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Analyzing European Initial Teacher Education Curricula Using a Multiple Case Study Approach

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By: & Published: 2017 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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Abstract

Considering the Bologna process and the consequent creation of the European Higher Education Area, which aims to create comparable and compatible academic degrees, and the fact that teachers must develop skills to thrive in our ever-changing society, we decided to study two initial teacher education programs of two different European higher education institutions that confer qualification for teaching sciences in secondary schools: the University of Lisbon, Portugal, and Malmö University, Sweden. Our goal was to identify each program’s strengths and weaknesses, particularly regarding its teaching praxis. To do so, we developed a multiple case study approach, using interviews, document analysis, and classroom observation for data collection. Centered on our perceptions of what were the challenges and strengths of the research, this case study highlights the pitfalls and benefits of conducting cross-cultural field work, using a multiple case study inquiry strategy. It also addresses researcher inexperience and how it was a constraint for this research. To make our points clearer, we present examples from this research experience, stressing the issues we consider significant. By showing how we have dealt with these issues, we intend to provide a better understanding of the research’s methodology.

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