Pedagogical inquiry in the practicum

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


In its various forms, namely action research, teacher inquiry has long been recommended and used to support reflective practice, educational change, and the promotion of self-improving educational systems. In preservice teacher education programmes, inquiry may be understood as a key element in overcoming a technical and sometimes simplistic view of teaching by helping student teachers develop an inquisitive attitude and the ability to collect and analyse classroom data as a basis for reflective practice. To understand how inquiry is developed in the practicum of the TEYL master programmes, the same sample of 22 practicum reports were analysed with a focus on data collection strategies and modes of inquiry. Only 6 HEIs explicitly integrate inquiry in the practicum, and although some diversity can be found among practicum models, action research is the preferred approach, involving various strategies like lesson observation, analysis of learner tasks and progress, learner feedback questionnaires and self-regulation tools, and teacher reflections in journals and portfolios. This is confirmed in the student teachers’ survey results. The student teacher reflective accounts, as well as those of supervisors and cooperating teachers, show that inquiry-based professional learning is valued even though it presents difficulties for teachers who are new to pedagogical research. The findings suggest that investment in inquiry in the practicum should be extended to all TEYL master programmes, in alignment with current understandings of the importance of developing candidate teachers’ research literacy.
Period12 Nov 2020
Event titleTeachers and teacher educators:
Education and professional development for early language learning
Event typeConference
Conference numberAILA ELL ReN 4
LocationLisbon, PortugalShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • MA in TEYLs
  • practicum
  • case-study
  • HEIs in Portugal