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Abstract

This paper describes the use of action research in a teacher education course as a way to support novice teachers in meeting the learning needs of a diverse student population. Our experiences as instructors in teacher education courses led us to look for strategies that could support novices’ attempts to meet students’ diverse needs because students viewed this as one of their greatest challenges as beginning teachers. We explore action research as one such strategy to respond to this learning need. We examine this practice for supporting novice teachers and consider three cases of student learning as examples. Our findings suggest that teacher candidates were able to use their action research projects to meet students’ learning needs but were less able to articulate their attempts to do so in an aware manner. However, they did understand the purpose of action research to help them reflect on and improve their practices as teachers. Suggestions are made to help students better understand this process as a result of these findings.

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