Author Biography

Stephanie Schroeder is an Assistant Professor of Social Studies Education at the Pennsylvania State University. Her research interests include elementary social studies, teacher education and democratic pedagogy.


This study of 30 pre-service teachers’ practitioner inquiry papers explores potential pitfalls of practicing inquiry with pre-service teachers. Focusing on the types of questions pre-service teachers ask about student learning, the challenges they face when engaging in inquiry, and the weaknesses of their inquiry products, this paper finds that accountability culture in education, pre-service teachers’ lack of power in the classroom, and deficit thinking left unchallenged by instructors led to weak inquiries. Implications include the need for teacher educators to work with mentor teachers across university and K-12 boundaries, and the need to teach explicitly about the power inquiry holds in neoliberal contexts.