Student Teachers as Future Researchers: How do Hungarian and Austrian Initial Teacher Education Systems Address the issue of Teachers as Researchers?

  • Csilla Pesti Ms
  • János Gordon Győri
  • Erika Kopp


Even though initial teacher education is a rather short period in comparison to the other phases of a teacher’s career, it has a crucial role in shaping student teachers’ career-long activities. Many argue that everyday teaching in a classroom setting is comparable to conducting research, as teachers pursue experimenting with different strategies to teaching and learning, as they reflect on their own as well as their colleagues’ work, and as they make decisions about their future steps based on these experiences. This paper aims to reveal how the concept of teachers as researchers is addressed in initial teacher education programmes by answering two questions: How is the concept of teachers as researchers represented in these programmes? What kind of experiences do student teachers have regarding practice-oriented research? The research has a case study design with a comparative aspect, in which one Hungarian and one Austrian institution offering initial teacher education serve as the two cases. Results show that both universities have integrated research into their initial teacher education programmes, but in different ways and to different extents. An important notion is that although various courses that deal with research and/or research methodology and could contribute to the development of student teachers’ research competences could be identified, the activities of these courses are somewhat restricted to taking place within the university walls (e.g., discussion of research results), detached from practice. The study is expected to contribute to the understanding of structural similarities and differences in initial teacher education systems in the two countries that may foster or hinder the development of student teachers’ development during their school-based teaching practice, with a particular focus on those that are required to conduct practice-oriented research. 


Bakkenes, I., Vermunt, J. D., & Wubbels, T. (2010). Teacher learning in the context of educational innovation: Learning activities and learning outcomes of experienced teachers. Learning and Instruction, 20(6), 533–548.

Berliner, D. C. (2002). Educational research: The hardest science of all. Educational Researcher, 31(8), 18–20.

Cain, T. (2015). Teachers’ engagement with published research: Addressing the knowledge problem. Curriculum Journal, 26(3), 488–509.

Cochran-Smith, M. (2005). Teacher educators as researchers: Multiple perspectives. Teaching and Teacher Education, 21(2), 219–225.

Cochran-Smith, M., & Zeichner, K. M. (2005). Studying teacher education: The report of the AERA panel on research and teacher education. Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.

Commission of the European Communities. (2007). Commission staff working document - Towards more knowledge-based policy and practice in education and training. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.

Eötvös Loránd University EDiTE Team. (2014). Teacher education and teacher education policies in the European Union - Issue paper of the EDiTE final conference and seminar. Retrieved from

ET2020 Working Group on Schools Policy. (2015). Shaping career-long perspectives on teaching - A guide on policies to improve initial teacher education. Brussels: European Commission. Retrieved from

Gray, J., & Campbell-Evans, G. (2002). Beginning teachers as teacher-researchers. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 27(1). Retrieved from =1311&context=ajte

Hargreaves, D. (1999). The knowledge-creating School. British Journal of Educational Studies, 47(2), 122–144.

Hargreaves, D. (2000). The production, mediation and use of professional knowledge among teachers and doctors: A comparative Analysis. In Knowledge management in the learning society (pp. 219–238). Paris: OECD.

Healey, M. (2005). Linking research and teaching: exploring disciplinary spaces and the role of inquirybased
learning. In R. Barnett (Ed.), Reshaping the university: New relationships between research, scholarship and teaching (pp. 67–78). Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Hunyadi, G. (2010). Pedagógusképzés a „magyar bolognai rendszerben” [Teacher education in the Hungarian bologna system]. In G. Hunyadi (Ed.), A Nemzeti Bologna Bizottság Pedagógusképzési Albizottságának válogatott dokumentumai 2003-2010 (pp. 630-636). Budapest: ELTE Eötvös Kiadó. Retrieved from

Kálmán, O., & Rapos, N. (2007). Kellenek-e alapelvek a pedagógusképzés átalakításához? – európai tendenciák [Are principles required for the transformation of teacher education? – European tendencies]. Pedagógusképzés, 4, 23–42.

Keyes, C. (1999). The early childhood teacher’s voice in the research community. International Journal of Early Years Education, 8(1), 3–13.

Loughran, J. (2002). Teacher as researcher: The PAVOT project. In J. Loughran, I. Mitchell, & J. Mitchell (Eds.), Learning from teacher research (pp. 3–18). Sydney: Allen & Unwin.

Ministry of Human Capacities of Hungary (2011). 2011. évi CCIV. törvény a nemzeti felsőoktatásról [2011. CCIV Law on the National Higher Education]. Retrieved from

Munthe, E., & Rogne, M. (2015). Research-based teacher education. Teaching and Teacher Education, 46, 17–24.

Neuman, W. L. (2014). Social research methods: Qualitative and quantitative approaches (Seventh Edition). Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.

OECD. (2003). New challenges for educational research. Paris: OECD.

Pesti, Cs., Rapos, N., Nagy, K., & Bohán, M. (2017). Analysis of learning outcome-based teacher training programmes – development experiences in Hungary. Acta Paedagogica Vilnensia, 38, 58–76.

Pukánszky, B. (2013). Paradigmatikus viták a tanárképzésről Magyarországon – Múlt és jelen [Paradigmatic discussion about teacher education in Hungary – The past and the present]. In J. Karlovitz & J. Torgyik (Eds.), Vzdelávanie, vyskum a metodológia (pp. 591–604). Retrieved from

Pukánszky, B. (2012). A tanárképzés paradigmái és szerkezeti-tartalmi változásai Magyarországon [Paradigm and structural-contextual changes in teacher education in Hungary]. Retrieved from

Schratz, M., & Kraler, C. (2011). From best practice to next practice – A shift through research-based teacher education. Retrieved from

Simić, N., Bachmann, G., & Stančić, M. (2013). Comparison of teacher education reforms in Serbia and Austria. In M. Despotović, E. Hebib, & B. Németh (Eds.), Contemporary issues of education quality (pp. 393–408). Belgrade: University of Belgrade, & University of Pécs.

Smith, K. (2015). The role of research in teacher education. Research in Teacher Education, 5(2), 43–46.

Smith, K., & Sela, O. (2005). Action research as a bridge between pre-service teacher education and in-service professional development. The European Journal of Teacher Education, 28(3), 293–311.

Snoek, M., & Moens, E. (2011). The impact of teacher research on teacher learning in academic training schools in the Netherlands. Professional Development in Education, 37(5), 817–835.

Strauss, A. (1987). Qualitative analysis for social scientists. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Ulvik, M. (2014). Student-teachers doing action research in their practicum: why and how? Educational Action Research, 22(4), 518–33. doi:10.1080/09650792.2014.918901
How to Cite
PESTI, Csilla; GYŐRI, János Gordon; KOPP, Erika. Student Teachers as Future Researchers: How do Hungarian and Austrian Initial Teacher Education Systems Address the issue of Teachers as Researchers?. Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal, [S.l.], v. 8, n. 3, p. 35-57, sep. 2018. ISSN 2232-2647. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 16 oct. 2018. doi: