ERIC Number: ED394952
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
Teachers' Study Group: Forum for Collective Thought, Meaning-Making, and Action.
Meyer, Richard J.
This paper presents a description and analysis of the work of a group of primary grade teachers who decided to study their practices and engage their students in inquiry. Their school was in a lower socioeconomic area with a multiethnic student body. The political nature of their work is documented via two themes that emerged from their work. The first theme, identification, involves the development of self, relationships, and curriculum as the foundation for understanding the school context. The second theme, disruption, demonstrates how teacher inquiry disrupted the regularities of the school. The theoretical basis for the work rests in "servicing in," a view of staff development that demands that researchers and teachers address mutually-constructed agendas in their work; teachers study themselves with an outsider who is also studying them. "Servicing-in" requires commitment about the past as well as the future and disruption and identification, which call for teachers who write and think. Teacher conversations and inquiry developed into teacher research that was political and social because it occurred in a context that demanded sameness and continuity--a process of invention that occurred under adversity, self-doubt, and even oppression. Conclusions suggest the difficulty of this work; the ways in which the work results in advocacy for children, teachers, and schooling; and the ways in which a school might change to support such work on an institutional level. (Contains 98 references.) (Author/NAV)
Descriptors: Action Research, Elementary School Teachers, Faculty Development, Group Discussion, Group Dynamics, Group Experience, Improvement Programs, Inquiry, Inservice Teacher Education, Participatory Research, Primary Education, Public Schools, Reflective Teaching, Research and Development, Self Directed Groups, Teacher Effectiveness, Teacher Researchers, Urban Schools
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, April 8-13, 1996).