ARITE – Action Research in Initial Teacher Education

Ref: 01-2014/5-north
Name: M. Ní Ríordáin
Email Address: maire.niriordain@nuigalway.ie
Phone Number: 091 492693
Institution Address: NUI, Galway
Seeking a partner/s in: Northern Ireland

Action research provides valuable opportunities for pre-service teachers to become reflective practitioners and furthermore, improve their practice, their understanding of their practice, and the situation in which their practice takes place. Moreover, action research empowers pre-service teachers to critically examine an experience that demonstrates the potential that they can be influential researchers within their educational situations. Examining pre-service teachers’ attempts at integrating action research into their formative teaching practice may reveal an activity imbued with uncertainty. Pre-service teachers, like in-service teachers, are frequently unsure of their students’ knowledge and understanding, the effects of their instructional strategies, the most appropriate content to cover in their limited time with students, and ultimately their own intellectual and social authority. Compound this experience with simultaneously learning to conduct systematic, self-critical inquiry into one’s practice and pre-service teachers are now faced with a myriad of concerns, questions, and dilemmas. In this study we seek to examine how to combine a researchbased knowledge with a more authentic practical learning experience for initial teacher education students. The NUI Galway context is that of a four-year, undergraduate concurrent mathematics teaching degree programme.