Connecting your accounts to international networks of teacher-researchers and other educational researchers. The live urls in the references below should take you to papers to download or in the case of the papers from Educational Researcher to pdf files that you can view on screen, download, or print off. The pdf files may take a little time.
The quote I use from Catherine Snow's Presidential Address to AERA to connect your enquiries to the forefront of educational knowledge is:
. challenge is to enhance the value of personal knowledge
and personal experience for practice. Good teachers possess a wealth of knowledge
about teaching that cannot currently be drawn upon effectively in the preparation
of novice teachers or in debates about practice. The challenge here is not to
ignore or downplay this personal knowledge, but to elevate it. The knowledge
resources of excellent teachers constitute a rich resource, but one that is
largely untapped because we have no procedures for systematizing it. Systematizing
would require procedures for accumulating such knowledge and making it public,
for connecting it to bodies of knowledge established through other methods,
and for vetting it for correctness and consistency. If we had agreed-upon procedures
for transforming knowledge based on personal experiences of practice into public
knowledge, analogous to the way a researchers private knowledge is made
public through peer-review and publication, the advantages would be great (my
emphasis). For one, such knowledge might help us avoid drawing far-reaching
conclusions about instructional practices from experimental studies carried
out in rarified settings. Such systematized knowledge would certainly enrich
the research-based knowledge being increasingly introduced into teacher preparation
programs. And having standards for the systematization of personal knowledge
would provide a basis for rejecting personal anecdotes as a basis for either
policy or practice."
(Snow, p. 9, 2001)
For my analysis of the evidence from self-study teacher-researcher on the reconstitution and extension of educational theory and knowledge you can read the chapter WHAT COUNTS AS EVIDENCE IN SELF-STUDIES OF TEACHER EDUCATION PRACTICES? This is being published in the International Handbook of Self-Study of Teaching Practice (Kluwer academic publishers. The Netherland's - in press)
The significance of the teacher-researcher movement in improving practice and in reconstituting educational knowledge and theory can be appreciated and understood in the expression, definition and communication of educational standards of judgement:
"There is no more important educational question, however, than how
we foster educational judgement in students, teachers, and researchers. How
do we learn to exercise our freedom understood as responsibility?
Although the challenge is daunting - indeed, tragic - the failure to judge is even more frightening, it is just this failure that seems so common in schools and universities, where conditions often promote the escape from judgement". (Coulter, & Wiens, p. 23, 2002)
The importance of the ideas of 'embodied' knowledge and of transforming embodied values into living educational standards of judgement has been growing in my work over the last few years. The ideas became clearer as I reviewed a book on Unfolding Bodymind: Exploring Possibility Through Education (Hocking, Brent; Haskell, Johnna; and Linds, Warren. (Eds.) (2001) Brandon, VT: Psychology Press/Holistic Education Press.). You can access this review at: http://coe.asu.edu/edrev/reviews/rev141.htm)
The following papers from Educational Researcher, a Journal of the American Educational Research Association help to connect the significance of your research accounts at John Bentley to the global educational conversations on the nature of educational knowledge and theory:
"In spite of the continuing efforts of researchers, archived research knowledge has had little effect on the improvement of practice in the average classroom. We explore the possibility of building a useful knowledge base for teaching by beginning with practitioners' knowledge" (Hiebert, Gallimore & Stigler 2002)
See the Robert Bullough and Stefinee Pinnegar (2001) paper for some guidelines that you might find helpful to integrate into your enquiry. Alan Feldman (2003) claims that we can increase the validity of our self-studies by paying attention to and making public the ways that we construct our representations of our research. I am suggesting that you can make significant contributions to global understandings of educational relationships and educational influence by making public the embodied values that you use to explain your educational influence. The experience of embodied values differs from the traditional ways in which explanatory theories are expressed. That is, in sets of interconnected propositions. I am suggesting that visual data from your educational practices will be needed to show how you clarify the meanings of your embodied values in the course of their emergence in your educational enquiries. As you clarify the meanings of your embodied values I am claiming that you are transforming them into living and communicable standards of educational judgement.
Bullough, R. & Pinnegar, S. (2001) Guidelines for Quality in Autobiographical Forms of Self-Study Research. Educational Researcher, Vol. 30, No.3, pp. 13-21
Coulter, D. & Wiens, J. (2002) Educational
Judgement: Linking the Actor and the Spectator. Educational Researcher, Vol.
31, No.4, pp. 15-25.
Feldman, A. (2003) Validity and Quality in Self-Study. Educational Researcher. Educational Researcher, Vol. 32, No. 3, pp. 26-28
Hiebert, J., Gallimore, R, & Stigler, W. (2002) A knowledge base for the teaching profession: What would it look like and how can we get one? Educational Researcher, Vol. 31, No. 5, pp. 3-15.
Snow, C. E. (2001) Knowing What We Know: Children, Teachers, Children. Presidential Address to AERA, 2001, in Seattle, in Educational Researcher, Vol. 30, No.7, pp.3-9.
Colin Smith's paper in Teacher Development explores the implications of the development of shared living theories in the context of learning and teaching policies and teacher-research:
Smith, C. (2002) 'Supporting Teacher and School Development: learning and teaching policies, shared living theories and teacher-research partnerships'. Teacher Development, Volume 6, Number 2, pp. 157- 179.
You can access the final draft of Colin's paper at http://www.actionresearch.net/evol.smith.doc