Preparing pre-service teachers as emancipatory and participatory action researchers in a teacher education programme
CITATION: Esau, O. 2013. Preparing pre-service teachers as emancipatory action researchers in a teacher education programme. South African Journal of Education, 33(4), Art. #828, doi:10.15700/201412171327.
The original publication is available at http://www.sajournalofeducation.co.za
In this paper I analyse the potential that participatory action research holds for educating pre-service teachers to become more critically reflective and socially conscious. I also describe the rationale for and process of engaging pre-service teachers in their teacher education programme. Involving these candidate teachers in participatory action research (PAR) projects may provide opportunities for aspiring teachers to develop pedagogical content knowledge, examine their beliefs about teaching, and gain confidence in addressing social justice issues. More than merely exposing them to applying the technique of action research, the PAR project encouraged them to become more socially conscious, critical, imaginative and argumentative as teacher-researchers. In the project I used a participatory approach in action research to prepare the pre-service teachers to become emancipatory action researchers. Supporting and fostering inquiring practices is a strategy to help pre-service teachers move beyond just receiving hand-outs in a teacher education programme and beginning to focus on their work with learners and challenges in the real school environment.