Preparing the Next Generation of Teacher Educators: The Role of Practitioner Inquiry

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Although the NCATE Blue Ribbon Panel Report challenges those responsible for teacher preparation to design clinically rich programs, there is little discussion about preparing teacher educators to actualize these innovations. This study explored how practitioner inquiry could serve as a mechanism to facilitate the development of the next generation of teacher educators. The purpose of this qualitative study was to understand what 16 doctoral student participants, from across two different university contexts, learned about becoming teacher educators as a result of engaging in practitioner inquiry. Findings suggest doctoral students developed an appreciation of inquiry as a tool for continuous instructional improvement and became active in program innovation. Doctoral students also broadened their understanding of educational research while uncovering tensions related to conducting research. These findings suggest inquiry as a relevant action for doctoral students to develop their abilities to innovate their own teaching, innovate programs, and conduct research at the institutions where they are completing their degree work as well as in their future work as teacher educators postgraduation. Findings also promote a discussion about current methods for teacher educator preparation, the future of the teacher educator role, and what constitutes research in teacher education.

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Action in Teacher Education, v. 37, issue 4, p. 373-396