Teacher Research

We encourage all teachers to become classroom researchers, to raise questions and then systematically study the teaching and learning that goes on in your own classroom. While we do sponsor a formal teacher research group, there are other ways to take on this role.  For help and/or advice, contact Cathy Fleischer, coordinator of Teacher Research: cathy.fleischer@emich.edu

  • EMWP Teacher Research Group is a collection of K-college teachers who are committed to inquiring into our teaching--raising questions that intrigue us as individuals, studying our questions over the course of a year by collecting data (like field notes or interviews or surveys or samples of student work) and analyzing that data, and finding ways to go public with our findings. Most of all, we are committed to changing our practice: to puzzling out what we can do better to help our students' learning and putting into action what we discover. We meet monthly during the school year to share our work and spend 2 days together in the summer for sacred research and writing time.
    • TR Group Blog Posts: For more on our work, check out our blog on the Literacy in Learning Exchange. You have to join the EMWP Teacher Research Group site, but you can follow the work that we’ve been doing. literacyinlearningexchange.org
    • Various members of the EMWP TR group have published their research findings in various ways.  A more complete list is attached below.
      • Writing Outside Your Comfort Zone, a book by Cathy Fleischer and Sarah Andrew-Vaughan
      • Pam McCombs in Language Arts Journal of Michigan
      • Lisa Eddy, National Council of Teachers of English presentations
    • Learning About Teacher Research. Even if you’re not a member of the EMWP TR group, you can still become a teacher researcher! Many books and articles about TR offer hands-on advice on how to get started. 
      • Chiseri-Strater and Sunstein. What Works
      • Hubbard and Shagoury. The Art of Classroom Inquiry
      • Cochran-Smith and Lytle. Inquiry as Stance
  • Opportunities to share your classroom research. While teacher research is initially intended to create change in your own classroom, there are many opportunities to share your classroom research with a larger audience. Local and national journals seek articles that are based in solid studies by teachers.
  • Starting a Teacher Research Group in your own school. If you’re interested in teacher research and can find a few other people in your school who also might be interested, you can start your own group. Some suggestions for getting started:
    • Start with book study group: find a book that speaks to a question or issue that is on your mind. Invite others in your school to read it with you and hold weekly (or monthly) discussions on the book. 
    • Start an inquiry group: For example, looking at student work together in a Collaborative Assessment Conference. This systematic and collaborative approach to understanding student strengths and challenges as a writer can be a first step toward reclaiming assessment at your school. [http://schoolreforminitiative.org/doc/cac.pdf]

Bill Tucker,
Aug 20, 2015, 12:42 PM