Teacher inquiry groups that take a hypothesis-testing approach to action research often have difficulty framing a good research question. John Newlin, who coaches the IITIC groups connected with Maine’s regional CES Center, the Southern Maine Partnership, worked with Kate Graham and Kathy Simon in CES’s national office to come up with this framework to organize such work: What would you
Allen, David, ed. Assessing Student Learning. New York: Teachers College Press, 1998. Cochran-Smith, Marilyn and Susan L. Lytle. Inside/Outside: Teacher Research and Knowledge. New York: Teachers College Press, 1992. Duckworth, Eleanor, “Teaching As Research” chapter in The Having of Wonderful Ideas. New York: Teachers College Press, 1987. Evans, Claryce, “Support for Teachers Studying Their Own Work.” Educational Leadership, March 1991.
In a true learning community, inquiry becomes everybody’s work. Teaching, learning, community involvement, leadership, organizational management and change, professional growth–all take place in a continual dynamic of asking good questions and finding evidence that can guide a school’s actions. The kids who skip school, the kids who cut class, and the kids kicked out of class all end up, at
Simon Hole, a long-time Essential School teacher who teaches fourth grade in Narragansett, R.I., has developed guidelines for six ways for teachers to conduct peer observations in the classroom. Three of them follow in slightly condensed form: Protocol # 1: Observer as Video Camera This protocol aims to develop observational reliability between the observer and the observed. No two people
When teachers set out to observe the “data” in their own practice, they can call on a wide range of evidence, both quantitative and qualitative. (See Horace, Volume 12, Number 3, January 1996 for a more complete discussion of “common” and “uncommon” measures.) Among the possibilities: Student work (as exemplars and points along a continuum of standards) in written, videotaped,