ERIC Number: ED222460
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Empirical Research as Inservice Teacher Education.
An inservice program designed to provide high school teachers with experience in empirical research explored the factors contributing to the high dropout rate (60 percent) among a predominantly Native American student body. The practicum involved: (1) identifying the population; (2) developing instruments; (3) discussing and practicing interview techniques; (4) contacting and interviewing high school dropouts; and (5) analyzing the resulting data. Teachers interviewed 46 dropouts, and high school students were recruited for peer counseling services. Among the factors that were discovered to be important in the decision to drop out of school were teacher-student relationships, teacher attitudes, and the seeming irrelevance of schooling for Native Americans. It was also revealed that a large majority of the dropouts regretted their action. In evaluating the value of empirical research to the professional development of teachers, it can be seen that although participation can equip teachers with a valuable heuristic for viewing teaching, process activities characterizing the various phases of research (literature review, hypothesis formation, empirical test) are not unique to research and that the teaching act itself includes the same activities and phases. Teachers, using the body of knowledge they have acquired in their training, continually formulate hypotheses of actions that will improve learning in their students and empirically test their theories in the classroom. (JD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, l982). Supported by a grant from the Blackfeet Educational Training Complex (13th Cycle Teacher Corps).