ERIC Number: ED390832
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Bringing a Research Focus into the Teaching Role.
Northfield, Jeff; Mitchell, Ian
This paper is a preliminary look at a study on research by teachers. Participants were teachers in Melbourne, Australia, involved in the Project for Enhancing Effective Learning (PEEL) who were interested in designing, conducting, and reporting teacher-led research. Section 1 of the paper explores the last 10 years of teacher research as part of the PEEL program. While many teachers have found that their involvement with PEEL affirmed their efforts and ideas and improved confidence and self-esteem, it has been difficult to gain system-wide support for research as professional development, due to time constraints and concern about system priorities. Qualitative differences between teacher research and more formal research are summarized. In Section 2, participants respond to the analysis in Section 1. Teachers indicated that teacher research has significant advantages in both identifying and analyzing classroom incidents; that teacher researchers frame their own theory and find value in generalizations of others as a way of clarifying their own experiences; and that personal rewards for involvement in research include increased respect for professionalism, greater job satisfaction, greater public esteem, stimulation of new ideas, and improved classroom environments. Quotes from teachers illustrate these points. Section 3 of the paper outlines conditions needed for sustaining teacher research. These include: regular stimulation, identification of legitimate and useful research, help to shape research goals and design research programs, collaboration in reporting and writing, and administrative support. One conclusion is that the most important resource for teacher researchers is time and teachers need to be provided with an occasional release day. The findings suggest that teachers have the capacity to make important research contributions in areas not previously considered part of their normal role. (ND)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Teaching Research
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 18-22, 1995).