Author Biography

Lucy Mule is a professor of Education and Child Study at Smith College. Her research interests include practitioner research, community engagement, university-community partnerships, scholar activism, social justice curriculum development, pre-service teacher education reform, and comparative education.


Scholars underscore the need to study core features and outcomes of preservice teacher (PST) inquiry. This qualitative study identifies facilitation as a key feature, and a social justice inquiry stance as an important outcome. The author analyzed PST inquiry reports from a graduate-level course, noting that fewer than half of the reports were focused on social justice and, despite a weak program emphasis, PSTs were adopting this inquiry stance. Analysis of student feedback surveys and instructor notes revealed that providing clear and structured processes, consistent written feedback, and frequent meetings with facilitator and peers were effective facilitation strategies. Additional strategies include teaching research skills prior to the teacher inquiry semester, building more collaboration opportunities, and a program-wide focus on social justice. The author asserts that these strategies could ease reported PST challenges and provides recommendations for developing and sustaining social justice-focused PST inquiry in small liberal arts teacher education programs.