Improving practice through teacher inquiry
Presenters: Gail Perry, Andrew Stremmel, Frances Rust, Barbara Henderson, Daniel Meier, Mary Jane Moran, Vivian Paley
Finding a Research Question—Andy Stremmel
Teacher inquiry is qualitative field research based on curiosity about their teaching or their children’s learning. We ask ourselves what we find puzzling, what we could improve, why are we interested and what we hope to find out. A teacher inquiry should have personal meaning. The questions asked—how and what—will change over time after reflection to uncover what we are really seeking. Questions for inquiry should be periodically shared with colleagues and others who do inquiries in order to help focus them.
Data Collection and Analysis—Barbara Henderson
Sources of data: journals, field notes, work samples, audio, photos, video, interviews, surveys, chart paper, lesson plans, school documents, tallies
Data analysis is ongoing, reflective, organizing, useful for sharing with others. It’s important to handle your material frequently.
Inductive Analysis—working from small to big, looking for big patterns or a new perspective
Discourse Analysis—recording and transcribing conversations of children, whether with other children, adults, or to themselves
Photography—Mary Jane Moran
The communication components of photography are meaning, word order, and interpretation. Photos are encoded with intent and decoded with meaning. They can show a single instant in time or a progression through time and space with a series.
Writing for Publication—Daniel Meier
Where to publish: professional journal, book, journalism, conference, workshop presentation, on-site professional development, professional organization publications, ECE site newsletter or website
Formats: first person account, collaborative account, narrative and stories, memoir, poetry, multilingual, artwork, multimedia. There are usually 5 sections regardless of the format: introduction, methods, literature, findings, discussion.
Audience: me, colleagues and fellow researchers, families, administrators, ECE researchers, ECE policy makers, ECE field in general
Problem of Practice—Frances Rust
Inquiry is a bridge between policy and practice.
My opinion is that individual teacher inquiries would be beneficial to those teachers willing to conduct them as well as to the teaching staff as a whole when the inquiring teacher presents her findings. Teacher inquiry seems to go hand in hand with the intentionality and mindfulness discussed in the intentional teaching session.
Internet resource: http://www.journal.naeyc.org/btj/vp/ (Voices of Practitioners at the NAEYC site)