Research Literacy in Initial Teacher Education: Supporting the Development of Personal Theories

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In this chapter we empirically support the claim that student teachers’
research literacy benefits from collaboratively discussing educational
research and relating insights to representations of their lessons in a goal
system representation. We distinguish three research literacy competencies:
the competency to 1) interpret research literature; 2) use outcomes
to reflect on practice; 3) translate results of reflection into concrete
adaptations of practice. We outline how a Goal System Representation can
be seen as a visual image of the relation between teachers’ goals and their
practice, reflecting their ‘personal theory’. We describe a teacher education
course aimed at improving research literacy, that encompasses the three
competencies and uses Goal System Representations as a vehicle for
reflection and the translation of research outcomes to practice. We then
discuss the results of the course evaluation and offer a detailed exemplary
case of how a student teacher developed her personal theory. To conclude,
we argue how our approach to developing research literacy could inform
the ongoing professional development of teachers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDeveloping Teachers’ Research Literacy
Subtitle of host publicationInternational Perspectives
EditorsPete Boyd, Agnieszka Szplit, Zuzanna Zbróg
Place of PublicationKrakow, Poland
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)9788366269972
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • personal theory
  • goal system representation
  • initial teacher education
  • research literacy


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