Developing a Definition of Teacher Research
We define teacher research as inquiry that is intentional, systematic, public, voluntary, ethical, and contextual.Intentional: Teachers decide what they want to examine, practices and learning, in the classroom, and then go about collecting and analyzing data. They want to examine teaching and learning.
Systematic: Qualitative and quantitative.
Public: Move from their own assumptions to challenging them. Colleagues and students involved. Making their research public through presentations and publications adds to the body of knowledge in the field.
Voluntary: Any teacher who wants to examine his/her practice can research. Unlike professors, teachers are not judged based on whether they research/publish or not.
Ethical: Teacher research benefits students. Teachers get permission to quote or use sample student work.
Contextual: Instead of controlling for variables and creating an experiment, teachers must define and work within their classroom context.
The definition of teacher research is clear, but I'm not sure how it's different from any other type of research.
The Teacher as Researcher
Love that she became a researcher "by accident," but so sick of hearing about how poor teachers are so tired and have no time. And poor adjuncts are so tired and overworked and mistreated and have no time. She had time to write a journal, though. She prioritized, and made time for what she valued. Ugh--stop with the excuses everyone, please!
This is one of those articles that hypothesis won't let me highlight. Grrr.
Teachers do not stand back and look at what goes on without also suggesting solutions to problems. Researches maintain objectivity towards their subjects, not attempting to effect change.How could the author misspell aggressive? Obviously, she was never a cheerleader. :)
OMG the noises...
The author says that once they received a grade the process seemed over to the students. Agreed. Learned that theory last summer, and tried it out in the class since then. In my experience, students will continue to revise until they get a grade. After that, it's over. If they get a bad grade, they want to know what I want so they can get a better grade. Better to give comments, or a rubric, or direction, or have a conference, than to give a grade early.
A Teacher-Research Group in Action
Who let this paper get published with a typo in the name of the university? C'mon, man....
Teachers who research become leaders and better teachers. Right. In any field, those interested and willing to examine their own practices are going to improve themselves. These folks did a two year study to examine teacher-research groups.
I'm beginning to realize I am and have been an avid researcher, I just haven't written anything up for review or publication. I research an issue or two in my classes every semester. Hmm, what to do now that I know this?
Typos in this article are becoming distracting. It makes me wonder if their research methods are just as sloppy.
Another one. Seriously? I doubt the authors' capabilities as professionals. I'll read to the end, but at this point they've lost my confidence.
They describe participation in a research project.
Teachers describe needing time to focus, read, and write.
This project seems too open-ended. No sure what the point of the group is.
Teachers reported self-growth after participating in the project group. They found relief from teacher isolation. One said teaching won't be a profession until teachers start reading and conducting research.
(I was highlighting all the typos on hypothesis and realized there were so ridiculously many that I went back and erased all the highlights.)
Teachers, unlike university researchers, did not do lit reviews on their topics. They did not feel constrained to conform to the style of research reports (maybe because many had not read them?). The group began to favor the double-narrative as accepted.
This group was basically a group of teachers using the biweekly group time as support and specified time to complete their individual research projects. I thought at first that the group was going to complete a group project. Now it makes sense. This would be a very cool project. It's a little like completing the TIW with the KUWP. I'd like to start a group like this at NJIT. Maybe a group of lecturers (non-tenure track) and adjuncts? Would have to be after graduation. Oooh, might even get a course release to head the group (if I'm teaching 4 at that point.) Need to think on this some more...sock it away for next year....
Great articles, Colin!