action research in teacher education. In the course of their training, the students gradually become aware of the challenges of action research, ways to overcome them and the relevance of it for teachers’ professional and personal growth.
Conclusions. The suggested system of developing pre-service teachers’ research competence proved its obvious benefits for educating reflective practitioners able to become agents of change.
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