Journal Current

(1) Teacher Research: School/University Collaboration From a New Perspective

Catherine Emihovich
Florida State University

Abstract: In the traditional educational research model teachers were not viewed as creators of new knowledge about education, but were perceived simply as consumers of information obtained through research conducted under the process-product paradigm. This paper provides an overview of two concepts that are closely related, the reflective teacher and the teacher researcher, and describes how school- and university-based researchers can more effectively utilize teacher-generated knowledge to help improve our schools. The emerging consensus is that encouraging teachers to become more reflective, or even to become researchers in their own classroom, will help produce significant improvements in education that traditional research has not been able to demonstrate.

Citation: Emihovich, C. (1992). Teacher research: school/university collaboration from a new perspective. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 32(1), 7-15.

Download:  Emihovich.321.pdf (127 downloads)

(2) Teacher as Researcher: An Impetus for Change

Karl Hook
Florida State University School

Abstract: Most teachers teach the way they were taught or in a way that is compatible with their learning style. Any changes they make are usually superficial; rarely do teachers change their underlying pedagogical beliefs and assumptions. This reflective paper, written from a constructivist perspective, illustrates the importance of collaborative research in stimulating teacher change. Based on a longer ethnographic autobiography, it details the personal story of how a teacher-as-researcher project helped one teacher overcome the effects of professional isolation, and altered the teacher’s beliefs from an objectivist set of beliefs based on technical interests to a more constructivist perspective based on students’ emancipatory interests. The article concludes with a set of assertions for facilitating teacher change in a collaborative research model.

Citation: Hook, K. (1992). Teacher as researcher: an impetus for change. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 32(1), 41-51.

Download:  Hook.321.pdf (121 downloads)

(3) Teacher as Researcher: Setting the Stage for a New Role

Karla Lynn Kelsay
Florida State University

Abstract: While educational reformers have recognized that teachers need to move beyond the compliant technician role to that of the reflective practitioner if schools are going to achieve their mission, implementation of that new role is not easily realized. This article offers insights into how teachers could be assisted in moving from being intellectually aware of theories that are unrelated to practice to being empowered to contribute to the knowledge base that shapes their professional growth. The informants for this study were teachers who participated in a “Teacher as Researcher” course at Florida State University, and teacher researchers at the Florida State University School. This article details what happens to teachers when they engage in questioning, hypothesizing, investigating, reflecting, and working cooperatively on research topics that have meaning to them in their own classroom settings.

Citation: Kelsay, K. L. (1992). Teacher as researcher: setting the stage for a new role. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 32(1), 16-26.

Download:  Kelsay.321.pdf (122 downloads)

(4) Research and Practice: An Administrator’s View

Frances K. Kochan
Florida State University

Abstract: Coping with constant change requires that organizations create internal cooperative networking systems, implement joint decision-making, and transfer responsibility for solving problems to those working closest to them. In the school setting, this requires a change in the role and relationships among teachers, administrators, and students. Rather than being viewed as an authority figure, the administrator becomes part of a decision-making team that helps establish a vision and mission for the school. Teachers must become models who are themselves researchers capable of reflecting on practice and improving it based upon their reflection. This article examines how a teacher-researcher program fits into the reform and restructuring movement of today and presents practical information for the administrator in developing and implementing such an endeavor.

Citation: Kochan, F. K. (1992). Research and practice: an administrator’s view. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 32(1), 27-33.

Download:  Kochan.321.pdf (142 downloads)

(5) Building Classroom Community in a Second Grade Class

Jane J. Leonard
Florida State University School

Abstract: Discipline in the 1990s presents a challenge for many classroom teachers. One solution arising from a teacher-researcher project involved creating a “working community” in a second grade class. Community officers, rules, consequences, and elections were incorporated and maintained by the students. Participation helped develop students’ responsibility for individual behavior, and concern for others flourished. Some of the most difficult community offenders were forced by their peers to re-examine their actions and be in charge of them. A new appreciation for “responsibility” evolved as the community concept led to new understandings for the students and the teacher. A difficult group of second graders became citizens who were in charge.

Citation: Leonard, J. J. (1992). Building classroom community in a second grade class. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 32(1), 34-40.

Download:  Leonard.321.pdf (134 downloads)

(6) “It Comes Out Weird to Me:” Perspectives on Grammar and Writing

Nancy L. McFarland
Florida State University

Abstract: In a very practical way, grammar is the foundation that speakers and writers rely on to communicate. The integration of grammar and writing instruction in classrooms is essential for building students’ awareness of the numerous ways in which they can use language. By teaching students how to use their words and their ideas to create writing for readers to enjoy, teachers encourage students to use their abilities freely. Through this teacher-researcher project, the question of how grammar and writing instruction assists or hinders students’ writing skills was studied. Based on interviews, a brief survey, and examples of students’ writing, it was found that the students wanted more practical assistance in writing and grammar. The implications for teaching grammar at the high school level are discussed.

Citation: McFarland, N. L. (1992). (6) “It comes out weird to me:” perspectives on grammar and writing. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 32(1), 52-59.

Download:  McFarland.321.pdf (134 downloads)

(7) Fostering Teacher-Conducted Research

Dorothy Routh
SouthEastern Regional Vision for Education (SERVE)

Dianne Wilkes
SouthEastern Regional Vision for Education (SERVE)

Abstract: Recognizing the many benefits of teacher-conducted research, policymakers are beginning to promote classroom research as a way to encourage innovation and achieve significant school improvement goals. To foster teacher-conducted research, they are endorsing staff development in formal research procedures and providing access to the technology and resources necessary to conduct classroom research. Many schools are also providing teacher researchers the opportunity to collaborate with other educators and researchers through such innovative approaches as release time for collaborations with colleagues and research partnerships with universities. Supported by such policies, the teacher-as-researcher movement is gaining momentum, and teacher researchers are playing a key role in linking research and practice to school improvement.

The teacher-as-researcher movement is based on teachers liberating themselves from ideas imposed solely by others outside the classroom. In a sense, it constitutes an acknowledgment that teaching belongs to teachers and that as the experts about their own practice, teachers are the ones most able to understand and refine their work (Oberg & McCutcheon, 1990, p. 142-143).

Citation: Routh, D. (1992). Fostering teacher-conducted research. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 32(1), 73-82.

Download:  Routh.321.pdf (187 downloads)

(8) Insiders and Outsiders in Classroom Research: Blurring the Boundaries

Ginger Weade
University of Florida

Abstract: In this article, the situation of teacher researchers is explored from a sociocultural perspective. Teacher researchers are viewed as an emergent community of educators who position themselves for leadership and change in the traditional, role-based distinctions that divide research and practice. By taking the classroom as the central focal point for researchers and teachers alike, and applying a concept of insiders and outsiders to what happens there, a wide range of actors and issues involved in generating theories and informing practice is made visible. Inquiry, whomever conducts it, is viewed as an active process through which purposes are systematically and intentionally related to issues of setting, time, conditions, actions to be taken, and audience(s). Directions for the future of the teacher research movement are located in a focus on student learning, what we shall choose to count as learning when learning counts, and how we should value the social consequences of learning.

Citation: Weade, G. (1992). Insiders and outsiders in classroom research: blurring the boundaries. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 32(1), 60-72.

Download:  Weade.321.pdf (190 downloads)