Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Education and Human Services


Teacher Education and Teacher Development

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Monica Taylor

Committee Member

Emily Klein

Committee Member

Jeremy Price


This qualitative study, situated in a large state university, investigated how the experiences of preservice teachers conducting action research in their full-time clinical placements as part of a seminar course in a teacher education program fostered a critical teacher inquiry stance. I examined how action research allowed preservice teachers to generate personal and educational knowledge and how their inquiry influenced the ways in which they thought about how teachers make meaning and generate knowledge. Using critical teacher inquiry as a framework allowed a critical lens that prioritized the need and importance of viewing teachers’ inquiry in the classroom as a means of disrupting both the structures that uphold inequity in the classroom and pushing back against the hierarchy that values scholarly generated knowledge over teacher generated knowledge for education. The findings of the study supported the notion that action research is a valuable vehicle for preservice teachers to enact, develop, and make meaning of their classroom inquiries and a means by which to develop a critical teacher inquiry stance. Participants experienced a change in their relationship to knowledge and reconsidered the ways they approached their teaching, student learning, and their role in generating knowledge for education. Additionally, action research supported relationship strengthening and building between preservice teachers and students. Finally, this study extended the call to arms to include not only teachers, but preservice teachers, along with university scholars, as the driving force behind knowledge generation, innovation, and improvement in teaching and learning.

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