Teachers as researchers
Mills, J. P., & Earl Rinehart, (Suzanne) K. (2019). Teachers as researchers. Teachers and Curriculum, 19(1), 1–5. https://doi.org/10.15663/tandc.v19i1.338
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13743
Research in educational settings has often been undertaken by a third-person (a term used by Ball, 2000), who sits on the edge of the classroom, maybe moves among the students from time to time, and looks ‘at’ the teaching taking place. The assumption was that an outside observer may see and hear things taking place that the teacher takes for granted,and may notice things occurring that might not have been planned for by the teacher. This approach harks back to research objectivity and a value-free research agenda (Denzin & Lincoln, 2005). However, while an outsider seeks to understand what goes on in the lessons, he/she does not necessarily appreciate or understand some of the relational, historical and affective factors beyond that gaze,and that combine in the interactions, classroom climate and situation ofthat moment. The first-person approach to research in educational settings means the teacher is in a position to probe beneath the observed actions associated with their practice and focus on issues arising through the questioning, evidence gathering and analysing of their actions alongside their students’ learning. First-person research by teachers brings to scholarly research and writing,a perspective direct from the classroom practitioner. Practitioner research, or the first-person approach to research, is referred to as ‘working in the inside’(Ball, 2000). Ball advocated that this form of research provides a valuable contribution to the improvement of teaching as teachers examine in depth some of the puzzles associated with classroom practice.
University of Waikato
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