วันอังคารที่ 26 ตุลาคม พ.ศ. 2553

Doing Teacher Research [form inquiry to unerstanding]{Donald Freeman} (ตอนที่ 1)

ตอนที่ 1

Doing Twcher
RGS Qargh
° M * N ¤ ¤ · R Y T ¤ U N Dm STA ~ ¤ · NG

Donald Freeman
School for International Training _ I- ' ` ‘;I? ji; · T
A TeacherSource Book _
Donald Freeman
Series Editor n

. .
Heinle SL Heinle Publishers
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The publication of Doing Teacher-Resertrcfa: From lizqzriry to Undersrmzding
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Copyright @1998 by Heinle SC Heinle Publishers _
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Heinle Sc Heinle is a d_ivision of International Thomson Publishing, inc.
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p. 19 Illustrations used by permission of Glenn Bernhardt © 1996. i
p. 93 Figure 5.2 From Teachers’ Voices: Exploring Course Design in a Changing Cuuriculum.
Edited by Anne Burns and Susan Hood. Copyright © 1995. Used by permission of NCELTR. CI-
pp. 219-223 ‘Downsizing: How it feels to be fired’ by Steve Lohr, Shelly Kaplan, Tom Scott,
Nancy K. McGuire, Eugene Versluysen, Michael McGinn, Diana Erani, james C. Megas, CI-
Phillip Ruby, and Mary Berne copyright © 1996, The New York Times. Used by permission.
pp. 1724 74 Albert Shanker "Whe1·e \Ve Stand: An important Question" reprinted from LIS
The New York Times. Copyright © The American Federation Of Teachers. Used by permission.
p. 225-252 case studies by Maree Nicholson, Margaret Surguy, Maria Vithoulkas,
Athena Frangos, Roger Kennett reprinted by kind permission of Languages In—Service Program y
for Teachers (LIFT). -
ISBN (}—83S4—7900—6
TO 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 l 2

DEDTCATTON · ............................................. vi
ACKNO\VLEDGEA·IEN'TS ...................................... vii
SERIES PREFACE ........,........... A ..............,....... viii
CHAPTER 1: STARTING ANEW ......................,......... 1
A BY Xx/AGNER VE1LLARD ...,..,................ .... 41
BY \KGxCNER VETLLARD .......................... 121
CHAPTER 7: GO1NC PUBLTC ............................... 146
LIST OF TEA_CHER~RESEARCH ACCOUNTS ........................ 195
LTBT OF FIGURES ......................................... 196

WORKING WITH VIDEOTAPES ....................... 198
APPENDIX B; DATA COLLECTION MATRTX ....................... 200
1. Anecdotal records .................................. 202 ·
2. Classroom diagrams and maps ....,...........,........ 203
3. Discussions ............................,.......... 204
4. Archival data: Documents and student work .........,..... 205
5. Feedback cards .............................,...... 206
6. Making and transcribing audio recordings ................. 207
7. Making and transcribing video recordings ................. 208
8. Class observation/Field notes .......................... 209
9. journals kept by the teacher or students .................. 210
1 O. Lesson plans and teaching logs ......................... 212 ‘
11. Sociograms .................................,..... 213
12. Interviews ................................ . ....... 216
TO BE 1¤1RED” {MARCH 17, 1996) ................... 219
PRO5ECT FOR TEACHERS (AUsTRAL1A) ................ 224
1. Using More Indonesian in the Classrooinby Morse Nicholson .... 225 j’”’_
2. Itis Too Hard by Margaret Surguyl .... . :-:1 ‘. . ; . .· .‘ . . 231
3. Mistakes Are for Learning by Mana Wthoulkas ..... g ._ . t- .......i 2 39
4. Towards a Positive Classroom by Arbena Prangos ............. 245 · C,
5. IH French Please! by Roger Kennett ....... _ . ................ 247 I` n
REFERENCES ............................................ 253 . ‘ [

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Tl: 0: at le Yo rz
The series editor; authors and publisher would like to thank the following individuals who
offered many helpful insights throughout the development of the Teacl1erSource series. r
Linda Lonon Blanton University of New Orleans
Tommie Brasel` New Mexico School for the Deaf
- jill Burton University of South Australia
Margaret B. Cassidy Brattleboro Union High School, Vermont
Florence Decker University of Texas at El Paso
Silvia G. Diaz Dade County Public Schools, Florida .
Margo Downey Boston University
Alvino Fantini School for International Training
Sandra Fradd University of Miami ·
jerry Gebhard Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Fred Genesee University of California at Davis
r Stacy Gildenston Colorado State University
jeannette Gordon Illinois Resource Center
Else Hamayan r Illinois Resource Center
Sarah I·Iudelson Arizona State University
joan jamieson Northern Arizona University i _
Elliot L. judd University of Illinois at Chicago
Donald N. Larson Bethel College, Minnesota {Emeritus)
Numa Markee University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Denise E. Murray San jose State University
Meredith Pilo1NG TeAcHER—REseARcH; Fnowi Iikiouniyrro LINDERSTANDING j`
e'`‘ if “ `‘.i _`i·i f f": --__= 3** i"__ -'‘e i '--` T _

is that its data, arguments, and reasoning be capable of withstanding careful
scrutiny by another member of the scientific community? This, then, is
Shulman’s first meaning of the term "disciplined," that the investigation reflects
both what is known and how it came to be known, and further that the latter
may permit others to replicate the how in order to verify the what.
Marino Drscirtrweo STATEMENTS =-=·
e ·· —— -=¤ln_rist;gat¤q_is-
This Investigation examines what it means to make disciplined-——as opposed to
intuitive-—statements ahout teaching. i
Think about a class or lesson in which you have recently partici-
pated. It may be a class that you taught or it may be one in which
you have been a student. Think about something that you know to
be true of that class. Write it down as a statement. Write down how
you know this statement and on what basis you make it.
Now, using the same statement, outline how someone else could
investigate it. What couldhe or she do to find out whether the state-
ment is the case? Draft a set of instructions for how that person
could investigate the statement. The instructions can be in the for-
mat: First, . . . second, . . . then . . . etc.
Shulman uses the words "scientific community” to link to the second mean- __,.
ing of a discipline as a field of study. This is the meaning we refer to when we
talk about the academic disciplines of mathematics, philosophy, or linguistics,
for example. Here Shulman (1988) connects the two meanings:
Disciplined inquiry not only refers to the order; regular; or principled
nature of investigation, it also refers to the disciplines themselves which
serve as the sources for the principles of regularity and canons of evi-
dence employed by the investigator: What distinguishes disciplines
from one another is the manner in which they formulate their ques-
- tions, how they define the content of their domains and organize that
content conceptually, and the principles of discovery and verification
that constitute the ground rules for creating and testing knowledge
in their fields. (emphasis added) (p, 5)
Each discipline has its community, the group of practitioners who accept the
rules of its game. What makes a person a chemist or a literary critic is the fact On different
that he or she plays by the rules—which Shulman calls "the principles of regu- research
larity and canons of evidence"—0f the community such that his or her ideas fit paradigms, see
within the discipline of that field of inquiry. These paradigms, which Shulman Neuman (19%-)i
refers to as "principles of regularity and canons of evidence," and I call the rules also MCl—H'·*€hll“
of the game of particular disciplines, are not static. They, too, shift with time, and Tierney
according to dominant meanings and values. l1993)‘
In this sense, then, chemistry is basically true for chemists and those who
accept the rules of chemistry as a discipline. Disciplines and their communities
are closed but permeable systems; you have to believe in their “ground rules for
creating and testing l1No

received forms is always redefined in smaller or larger ways as these things are
enacted in the time and place of particular classrooms by particular people. This
fact is not subversive; it is simply true because teaching and learning are human
activities. People teach people who are learning, which creates a human envi-
ronment in which the abstractions of curriculum, materials, and pedagogy are
transformed into actual practice. As Earl Stevick (1980) put it, teaching and
learning are concerned with “what goes inside and between people." (pp. 4—5)
ln the human environments of schools and classrooms, teachers are isolated
from one another. As educational sociologist Dan Lortie (1975) said, schools are
like "egg crates” in which individual teachers work largely in isolation within
their separate rooms with different groups of students, like eggs in the separate
sections of their carton (pp. 13-17). Given this structural isolation, it is hardly
surprising that a disciplinary community of teaching hasnot arisen. The knowl-
edge or wisdom of practice that could make up a discipline of teaching resides in
individual teachers; it is not shared, exchanged, or communicated as in other dis-
ciplines. Teachers learn to talk about what they do, about the techniques and mate-
rials they use, about how students are doing, about local school politics, and so
on. These conversations center on doing; they refer to information about teach-
ing and learning as embedded in local circumstances and personal experience.
Because teachers’ conversations are grounded in local circumstances and expe-
rience, they tend to be highly individual and thus do not build a larger shared
realm of inquiry. Professional interaction among teachers is usually highly pro-
cedural; it tends to focus on classroom issues, students, conditions of work, and
so on. On the whole, teachers do not talk about information in terms of princi-
ples of regularity or canons of evidence, as other disciplinary communities do.
This becomes a major barrier to the creation of a “discipline of teaching." When
people hold isolated personal conversations about individual experiences and
particular teaching circumstances, they do not build a larger discipline or a pro-
fessional community to support it. To do so requires a shift of focus. There needs
to he an alternative strategy that will build a set of shared assumptions about
what constitutes the understandings on which teaching is based. In its political
sense, the activity of teachenresearch is this alternative strategy. Teacher-
research makes public these private conversations and individual intuitions,
grounding them in the local circumstances and personal experience of teaching
on the one hand, and in the disciplined procedures of inquiry on the other. Thus
in a very real sense teacher-research is about the creation of a professional dis-
ciplinary community.
There is an instructive parallel to be drawn here with the early days of what
we now know as experimental research. Experimental research is the form of
inquiry that we usually associate with conventional definitions of science and
the production of knowledge. Its assumptions and procedures are at the base of On Vgyidity, _
common notions of scientific method: of proving or disproving hypotheses, of SEG ghaptgr 7,
research design, of objectively verifiable findings, of validity and generalizabili~ p.164.
ty, and so on. However, experimental research has not always been a so-called
"solid science." In fact, a disciplinary community of scientific practice had to be
created to sponsor and defend this type of work and its approach to knowledge.
The process happened in the 1700s, when the British Royal Academy of Sciences
Sranrmo Aivaw • 11

established itself. Charles Bazerman, a teacher and historian of writing, has Sud
studied the early written records, or "proceedings," of the Royal Academy to Cent
see how what we now take for granted as the "objective nature of science ” took deg
hold. Bazerman sees scientific writing as a key to understanding the establish- Hah
On g€¤V€» 599 ment of science in the public mind, and he wondered how its distinctive genre is ir
laptef 7· D- 150 became established as the norm of communication for the scientific community. tj
In reviewing the records of the first 150 years of meetings of the Royal Academy, mh,
Bazerman (1988) noted that the nature of what this community considered to arg
be "science” changed rather dramatically: ly b
Those reported events identified as experiments change in character EIS ·
over the period from 1665-1800. The defirzitiori of experiment Est ‘
moves from any made or done thing, to an irzterztiorml investigation, 1‘¤l€
to rz test of ct theory to jirmily ci proof of or evidence fog a claim. cho
The early definitions seemed to include any disturbance or manipula— rese
tion of nature, not necessarily focused on demonstration of any pre- {ick
existing belief, nor even with the intention of discovery. With time, mac
experiments are represented as more clearly investigative, corrobo~ {ESE
rative, and argumentative. (emphasis added) (pp. 65-66) g BSU
Thus it seems that experimental science got its start in the same ways that the qU€=
discipline of teaching might. Experimental science began by simply doing things tht?
or, as Bazerman puts it, by "any disturbance or manipulation of nature, not nec- CFGH
essarily focused on demonstration of any preexisting belief, nor even with the fit ii
intention of discovery. " Over a century and a half this definition was refined and 199
made more disciplined. From an experiment as "any made or done thing," the CHR
definition evolved through three phases: “an intentional investigation, . . . a test Il
of a theory, . . . a proof of, or evidence for, a claim." _Through this process of mg
evolving a definition, the disciplinary community of experimental science was (CPU
formed. To be a scientist and a member of that community, one had to play by HUH
its rules. These rules defined, as Shulman said, the "principles of regularity or Sent
canons of evidence" by which the community continues to operate to this day. l0<2H They defined the procedures that would generate "scientific" knowledge, a defi— mg, nition that was not static but evolving. I wonder if teaching itself may well be in 0Wf the process of evolving rules of its own game, in the larger sense that Bazerman mg talks about. Committing to a teacher-research perspective is part of that public PSN repositioning of teaching as it becomes an independent disciplinary community. flmf If you think about most of our professional meetings in language teaching—— Will or indeed in other types of classroom teaching——they generally show a wide ma} _ variety of what is valued and worth knowing about teaching. In the best sense, i1'I1€1 these gatherings of teachers represent a pluralism in both ways of knowing and _, forms of knowledge. Like the early proceedings of the British Royal Academy, ..e I _,e.---_ the program books lack the standardization of other disciplines, where the forms of knowledge are much more clearly delineated. I think the multiplicity is IT! l due to the fact that there is not yet an established, generally recognized, and WO? accepted form of teaching knowledge. In its absence—-perhaps until it devel- te tl ops—we see a variety of accounts that range from demonstrations of tech- i niques, activities, or technologies to discussions of teaching issues and problems, ) to presentations of individual ways of doing things in the classroom, and so on. · l · Dorint; Tmcner1—RnsEAacH; FROM Iriouinv TO Umoansraraonao l ‘,''l- _ -‘`i-- I . l "iili I I I Such multiplicity might be fine, were it not for the fact that teaching is such a T central social enterprise and therefore many people outside the classroom try to define what teaching should or shouldn’t be. In other words, as teachers we are naive if we think we are somehow insulated from these attempts to define what is important and worth knowing in teaching. This is the central point in this proposition. Thus far, teachers have left it to others to define the knowledge that forms the official basis of teaching. If they are interested in contributing to that type of knowledge, teachers have general- ly been asked to change the ways of doing and thinking that serve them as teach- ers in order to become researchers and to do research, Thus the teacher’s inter- est or concern must be tailored to a question to fit an existing discipline and the rules of its game. In language teaching the so-called "parent" disciplines of psy- chology and linguistics; their offspring such as second language acquisition research, curriculum development, and teaching methodologies; and the related fields in educational research have shaped the questions asked about language teaching (Stern 1983). These, therefore, have shaped what was thought to be researchable in classrooms, whether by teachers or by researchers; in the broad- est sense, these disciplines of psychology and linguistics have circumscribed the questions that are asked about classroom language teaching and learning and the types of data acceptable in response. These disciplinary communities have created the norms and the discourse of research into which teachers have had to fit if they wanted to be recognized in the study of their own practice (Freeman, 1994; van Lier, 1994). Recognition comes at a price; it shapes the concerns that can be pursued and the findings that are accepted. The alternative is to build an autonomous professional community of teach- ing to host its own questions and determine, as Shulman phrased it, its own " principles of discovery and verification that constitu_te the ground rules for cre- ating and testing knowledge? This is the direction that teacher-research repre- sents. in moving from interests and questions that are completely embedded in local circumstances and experience to a larger disciplinary framework of teach- ing, teacher-research is defining its own territory. Teachers are creating, in their own terms, a new and viable community around the ideas and issues of teach- ing that are central to their Work. At its core, this is a question of power and participation because it means separating from the disciplinary communities that have hosted educational research thus far, and defining new relationships with them. However, it is worth noting that the process has historical roots. lt may he little different than the building of a professional community for exper- imental research through the Royal Academy that Bazerman describes. W/HAT Does me Worn "Scii2Nr1ric" Mean ro You? In this Investigation, you gather information about the usual meanings of the _ word "scientific." The aim is to uncover the deeper ideology that gives power T to the term and shapes our use of it. If someone says to you "But that isn’t scientihc ·. . .” what does he or she mean? Where do your ideas about what is or isn’t scientific come from? I STARTING ANEW • 13 r T H : '_,__ fyi. T - in I Interview a couple of friends or colleagues. Ask them the same ques- T tions and note their responses. It is also interesting to ask these ques- and tions of children at various ages, as well as of adults from different mcg backgrounds. Tha ”———T——_"—T—*_`“_"`i———` "m—w inqu Proposition 4: I1zqui1jv———cmd not procedure-——is the basis sdm 0 f ieczchenresearcla. bod; I believe that to some degree teachers are victims of conventional ideas of sci- gil;} ence. There is a feeling that systematic procedure, the first meaning of discipline, holds the key to research and being a researcher. However, this leaves the sec- P,;Ol ond meaning of discipline, which is larger and ultimately more pervasive and pub powerful, unchallenged. For teachers, focusing on procedure and not consider— new ing the professional disciplinary community that gives meaning and value to thei: that procedure is a risky and disempowering proposition. It can trap teachers in the ways in which their work is conventionally defined and valued. Teachers are Tran = not, as I said at the beginning of this chapter, paid to ask questions about what Publi they do; they are paid to do. The professional community that hosts their work ther is founded on the idea of action; it values doing, not asking questions. Therefore, Of Ot the work is not seen to include building knowledge and understanding about rims how teaching is done. Simply put, teachers are paid to get students to learn; me their job is to teach effectively. They are not paid to understand, document, and have generate public knowledge about how students learn and how best to teach Prob them. Out of this basic contradiction arises the imperative of working at the Ideas hyphen, of teachers learning to research their teaching and learning with their exam students in the classroom. and Teacher~research redefines these parameters of teachers’ work. When teachers fcscas Jn inquiry, start to puzzle about what, how, and why they do as they do and to ask ques— hand i e Chapter 2, tions and speculate about alternatives, they incorporate the element of inquiry Cano] D- 34- into their work. Inquiry is a state of being engaged in what is going on in the g classroom that drives one to better understand what is happening——and can happen——there. This orientation is antithetical to most of the ways in which _ _ , _ . __ . , _ This. teachers work is currently defined, valued, and organized (Freedman, jackson, and Boles, 1983). In medicine,. physics, law, or architecture, for example, being We U a professional entails being able to apply what is known in the discipline to [men address new and previously undefined phenomena, contexts, and situations. - Practitioners in these fields learn to puzzle and speculate about what lies outside the realm of the known (Schon, 1983). As professionals, they are valued for their abilities to inquire and to apply the known to the new, novel, or unknown. _ i In teaching the process is reversed: Teachers are valued as professionals when they know what to do. In classrooms, teachers usually have to deal with the new, novel, or unknown without adequate time, support, or preparation to ——— investigate i_t. They often have to act on the unknown in terms of what they do Th know, so that experience plays a key role in shaping action. The child who is a · I I I "slow" reader is dealt with in part based on the teacher’s experience with other unékif such learners. Speculating on why that child reads as he does is less a part of the Bmlflc job than getting him to " perform at grade level." As action is rewarded, the psy— gstabl l chological space for puzzlement and questioning is diminished. mms Domi; T12AcneR—RnseARcri: Priori INQUIRY TO UNDeRs‘rANn1Nc; iQ?`§r£I.£-{Eifi?£‘iQ·¥-Tii?5ii":?·iE =il. -tl-ii ·-:‘'l·. I Teacher—research comes about when teachers start to define inquiry as a routine and expected function of their working lives in classrooms. Doing so, however, means rethinking and restructuring the social organization of teaching and schools. The so—called "egg crate profession" (Lortie, 1975) is not organized to support inquiry or to foster disciplinary communities of teaching among practitioners in schools. So the process of engaging in teachenresearch is also a process of changing both the ways in which schools work and what is expected of, and valued in, what teachers do. lt is an important step in transforming education from a practice of implementation to a practice devoted to understanding learning. Proposition 5: Creating cz discipline of teaching requires imzlaiiig public o1ie’s findings. To do so teache1·—reseurclae1·s heed to explore new und di/ferent ways of telling what has been leuriiecl through their inquiries. Transforming education and the way in which teaching is viewed involves the wider public sphere. When the inquiries and results of teacher-research remain private, they have little impact on the public domain of teaching or on the ideas or practices of others. Preaching to the choir has little effect on nonbelievers. Creating a disci- pline of teaching requires public sharing and testing of ideas. it requires, as men- tioned in Proposition 2, the ability to present and argue for the results and how they have been arrived at. Public expression of findings is critical; however, it can also be problematic. When teachenresearchers adopt existing ways of making public their ideas and findings, using the current language and genres of scientific debate, for example, they do two things, On the one hand they gain some access to the prestige and power that these forms of talking and writing have in society. Teacher- researchers can be taken seriously if they sound like other researchers. On the other hand, by using these forms of expression teacher-researchers conform to existing canons and disciplines and thus do not develop their own. M m M m_ Tnr LANGUAGE or Science " This Investigation examines the laiiguuge we accept as souiidiiig scierztihc. What =`` I iiii l are the words or cortstructions that trigger the sense that we are reading or listening to rz scieiitihc qccoimt? Imagine you are reading a scientific article or listening to someone present a scientific paper. ]ot down some of the phrases you would expect to read or hear. Interview a couple of friends or colleagues. Ask them to do same activity and note their responses. It is interesting to perform this Investigation with children at various ages. The power of existing ways of writing and talking scientifically should not be underestimated. Charles Bazerman, a teacher of writing, argues (1988) that "sci- entific language serves to establish and maintain the authority of science. . . By establishing the special and elevated character of science, scientific communica— tions accrete power to the scientific community” (p. 294). 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I started from a perfect blank: "Research? Me? I have to do research?
On what? Why?" Then I started realizing how wonderful the classroom
is as a field for research. The Egyptologist needs a pyramid or an ancient
tomb thousands of miles away to carry out his research. Butl can do it
everyday, the whole year round, right here in my own classroom.
Ducasse’s comment suggests the reasoning behind this chapter’s title. lf you
accept the argument that teachenresearch is about repositioning teaching and
about who generates the primary knowledge on which work in classrooms is
based, then doing teacher-research involves starting anew as a teacher. But start-
ing anew doesn’t mean abandoning what you know. It means moving away ‘
from the perspective of doing and being certain that usually animates our work
as teachers to see teaching from a new and different perspective, one of puzzling,
questioning, wondering, and not knowing. This is not starting over as a teacher,
but starting anew from a different set of assumptions, realizing, as Ducasse says,
howwonderful the classroom is as a field for research.
Suggested Readings
Understanding teachers’ expertise and how it develops over their careers is a rel-
atively recent area of research in education. David Berliner’s 1988 paper, "The
development of expertise in pedagogy," (Washington, DC: American Association
of Colleges for Teacher Education) is a seminal statement in this area. Victoria c
Genburg’s article, "Patterns and organizing perspectives: a view of expertise,"
(Teaching and Teacher Education 8 [5/6]. pp. 485-496), provides an excellent
summary. On the social context of teachers’ work, I suggest two authors as
ways into this useful literature. Ted Sizer’s 1983 book Horace’s Compromise:
The Dilemma of the American High School (Boston: Houghton Mifflin) is a
classic and very readable statement of the issues. To follow Sizer’s thinking and
the reform work that has resulted, see also Sizer’s 1992 book Horace’s School:
Redesigrzirig the American High School (Boston: Houghton Mifflin). Michael
Apple’s Teachers and Texts: A Political Economy of Class and Gender Relations -
in Education (New York: Routledge, 1986) also presents a wide—ranging critical
theory perspective on the social context of schooling. Allen Pearson’s book, The l
Teacher: Theory arid Practice in Teacher Education (New York: Routledge, `
1989) is an excellent and clear discussion of the philosophical issues and con-
cepts involved in defining teaching as a practice. r
In the notion of teachenresearch as work at the hyphen, I have been influenced W
by Michelle Fine’s thinking. Her chapter, "Working the hyphens: Reinventing
self and other in qualitative research,"(in Handbook of Qualitative Research,
edited by N. Denzin and Y. Lincoln. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1994) is a dense
but worthwhile discussion of how the research process often hinges on creating
distinctions that are often based on power. In her 1996 book, Talking Across
Boundaries: Participatory Evaluation Research in an Urban Middle School
(New York: City University of New York Press), Fine applies this notion of
hyphens as connections and boundaries to teacher-research in schools.
The question of how research supports disciplines in the construction of knowl-
Srixnsrinc; Amew • 17

edge is a vast one. Two readings offer a good way into these issues: Chapter 3
in L. Neuman, Social Research Methods (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1991) pro—
vides a good and readable overview. D. McLaughlin and XW. Tierney’s book
Nmning Silencer} Lives: Persona! Narrmfives and Processes of Edzrcmfiomzl
Clam-zge (New York: Routledge, 1993) is a fine collection of papers from vari-
ous perspectives that aim to raise experiences and issues that are "silenced” or
not addressed in usual research.
And on how implementation shapes policy and curriculum, Michael Lipsky’s
hook Street-level Bmreazrcrrzcy: Dilemrrms of the Irzdivicluczl in Public Service (New
York: Russell Sage, 1980) argues that people like police and social workers are
actually making policy under the guise of interpreting it as they interact with
their clients. Pam Grossman’s book The ll/lc:/ring of rz Teac/Jer: Terzcher
Knowledge and Teacher Education (New York: Teachers College Press, 1990)
looks at the same phenomenon in teaching as teachers transform curriculum
into what Shulman (1987) has called "pedagogical content knowledge? And L
Kathleen Graves’s edited collection, Teac/vers as Course Developers (New York: N
Cambridge University Press, 1996), presents six case studies of course develop~ i
ment, written by practitioners in ESL/EFL settings, that examine curriculum _
from the standpoint of implementation. tl
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IT Dermvns WHERE You Look
Like many complex phenomena—even the Grand Canyon——teaching and -
learning look different depending on who you are, where you are standing, U htfOOt,S
and where you are looking. Like the children in the cartoon above, people are Th8gGOOd High
naturally drawn to what they crm see, not necessarily to what there is to see. l Schocj (1983)
Observations about the world depend on where you look and who you are. In is an Exampla Of
the case of education, because teaching has usually been studied by people who V research that
are not teachers or who are not involved in the act of teaching, it has been wgrkg to Capture
described in terms that gloss over its messiness and complexity. Philip jackson, · the complexity
an educational researcher who wrote a seminal study of teaching from a class- Of SCIWOGFS 35
room perspective called Life in Clcissrooms (1968), described just such a point UTGY BYE-
of view: “Not only is the classroom a relatively stable physical environment, it
also provides a fairly constant social context. Behind the same old desks sit the
same old students, in front of tl familiar blackboard stands the familiar
teacher" (p. 7). To those who teach and learn there, classrooms are at times sta—

. . .. ~ =-r ---.-- rr--.-- - .>,..: r1-.:.= me -V., Z_-_,:;__`
ble, constant, and familiaig but they also have a fluid messiness and complexity
that is difficult to capture-much less understand and explain.
Two researchers, Rob Halkes and jon Olson (1984), who pioneered the field
of teacher cognition, outline an alternative view of teachers’ work which starts
to account for this tension between order and complexity. They write:
Looking from a teacher-thinking perspective at teaching and learn-
ing, one is not so much striving for the disclosure of the effective
teacher, but for the explanation and understanding of teaching
processes as they are. After all, it is the teacher’s subjective school-
related knowledge which determines for the most part what happens
in the classroom; whether the teacher can articulate her/his knowl-
edge or not. lnstead of reducing the complexities of teaching—learn-
ing situations into a few manageable research variables, one tries to
find out how teachers cope with these complexities. (p. 1)
i For jackson the challenge is to understand the stable, familiar, regularity of the
classroom, while for Halkes and Olson the challenge is to understand how
teachers cope with the "complexities" that make up their teaching. This differ-
ence in point of view, to which we will return later in the chapter; lies at the
iic versus heart of teachenresearch. Simply put, living teaching and looking at it are two
distinction, different things. W/orking at the hyphen of teaching and researching challenges
CUHDYGT 4, this gap; teachenresearchers have to combine both perspectives as they live and
D· 69 investigate their teaching.
Because of the immediacy of teaching, the simultaneity of classrooms and
what it means to cope with complexities can quickly melt away when one is not
in them. In thefollowing extended description, which captures part of a first-
year middle school French class, I want to bring some complexity to life. I do so
as an outsider; observing the class, and as an insider to that class, hearing what
is going on in other rooms around me. (The sections in italics echo what I hear a
from other rooms but do not see.) What I have written, based on field notes °
taken in the class and from talking with the teacher, who is here known as °
Charles, is a bit like the cartoon. It creates a small hole for you to look at, while ’ ‘
the larger landscape of the canyon is only hinted at in the distance. i
` Four six~digit numbers are written randomly on the board. The class ` ,
begins as the teacher, Charles, addresses the group of twenty~one sev- 1
enth graders seated at desks in pairs: "Alors je vous donnerai quelques I
minutes pour réllechir.” [Okay, I’ll let you have a few minutes to think ;
Cl‘|¤¥l€$” about these.} Most kids seem to know implicitly that he is talking i
— about how they will say the numbers in French. They sit quietly, i
some looking at the board, others involved in their books or looking
at the scene in the school parking lot outside the classroom window. I
In the silence, through the modular partitions, the sounds of an 4 i
English class next door can be clearly made out. The teacher is talk- t '
ing about capitalization: “Olea)g open your books to page 39 and (
let’s look at capital letters here. Why are capitals important? . . . T
Thats right, they show the beginning of the sentence. Good, now i l
let’s look at the exercise. " In response to some inaudible student - t i
noise, the teacher’s voice rises, “Listen up you boys. Thereis a test on i l
{ i
iii` ``iii " . ‘‘‘‘‘‘``‘‘‘ ¤ ``‘-‘ ---:*-9--: -`‘‘ - " ` `··· i '.-`` -.:;éQ§ i·-. iz- ..,. I --·- .‘—`

tbis tomorrow and it’s tbe last one in tbe quarter and you’a' better
tbinla about your grades. "
Charles rises from where he has been sitting, on the edge of his desk,
and speaks to the class: "i\/lettez-vous avec un partenaire, et vous
allez pratiquer comment dire ces numéros. Vous aurez un petit cinq
minutes." [Vllork with a partner and practice saying these numbers.
You’ll have about five minutes.] The kids fall to work almost imme-
diately. Most pairs are involved as they work through the six digits.
A student who is stuck on "924,429" turns to a neighboring pair:
Student T: "Are you smart in French?"
Student 2: "Yeah . . ."
Student `IZ "l know you are.” She turns to the other
member of the pair.
Student 3: "S0 after the first number you say ‘cent’."
Charles stops the pair work and the student raises her hand to ask
about the number she has been struggling with. “How do you say
that one. The 924 one . . ." Charles moves across the front of the
room and begins to point silently at the numbers. Slowly at first, but
then with quick momentum and focus, the class recites: “Neuf cent
vingt-quatre milles, quatre cent vingt—neuf." "See, I told ya,” says her ‘
partner under her breath. Charles continues, reviewing the other _
numbers. He sets up a rhythm of pointing and student response that _
pulls the students into the exercise. He then sits at an empty desk and
asks for volunteers to try out any of the numbers. There is lively
involvement as different kids try out the long numbers; some can
handle the numbers fluently, others stumble. Charles gets up now
and then to help out by pointing to trouble spots. Generally, though,
there is the feeling of the students face—to~face with the numbers.
The volunteering comes to end after about five minutes; both the
kids and Charles seem to be satisfied.
In the brief silence, tbe teacber next door can be beard. “Wbat about
the Elizabetban Age? Tbat’s number 6. Now tbat’s soinetbing I know
a little about ]£l‘O?’H my backgrounrl in Englisb. Vi'/bat’s capitalized
tbere? Coyne on now, follow the rules at tbe top of tbe page. It’s all
laid out for you .... Tbat’s rigbt, tbe "E" in Elizabethan and. . .
Oka); nuniber 7 . . .”
Charles switches the lesson to a review of verbs. Using stylized ges-
tures, he mimes various verbs as the students call out the French. He
cocks one hand to the side of his mouth “Chanter." [Sing] the kids
call out. Then, in a fluid transition, he gives the French and the kids .
. do the gestures. Some falter; others look at their neighbors to check. F
The pace is quick but not oppressive; the students seem involved by i _
it. It seems almost unremarkable that this is the first time, some tif- -
teen minutes into the lesson, that Charles has spoken except to give
instructions; all _the other French, including corrections, has come
from the students. ‘
E -, _ ,_ _— ,_ _.__ ..., FRANIING rm; Tnacuen-Resanncn CYCLE • 21
54 2 · : ;·. et; , ‘

He switches on the overhead projector, which shows a sheet of fif-
teen small line drawings of the different verbs. Standing and holding_
the felt marker in one hand, he looks around at the class. A student
asks, "You want us to write them up like last week?" Charles puts
down the pen and returns to the empty desk three rows away. By
now most of the students are perched on the edges of their chairs,
involved, straining to figure out the lesson. A girl next to the projec—
tor picks up the marker and writes the first verb. There is discussion
as verbs go up in various spellings; most are close but not all are
accurate. After eight verbs, as squirming begins to take over, Charles
gets up and collects the marker. Witliout speaking he goes back over
what they have done, pointing to mistakes and waiting until the
correction surfaces.
From the adjoining classroom the English teacher is announcing the
quiz on capital letters for tornorrozv: “Noiu in the time yon have left
you can start on your horneworle. That’s on page 38, .
the passage. " She reads, “‘This passage contains 28 errors in
capitalization. Can yon had the1n?’” -
I Sraizrnvc ro Srmutare
This Investigation refers you to the previous portrait of Charlesk French class.
Y You are asked to imagine tivo points of view: the first as an. observer in the class
and the second as Charles, the teacher: i ·
Rereading the French lesson described above, list three to five things -
you might wonder or have questions about as an observer in the class-
room. List them in any form you choose——as questions, phrases,
_ ideas, whatever. 1
Read through the description again, this time imagining that you are ,
the teacher. Add to your list another three to five things you might ,
speculate on or that might puzzle you in this lesson if you were Charles.
Compare the two lists to see where they overlap and where they 1
diverge. How are the concerns similar or different depending l
on whether you are an outsider; an observer, or an (imagined) insid— I
er, the teacher? Any of these speculations could provide the seeds of I
an inquiry. {
—W—WW`_—_—WW`W`—`_—W`—W—*` F
__,; Organizing this fluidity and inessiness of speculating, puzzling, and wonder~ (
ing about classroom teaching and learning into a line of inquiry can be daunt—
ing. It can feel like trying to fold a bed sheet alone without dirtying it on the t'
he be Shget ground, or like trying to carry a kayak by yourself for the first time.- With the 3
md the kayak sheet you want to create some order and structure by folding the larger sheet 3
into a smaller, more manageable size so it can be put away, butwithout drop- ‘ d
ping the corners or dragging the edges in the dirt. With the kayak, it is a matter `
of figuring out how to lift up the boat and then balance it on your shoulders, P l
over your head, so you can walk with it. Both tasks depend on structuring the
i work. To get the job done, you have to decide what you need to control and
=• Dome TEAcnntt—RnssARcn; Faoin INQUIRY TO Umnsnsrawomo
``‘‘* ii`iE.:’;?Q¥`i‘Qiii*·¥`?Ei=*·Y.*?*ri’> ··.‘· Y ii`-·. Z ` `--·; i l

what you can leave alone or let go. With the sheet, it helps to organize the
order»-~first locate the four corners with one hand while you hold the bunched
up sheet with the other, and so on. With the kayak, you need to decide how to l
interact with the object itself; how much strength to use to lift it and how to find
the center of gravity to balance it. Too much power and you will miss the bal-
ance point, not enough and you may not find it.
Organizing initial wonderings, speculations, and puzzles into a coherent line
of inquiry has many of these same characteristics. In essence, you will need to
make some decisions about what to control in your teaching situation and how
to control it so that you can research it; by definition you will likewise be
deciding what to leave alone. The former will become your hole to look at `
while the latter will become, temporarily, scenery in the background. This
organizing will involve structuring and ordering ideas and thoughts, using
energy and perseverance as you seek to clarify ideas and move ahead with the
process, and you will need to find the right balance among the many other
demands of being a teacher and the methodicalness and discipline of research-
ing in your classroom;
ln this chapter I lay out two frameworks that are helpful—indeed are cen-
tral—in this organizing process. Both frameworks are schematic and visual, so
they are like maps of the whole territory of doing teachenresearch. They are
also big-picture views of the dynamics and processes teachenresearch
involves. The first framework outlines two basic principles that interact to
shape any research inquiry. In grasping these principles you are learning to
balance the yin and yang of organization and intervention in research. Like
lifting the kayak, this sense of balance is essential to carrying forward a
teachenresearch project. The second framework is a cycle. It lays out the ele-
ments of tccher-research and then connects them to the process of doing the
work. Like folding the sheet, it will suggest an order to activity in doing q
research, and at the same time it should help to hold on to an image of the
whole research process.
Leo van Lier, an educator who has written about the educational research research design;
process, suggests an interesting way to think about how researchers organize How to organize?
their relationships and interactions with the environments they are studying. In How to
posing research questions and developing ways to respond to them, van Lier MYGVVGUG?
(1988) argues that there are two basic principles at work. The first is the princi-
ple of organization, which he calls "selectivity." The second is that of interven-
tion. Together the two principles outline the kinds of control a researcher can
exert in designing an inquiry. In the principle of organization, the researcher is
_ deciding how he or she wants to structure the relationship with the participants 1
and the setting being studied. In the principle of intervention, the researcher is
deciding how far he or she wants to intervene and interact with what is hap— _
pening in that environment as part of the research process.
FRAMING THE TnAci~1eR—ResnARcH Cvcte • 23

), . .-:.= -~rr. -.-. - .-.;.--·--.~:--as-ra ,:-:~;- ¤ V-i;=.i’%;r,.§.‘.`:Z‘-ii--2“ri—--i-=-;.:.{·ei¢=Z€§*:T_§‘Q.>¢}:'§;§*2`_ -‘-‘ 2-_ ```·`‘
Figure 2.1; van tier’s typiilugy
More restructuring
and reorganizing of
teaching environment ·
for purposes of research I
Less intervention _ More Intervention
into teaching for - into teaching for
purposes of research -‘ purposes of research
Less restructuring
and reorganizing of j
teaching environment
for purposes of research

(after van Lier1988; p. 57) K
Van Lier uses the two principles as axes. The vertical axis of organization runs
from greater to lesser structure and researcher-imposed order in the research _
process, while the horizontal axis of intervention runs from more to less researcher
involvement and direct interaction with participants and the research setting.
The following are four vignettes of teachenresearchers organizing their
research processes and intervening in their environments. They are intended to
describe how organization and intervention might be balanced in each of the -
four quadrants in Figure 2.1. . F
Vignette 2A: Maya and using new information to solve a task _
N details On Maya divides her class of thirty sixth graders into two groups, bal- i
. ancing as far as possible the number; gender, and perceived abilities
ClH`i;8·gHti'lGT!l'ig f d · h h h h 1 h cc ·
fgchmqugs o stu ents in eac Vgroup. S e t en teac esa gesson to t e experi-
Imionad here inental" group, while the “control" group is out of the rooin at art
A mid) SGS class. The lesson, which is on giving spatial directions, includes both
Z easier and more idioniatic ways of expressing the same linguistic ·
xppenciix C, . . I
) Q01 218 functions that the whole class has already studied. The next day |
` ' Maya gives both groups the same task and she monitors how the stu- i

` ` i
‘‘.‘? ’-:2:}; -‘·‘ Z? ‘’i=ee ¢ 25* i‘.z O-F .i_; ·... .=·‘ lei _·_-Z et-.i l F
___. _:_ . ._ V. 3-- - V- __ - .j_.: -_ .; ‘ _ .r-_ 3- it- -- ;_ ,_;; ;jre;j?=t:r ;;.L;‘;g{·Y§i;;]_.Hai<··-: ,-3;*. _ _ ·.;_‘ ‘ ;r= . dents complete it. The task, which is an information~gap activity using a city map, embeds the material Maya taught to the experi- mental group the previous day into material the whole class has already worked with. She is interested in seeing whether the experi- mental group will use the extra material in solving the task. She has the experimental and control groups work separately on the task and audio tapes each group’s work. Vignette 2B: Jean and emerging literacy joan keeps a teaching journal on her class of first graders who are learning to read. Using her class as it is, she concentrates in her jour- naling on the first part of the morning, when the children are · involved in free reading and writing. W/hile they are at music in the following period, she is able to spend about 20 minutes looking over the work the students have just done and making notes on what went on during the lesson. She is interested in how various students are progressing in reading, particularly in how their writing and draw- ings reflect their emerging literacy skills. As she reviews the students’ work, she actively challenges herself by writing a short reflective memo in which she addresses the following question: How am I see- ing this student’s learning process——as a teacher who needs to inter~ vene and support it or as a researcher who wants to document and understand it? She often writes down her- observations in two columns, one titled ‘lteacher” the other titled “researcher.” After a l month, joan decides to narrow her research focus by choosing two students who seem to be encountering literacy in very different ways. Every few weeks thereafter she reviews her notes and their work and writes up an analytical merno on each of the two students. . Vignette ZC: Vera and what makes "g00d" ccnversaticmalists Vera has an adult EFL class whose students have diverse interests. ln the part of the lesson devoted to conversational activities some stu- dents talk quite freely, while others seem less involved. Vera has noticed that the participation varies and seems to depend on the topic and on who is present in class on a given evening. Vera decides to give the whole class a short written survey that asks them for some back- ground information (age, iob, number of years studying English, use of English professionally and socially) and to rate their interest in various conversation topics. She also asks each student to note the names of the three classmates the student considers the best conver- sationalists in the class and to explain why. She uses this information to create a sociogram of the class. Vignette 2D: Betty and the comprehensibility of instructions. Betty is concerned with how well her adult beginning—level students l understand the instructions she gives for activities. After the first S month of class she decides to ask the students which instructional format is easiest to understand. She chooses three formats: (1) oral instructions, (2) oral instructions that a student paraphrases to the group immediately after Betty has given them, and (3) written instruc- tions on the blackboard. She uses each format exclusively for a week Pnamiivo THE TEACI-IER~RE5EARCH CYCLE • 25 and at the end of that week asks her students for feedback. After she has used all three formats, she asks the students to rate the formats V from one——most preferred—to three, and to say why they prefer the [( one they rate most highly. O The teachers in each of these vignettes are initiating a teachenresearch ir process. They have each encountered something in their classrooms, among rt their students, or in what they are doing that triggers some wonder, speculation, or puzzlernent. To pursue these lines of inquiry, each makes different decisions Fl; about what to control in their situations, how to structure their relationships to what is going on in their classrooms, and when and how much to intervene in · the phenomenon they are investigating. Each teacher—researcher’s inquiry falls in one of the four quadrants in van Lier’s axes of organization and of intervention (Figure 2.1). Witliin her line of inquiry, each of the four teachenreseachers makes choices about how to gather information or data. To act on-these choices, each must control certain aspects of the situation by organizing it in specific ways and/or intervening in the usual flow of teaching to do things differently for purposes of the research. For example, i\/Iaya organizes the class into two groups, while joan decides to gather her data from what the students are already doing in her class. Vera intervenes to do a survey, while Betty structures her teaching into three weel<—long formats and asks for student feedback on each one. Q Cours or IN Rrsrar cn Dirsicni H o iv to Or caivizrt \l\fS$ll§§l!HU$" H O W TO INTER VENE? if This Investigation uses van Lier’s typology (Figure 2.1) to exrzmiue how the terzclter-rese¢2·r·cl2ers iu the four vignettes balance organization cmd intervention to control the situation and pbertomenorz each is irtvestigcttirzg. To do this Investigation take one of two approaches: 1. Reread the four vignettes and describe the r_esearch design the teachenresearcher is using. What is she studying and how is she col- lecting information about it? Then place each vignette in one of the four quadrants on Figure 2.1. _ Explain to yourseif—~or to colleagues if you are working with oth- l ers—why you put the vignette in that quadrant. How does the research design-reflect the adjacent axes? How does the teacher— researcher reorganize her setting for purposes of her research? How l does she intervene with students in the setting she is studying? Then consult Figure 2.2 (p. 27). r l 2. To reverse the process, begin by looking at Figure 2.2. Then, before tu; I reading the narrative that follows it, explain to yourself or your tim classmates why each Vignette is in that particular quadrant. How ab, does the research design reflect the adjacent axes? How does the mc] l teachenresearcher reorganize-her setting for purposes of her research? add I How does she intervene with students in the setting she is studying? ax? [ mat I I Dome TEACHER—RESEARCH: Fnoixt INQU1RY TO UNDERSTANDTNG ’-» °?S;·l;?i `‘-=.‘ Q -‘-.i*$*.i‘ ‘``‘' If? 7 J V Figure 2.2 incorporates the four vignettes into van Lier’s typology. Each vignette balances the tivo axes in some way. The vertical axis of organization focuses on how to structure the research process; the horizontal axis concentrates on how much to intervene in the flow of teaching to carry out the research. The interaction of the axes highlights the range of choices in how each teacher- researcher controls teaching and the classroom setting to carry our her research. · Figure 2.2: ran l.iei·’sty;1¤Iogy illustrated AXIS OF ORGANIZATION · More restructuring and reorganizing of teaching environment for purposes of research MAYA: VERA? · Does restructure ° DOES VQSVUCTUVB - (controi/experimental (T0 dv survey) ‘ groups; post-test task) ’ Does lFIl€FV€}"|E‘ • Qggg intgwgng (lI’€BiITI€i'I’[Z I'IBW_ (iyggtmgnt; ****5 OF meterieii i ` I new matenan INTERVENTIGN _,,_ _ Less intervention l More intervention into teaching for into teaching for purposes of research purposes of research JOAN: BETTY: · Doesn't restructure · Doesn't restructure · Doesn‘t intervene · Does intervene (three formats for instruction; elicits feedback) Less restructuring and zeorganizing of _ teaching environment for purposes of research ` · (after van Lier 1988; p. 57) Maya’s vignette (2A) falls in the upper right quadrant, which is " plus restruc- turing and plus intervention? She wants to examine how a particular interven- tion—teaching specific additional language——may affect her students’ overall ahility to do the tasl< of giving directions. Maya adapts a conventional experi- mental research design in which only half the class receives the "treatment” of additional instruction for the task. She restructures the situations (the horizontal axis) by suhdivicling the class into experimental and control groups that are as matched as possible under the circumstances, and she intervenes (the vertical . Fnnmmo THE TnAcr1nn—RnsEARcH Crete • 27 axis) in her normal teaching to give only the experimental group the treatment F of the additional language content. She then uses a “post—test” design to com- pare how the two groups do the information-gap activity on how to give direc- tions, which she audio-tapes. Maya thus restructures the classroom environment by subdividing the class, and she intervenes in that new structure by presenting additional content to one group. However, given the inherently messy complex- ity of teaching and classrooms, she cannot create a fully controlled experimen- tal design in which everything about the two groups would be comparable except for the treatment of additional instruction. In the lower right quadrant, Betty (2D) engages in a small-scale action research Qn tgachgy. project on the clarity of her instructions Unlike Maya, Betty does not restruc- yggaamh 35 ture the basic flow of her teaching for the purposes of the research process (the action research, vertical axis). She continues to teach the class as usual, however she intervenes 569 $lFl¤€€T (the horizontal axis) by giving instructions to her students in three different for- (19%)- OV mats, using one format a week over a three—week period. Because Betty works Kemmlg and with her whole class over the three weeks, there is an inevitable cumulative {§:g;$g;;; effect of one format of instructions on the next. She also intervenes by eliciting Appgmgux E feedback from the students each week and at the end of the three weeks, thus the UP, cage engaging them collectively in the research process. So Betty’s research design Studies, fm unfolds over time with a series of ongoing interventions. She asks her students . :U,,thE,, Examples to collectively engage in and respond to how she gives instructions, which is the Og action- phenomenon she is investigating. Thus Betty’s project illustrates a typical action- research, research cycle in teaching. The teacher-researcher identifies an issue or problem (in Betty’s case, the comprehensibility of her instructions), intervenes in the classroom setting to address that problem in some way (Betty tries out the three different formats of giving instructions), and then assesses the impact of the intervention (Betty asks for student feedback). h Contrasting Maya’s and Betty’s designs, we can see how each controls differ- lf ent dimensions of her classroom setting to accomplish her research. In her tl research design, lviaya intervenes to teach additional content to the experimen- i'• tal group of students. In hers, Betty intervenes in teaching by shifting how she il gives instructions each week and by asking for student feedback on each format. H But the two designs differ in how the teachenresearchers do or do not restruc- 3 ture their classrooms to carry out their research. Maya divides her class in two fl l groups; Betty carries on as usual in her teaching. ir Albert Einstein is supposed to have coined the term "thought experiment, ” in li which you simply think through a situation, research issue, or design using var- h ious alternatives and carrying them to their logical conclusions. As a mathe- Doing bought matician and physicist Einstein’s point was that fl great deal of research work is ‘ H Experiments possible using nothing more—or less-—than one s ownlmind. It is an interesting H l thought experiment to mentally convert Betty’s action research pro]ect on F1 E instructions into an experimental design like Maya’s, or to convert Maya’s study tl J into an action research project like Betty’s. What would Maya need to do in IT g order to rnake her research design like Betty’s? What would she need to orga- P l nize differently and why? And similarly, how would Betty reshape her project to d ) create a design like Maya’s? P i . (, \ · DOING'TEACHER~RESEARCH: FROM INQUIRY TO UNDERS’FANDING _*’, Q ‘`’-> ’i’i"ii`i.¥j§‘¥2jii `iiii —-’.-’ ¥ --‘r 57 ·‘‘r :2 .‘:" ¢"1?`:¥L C}—j-r" :`·.fi?_i-;*’.i`..¤- -`‘· -4‘. i
‘·.-, ;. l

figure 2: Thought-experiment: Gonverticg ecticn research
to an experimental design and rice verse
Design as an as an
action research design experimental design
Organization ¤ could work with the ¤ would need two .
whole class or could "matched" groups
keep the two groups for comparison
intervention ¤ would introduce th ¤ would need to establish
new material (the inter- a standard format of giving
vention) over a specified instructions (perhaps
time period teacher given oral instruc-
¤ would document- tions) for both groups ‘
by audio, video, and/or ¤ would then choose one _
observation notes— "new" format of instruc-
if/how students used tions as the “treatment"
the new material in for the "experlmental”
solving the task group over a specified
¤ could also ask students time period
· for their feedback on why n would need to audio or
they did/dldn’t use it ‘ videotape these experi-
mental group sessions ·
Doing such thought-experiments to convert one research design to another I
helps to clarify how each design balances organization and intervention. There
is no one way to strike this balance; one design is not better or more "scientific"
than the other. Rather, teacher-researchers make decisions for the purposes of
research, about what to control in their teaching situations and how to control
it. These decisions involve two basic principles: organization, whether and how
much to restructure the classroom to do the research, and intervention, whether
and how much to intervene in the regular course of teaching to carry out the -
research. Together these two principles embed the notion of disciplined inquiry l
into the teaching process. lf we Continue with the other two vignettes, we see
how these decisions about organization and intervention differ in the two left-
hand quadrants on van Lier’s typology (Figure 2.2).
]oan’s vignette (2B) falls in the lower left quadrant. She uses what is called a
naturalistic research design (Lincoln and Guba, 1985); she does not intervene as
a researcher in her students’ work. joan does not alter her teaching; she does
nothing exceptional during the class, but rather collects her data afterwards
through keeping her teaching journal and reviewing the students’ work. She also
monitors herself and her own thinking and reactions as part of the research
process by doing regular reflective memos as she is analyzing her data. She
develops case studies over time, out of her interest in and attention to what two
particular students are doing. She does not affect the organization of her class
(vertical axis) by selecting the two students in advance. Instead, she is intrigued
FRANIING Tue Tnncnen-Resnnnon CYCLE • 29 i

by their differing styles of emerging literacy, on which she then focuses. joan’s S9
on grmmdgd approach to her research is what in gualitatiye research is often called a grounded Flll
theory, SGS approach (Strauss, 1987) since she is evolving her analysis and her understand- ls
mugs (lggy, ing from the data as she collects them, rather than imposing preconceived or a Ft
_ 5-6; 22-2g)_ priori categories on the data. Anselm Strauss (198 7), who pioneered the ground- lcl
ed theory in social science research, defines it this way; “Such theory ought to be Wl
developed in intimate relationship with data, with researchers fully aware of as
themselves as instruments for developing that grounded theory. This is true 2-;
whether they generate the data themselves [as joan does in the vignettej or lll'
ground their theoretical work in data collected by others." (p. 6) th
Here is another thought experiment that illustrates the difference between SY
grounded and a priori theory. Let us say, for instance, that joan decides before
beginning her project to focus on two particular first graders, Drew and Sergio. llll
She selects the two students because she knows that they come from very different dc
sociocultural and family-literacy backgrounds. Both of Drew’s parents have white Sll
collar jobs; he has three older siblings who are close in age, and there appears to Pl'
be a lot of literacy interaction in English at home. Sergio lives with an aunt who lll
works the night shift at a cannery; he often spends after-school hours with neigh— tllli
bors and friends in the Cape Verdian community, where his home language is a Ol
Portuguese Creole. There probably isn’t much formal literacy interaction in English cli
in his home life. joan wants, therefore, to track how these two first graders enter Sl
English literacy. She hypothesizes that for Drew the path of literacy in English will lll
be clearer and more direct than for Sergio. Because she speaks Portuguese, joan lll
also plans to look at how Sergio navigates his way between Portuguese and English lll
in such things as invented spelling as he starts to write. (lll
ln this thought experiment joan brings a number of articulated assumptions at
to shape her research. She assumes, based on both other people’s research (e.g., th
Heath, 1983) and her own experience as a teacher that family literacy interac— lla
tions in English-—such things as the amount and kinds of Englislrlanguage
materials including newspapers, magazines, and books, around the home, read- lll
ing of bedtime stories; reading aloud; siblings close in age who are reading and ll€
doing homework; and so on—will have an impact on Drew’s learning. She
assumes that Sergio’s experience will be different because he does not have the lll
same family literacy interactions in English and, further, that he may have some all
interference from Portuguese as he learns to read English. Together these Tl
assumptions form implicit and explicit ways in which joan looks at the data lll?
from these two children. These a priori theories, about family literacy interac~ lll
tions in English for example, and a priori categories, such as Portuguese versus (lc l
English invented spelling, shape the ways in which she will approach the project illl l
and how she will analyze her data. ll?
Bringing a priori understandings to the research process is not a had thing. It lll
is, arguably, a very human and necessary feature of how people make sense of m.
their worlds, as teachenresearchers and as human beings in general. For instance, ‘ Z9
on a November morning in New England, if you decide to bring a coat when l2 y
you go out even though it is warm and sunny, you do so because you assume it · le a
may turn cold at some point during the day. You make this prediction based on th l
a number of factors: your own experience, the fact that you have been told it is Gt i
» Douvo Traci-n;R—RessARcn; Faori Iwouiav ro Unnrnsramnino
..'.* ‘·Lij;¢-‘*=?."G.‘°=i-. .--' ell .‘‘ -` i

so, observation and hearing about other people’s experiences, and so on. Pre-
diction is based on experience and on making assumptions about the world; it
is a feature of being human. lt is also a crucial part of the research process.
Prediction can be built upon by using a priori understandings to structure the
research process (the vertical axis) and/or to guide how the researcher intervenes
with what is being studied (the horizontal axis) to collect and analyze the data,
as with lvlaya [ZA] or Betty [2Dj in the upper or lower right quadrants of Figure
2.2. The researcher can also actively track assumptions and temporarily set
them aside, as joan does when she writes reflective memos in her vignette. She
thus harnesses prediction so that it works from the data itself to generate
grounded categories and theories.
Vera’s project {2C], which falls in the upper left quadrant in Figure 2.2, dif-
fers from joan’s in one major way. Like joan, and unlike Betty or Maya, Vera
decides not to intervene in her teaching (horizontal axis) to gather data. Rather,
she decides to restructure her lesson in a minor way by having the students com-
plete a brief written survey at the close of one class period. The survey is a struc-
tured instrument through which she gathers information; she would not us it
unless she were doing the research. Vera designs the survey based on her a pri-
ori assumptions about what may affect the different levels of participation in the
class (i.e., choice of discussion topics, fluency and comfort with English, social
groupings within the class, etc.). Vera’s approach is to leave the class as it is (hor-
izontal axis), but to structure a specific time and instrument to gather informa- Fgr 8 full
tion about what is going on. She also uses the survey data to build a sociogram discussion of
of students’ perceptions of " good conversation" by asking each of them who he second-order
or she sees as the best conversationalists in the class. The sociogram is one way TGSBHYCU,
of collecting their views of the social phenomenon of conversation. Alongside $9.9 Cllaptgl ‘l»
the data on topics and student backgrounds and preferences it provides an alter- p· 65-
native, "seeond-order" or participants’ view of the phenomenon under study.
This typology provides a framework for looking at how the teacher-researcher
may structure the research process, along the vertical axis of organization the
horizontal axis of intervention. Both axes lay out possible decisions you can
make as a teacher-researcher about how much to control the situation you are
investigating. As you move up the vertical axis of organization (Figure 2.2) you
are deciding to reorganize your teaching situation for purposes of your research.
This restructuring can mean a major change in the organization of your teach-
ing, like Maya’s dividing students into experimental and control groups [2A], or
a minor one, like Vera’s [2C] doing the survey at the end of a class. As you move
down the vertical axis, you are deciding to leave your teaching situation as it is
and not to restructure it for the purposes of your research, like joan {2B] and
Betty {2])}. A second set of decisions interacts with these decisions about orga-
nization; they have to do with how and how much to intervene in your teach»
ing as part of the research process. These decisions are represented on the hori-
zontal axis of intervention. They range from not intervening at all, like joan
[2B], to doing something fully different in your teaching for purposes of the
research, like Betty [2Dj with her three formats of instructions. In contrast, after
they decide how to take action to restructure their teaching to pursue their lines
of inquiry, Vera and Maya do not intervene in the actual teaching they do.
Fnaiwiiisio THE TEACHER-Reseancn CYCLE • 31

`: `- -:‘- Qi-iii iii- ` _iié;_·iiii.`¥:iiii`i--xi-rkigiirs `‘-- ‘ -'_.- .-'- i-
rrgore 2.4: Modified van Lier’s typology: Beseareh design and research methods y
vi-; C
More restructuring and Y
reorganizing of teaching lj
environment for purposes {
of research
· suweys • quasi-experiment C
• structured questionnaires • experiments ,.
• "systematic" observation ·
instruments/protocols I
Axis OF • sociograms - j
gf .- __ .. ..., -. - -;--... . .. . ,,,..,_ ,--..-__.. ______ ,_., L -7 V. ____ . _,, L _ . ._ . .-: I
Less intervention More intervention f
into teaching for _ into teaching for I
purposes of research purposes of research E
• participant observation; Q • action research l
field notes •, coliaborative research _ `
• case studies ` • interviews (structures and
· stories/narrative studies openended)
• diaries/journals • open-ended questionnaires
• documenting student work • elicitation (studentjournais;
———e~ feedback)
Less restructuring and g i
reorganizing of teaching
environment for purposes l
of research =
(after van Lier 1988; p. 57) 1
Van Lier describes the principal concerns of the researcher in each quadrant
as controlling [Maya, 2A]; asking and doing [Betty, 2D]; watching [joan, 2B],
and measuring [Vera, 2C]. One way to think about this display is to say that as
a teacheeresearcher, when you deveiop a project you have to ask yourself,
“I·Iow do I want to structure this project?" and "What role do I want/need to
play-—both within and outside my teaching—to gather data for it?" Your _
response can be categorized in terms of one of these four dominant concerns.
Figure 2.4 shows how Van Lier suggests that various types of research design
and approaches to data—gathering map onto this typology. Like the four vignettes, I
the examples are illustrative and not complete or exhaustive; they do help to
clothe the abstraction of the two axes in the particulars of the research process. a `
This typology helps to lay out the overail landscape of the research process
and the researcher’s role within it. It frames crucial questions about how you [
balance control over your. teaching situation as you organize your research. If a
2 ¤ Dome Tsecnsn-Rsssiutcia; Enom Imoutnrr TO Uwpsastnmnmo
ie` Q‘¤*i·?¥~1".-it =i‘` 'iiiii i·‘· i i

you think about it architecturally, “restructuring” is like adding rooms or putting
in new walls in an existing building; "intervening” is like repainting or rewall-
papering. Wlien you reorganize your teaching for purposes of your research,
you generally add things to what you are doing in the classroom that would not
otherwise do. When you intervene in your teaching to accomplish your research,
you usually change something within your teaching to do it in another way
because of your research. Both restructuring and intervening are about decisions
to control—or not control—your work. In a sense, they both capture the idea
of possibly doing something differently than you would have done if your sole
concern were teaching. This is the work at the hyphen. It is like finding the point
of balance in lifting the kayak. `
A Gtossnur or TERMS
The second framework is meant to help organize the work of doing teacher-
research. It is the framework around which the remainder of the book is orga- The Blgmems
nized. The framework provides an overview of the teacher-research process; it Of the teachgp
maps out the specific phases involved and offers a way 1nto the skills associat- research Cycig
ed with each part of the process. The cycle has six basic elements. It is useful to
think about the elements individually before putting them in sequence, so I have
listed them below in no particular order.
B Understandings I "Publishing"—making public
ti-; Data collection I Data analysis ‘
I Question/puzzle ¤ Inquiry
Dsriuiuc AND Mariano THE ELEMENTS or rua Crete
This Imzestigcztioiz is meant to fami}icii‘ize you with the fmmeworlz of teacher-
research on which this book is based. (
1. Define each of the following elements for yourself. Make your defi-
nitions as concrete as possible; anchor them in your experience. _-
H Understandings ¤ "Publishing"—making public
B Data collection B Data analysis
ll Question/puzzle ¤ Inquiry ‘
I f you are working with others, define the elements for yourself and
then compare your definitions with those of your colleagues.
In making the comparison, identify what you all c_onsider essential to
the definition of each element. _
2. Place the elements in the unlabeled fram_ework in Figure 2.5 (p. 34).
As you do so, consider why you put them in the order you do. You
will want to think throu h and/or ex lain to others the relationshi s
3 P i P
among the elements.
Figure 2.6 (p. 38) shows the elements in the labeled framework.

Figure 2.5: Teaahar·—t·essat·sh cycle (unlabeled)
- ··. ik to dr
yp at ra
‘‘`` r ;-E s ; .. at · - . - ·“` leam
I !·‘=· broa·
` ,f e· ‘ . discu
I rr "abil
i` " " _ chan
. i llwm
_ -·-:‘ the lj
` ` `‘` ` I QA ? ·· i if back
‘° · 'J - I i` ii I Y D.
i ‘‘ ‘ teacl
_ -`'``` E`` · e r i said,
a ` if i c resea
_ _ ._.. -i` , band
i` ‘ ‘‘‘ i ` ‘ ` latin;
. ‘ forci
To introduce the elements of the teachenresearch cycle in the following dis- Whct
cussion, I define each element and then comment on it. The definitions are meant that-
to be a point of departure, while the comments are intended to begin to flesh out This
W SO1'I`l€ of the COIHPJICXIIZIES 3.HCl II]lI€I`].°€l‘£:ltIOI`1S 3ITlOI]g lZl]€ €l€I`l'l€I`ll.`S III Il`l€ PFOCGSS. into
INQUIRY: Inquiry is speculating about why something is as it is,
why it happens or works (or doesn’t happen or work) the way it
does. It is a state of being engaged in what is going on in the class-
room that drives one to better understanding. Inquiry includes both
the attitude that spawns this engagement and the energy and activi— C'
ty that put it into action. is tl1¢
Comments: Inquiry is a state of mind that allows you to be unsure, off— gl?
balance, intrigued, interested, and wanting to find out more about something in CIQSS
your classroom, your students, what or how you are teaching, or your work as [dev
a teacher. If teaching is about knowing, inquiry is about not—l§? .·"a Q ·"··-- r r- ·.-*- --_·- usr .—
--`·-f ‘;‘-:: ‘ -¤-·;i‘=-¥ .’.a 2;: ge .:,. ~e:-;‘:-* -:·. i :;'_éY·:.`:=‘=€-f ==.. ---‘:i i·a.;;rza: -.e.: ··;- * --a; ---11e.- Fil`? i‘e. ` " l

QUESTION! PUZZLE: A question or puzzle is the concentration of
a line of inquiry into an articulated forrn. lt focuses and specifies the
broader inquiry in a form that can be acted upon through investigation.
Comments: In conventional research design, research questions are supposed
to drive the research process. In fact, inquiry drives teacher-research. It provides
the deep structure of the process of speculation and wonder about teaching and For the
learning, while research-able questions become the surface—structure manifesta— discussion Or
tions of inquiry. Not all questions are research questions; some are simply too teaching versus
broad, while others can be better unlocked through teaching alone, as we will researcliable
discuss later. So I use the hyphen in research-able on purpose, to emphasize the QU€$Tl0¤5·
“ability" that a question carries in it to be investigated. Research—abie questions 599 Chapter ‘l·
change; they twist and turn throughout the research process and often redefine p· 61*
themselves in the face of the data or with the insight of retrospection. However,
the line of inquiry remains the root out of which these questions grow; it is the
backdrop against which they can always be tested.
Dick Allwright (1997) uses the term "puzzle" in his work on exploratory
teaching to mean that which sparks the teachenresearch process. To me, puzzles
and questions grow from the same root, but they are phased differently. As I
said, not all questions are research-able; some may exceed the scope of teacher-
research in time, resources, and access to data. Further, expressing inquiry is not
always sympathetic to the rhetorical structure of questions. Puzzles, on the other
hand, are more open—ended rhetorically. They can capture the sense of specu—
lating, wondering, and not—knowing on which teacher—research is based without
forcing it into the format of a question. How you make the inquiry specific-
whether through questions or puzzles—is less important, however, than the fact
that you will need to become clear on your inquiry in concrete, actionable terms. t
This is what articulating a research—able question or puzzle does: lt launches you
into action.
DATA COLLECTION: Data collection is the process of gathering
information in a disciplined and systematic way about a puzzle or a
research-able question.
Coirmzents: There are two facets reflected in the term dam collection. There
is the issue of data: What kinds of information can respond to the question or ·
puzzle? If the inquiry deals with instructions, as Betty’s does in the vignette [2D},
then class attendance figures are not data. However, if the inquiry deals with in-
class conversation activities, as Vera’s does [ZC], then class attendance may he
relevant. For instance, Vera may discover a link between a student who attends
class regularly and becomes comfortable with fellow students and class norms
that can shed light on her inquiry. Having determined the types of data, the issue
is then how to collect them. The point in recognizing data and collection as sep-
arate issues is that they areoften confused. People assume that the data and way
they are gathered are one and the same. So "student talk,” which is data, is con-
fused with audiotaping, which is a means of collection. We will return to this
point in Chapter 4. ‘
Paar/time THE Tsacnan-Ressancn CYCLE • 35
` . /J/K _

DATA ANALYSIS: Data analysis involves taking the data apart to Sig
see what is there and then putting them together to see how they im
respond to the question or puzzle under investigation. tl?
Comments: The processes of disasseinbling and reassembling data, which tt;
form the core of data analysis, are not symmetrical. In a sense, data come Wt
prepackaged in assumptions. For instance, we assume data on class attendance EH
will tell us who was or wasn’t present in class on a given day. \Vhile that is true,
these data can also potentially have more or other value, depending on how you
analyze them. So taking the data apart to see what is in them is a crucial step
that can allow——or push——you away from your assumptions. This step then
provides a basis for reassembling the data in different ways to provide new or
different information and perspectives on the inquiry.
The following account illustrates this issue of disassembling and reassembling
data. In a town in Alaska, I tnet some teachers at an alternative high school pro— w
gram for students who were "poorly motivated and had discipline problems." te
These teachers discovered that a large number of their students were sent to the ol
program because of poor attendance and perennial tardiness. Many of these stu- Yf
dents, it turned out, were poor students of color. Their attendance records did N
show that they often missed or were late to school, and it was assumed that the w
problem lay in their lack of interest and motivation. Wlieii a couple of teachers ct
began to review the attendance data, to disassemble it, they noticed that many re
students lived on outlying bus routes, often riding as much as an hour or more in
to school. The teachers then analyzed, or reassembled, the attendance data by (]
students’ home addresses, thus creating a map that showed where the students ni
Tha etteneenee lived. In this process, they noted a possible alternative explanation for these stu-
gfgyy; dents’ tardiness and poor attendance, namely that in had weather, their buses
Alternative were often late or did not make it at all. This finding led the teachers to inter—
explanations; view some of the students about the possible relation between the late buses,
$99 ClW8Dl€|' Yt their tardiness or absences, and their attitudes and motivation toward school.
D- 169- The original data on student attendance had been understood in one way to
reflect students’ lack of motivation. `When it was disassembled and reassembled
to show the link between geography and student attendance, the data revealed tt
alternative interpretations. P
UNDERSTANDHQGS: Understandings are the- new—or existing- sz
information, interpretations, insights, and perspectives on the ques- H
tion or puzzle that accumulate through the research process. ti
Com:-nerzts: Understandings do not necessarily exhaust a line of inquiry. They H
do not always answer the question or solve the puzzle. Rather, they are the Si
building blocks of further work. The term “findings” is also used; however, it O
suggests something more finite and resolved than the teacher-research process Y'
usually allows. The understandings that result from the teacher—research process tl
by definition are disciplined, which means that they can show both what has is
been learned and how it has been learned. So if the teachers in the previous
account wanted to challenge the administration’s perception that student tardi- H
ness reflected only lack of motivation, they could argue their understanding that
transportation difficulties were also a factor. They could support this under- ii
r i l
.ti‘ .."; -.`. ···`

standing through the display of the attendance data by geographical location
and the student interviews they conducted. Such a discussion puts in play both
the understandings and how they were arrived at. It also suggests further
research within this line of inquiry. For example, how do transportation prob- .
lems interact with other factors to affect student attendance? Are there students
who somehow overcome the transportation issues, and what factors allow or
encourage them to do so?
"PUBLISHING"—l\/[AKING PUBLIC: Publishing is the point at
which teachers voice their understandings and enter into public con—
versations about them with others beyond the immediate research
setting. Publishing may be through discussion, presentations, or
advocacy; it may be in print or through other media.
Comment.- The idea of publishing used here comes from the work on process
writing. In that context, the final phase involves students making public their
texts by reading them aloud and/or preparing bound versions that become part
of a class library. Becoming authors is a crucial part of the writing process for
young learners because it situates them among other literate people. Lucy
McCormack Calkins is an elementary school teacher and a teacher-researcher
who has studied young children learning to write. I-Ier first book, Lessons from
ri Child: On the Teac/sing cmd Leamiizg of Writing, one of the first teacher-
research accounts published, gave substantial impetus both to the process writ-
ing movement and to teacher—research in general. In a subsequent book, Calkins
(198 6) quotes a seven-year-old writer—author named Greg who explains the con- .
nection between reading and publishing: t
Before I ever wrote a book I used to think there was a big machine _
and they typed in a title and then the machine went until the book
was done. Now I look at a book and know a guy wrote it and it’s
been his project for a long time. After the guy wrote it, he probably
thinks of questions people will ask him and revises it like I do ....
(p. 224)
The sarne process happens in teachenresearch. Wlien teachenresearchers make
their findings public through whatever means, they begin to claim a place in the
production of recognized knowledge about teaching and learning. just as Greg
says, they can see themselves as peers within the educational research commu-
nity. As I said in Chapter 1, research and the generation of knowledge—or pub-
licly recognized understandings--are intimately bound up with power, and
making public the understandings gained through teacher—research is a crucial
step in asserting such power. The second point that Greg makes is likewise true
of teacher--research. Publishing, or making understandings public, moves the
research process forward. Presenting your work leads to questions about it, to
the urge to revise or extend it, and thus to further work. Because teaching has
been an "egg crate profession," the notion of making public what has been pri-
vate and autonomous classroom practice is not a familiar value for teachers. But
if teachenresearchers do not take this last step to make their work public, they
risk not achieving the external and public value of teacher—research in influenc-
ing educational policy and practice (Freeman, 1996).

Figure 2.6: }’eaeher·reseat·eh cycle (labeled) Cycle.
. . __ A toke
{1} S ____ Tl
ENQUIRY (2) - i"“ vat€
_ ouesriouypuzzut knovi
. ( ( r ( r - ·· the u
V L ‘’`` .;-e-;.. _ FifSY»
_. _:—;` -” `i‘—l _. Publi
_ 5 _ _ _ _ ¤‘ nam correction and c
ts) , ..l. · ` gmllg
uuoeasrnwnmes _ .=re _ entire
. _ .. .. - -l _ in __:.e _-:l‘2 l i I e ¤fS’ N
· ,` ··e- (_ (4) infor!
lk _e;;_ ,,__ nam ANALYSIS about
·¢ ——-= ¤___ n an I _ _ _.__..- ;· go pu
.i·‘e . .. ( T if l from;
, (6) ' catior
tll’iZ£§'€SSii; y me le
_ U ____ _ attrac
- l H th
THE TEAcHnR—RuseAncH Cvcre Lim
These, then, are the six elements in the complete cycle (Figure 2.6), which serves hypilc
Q'' to organize what you do as you enter into teacheuresearch. In subsequent chap- the di]
Nacmnsucs ters we will focus on the phases of the cycle- and how the elements in each phase Cami] ,
Ihe tgachep interrelate. I want to make three general observations about the cycle at this SO YM
Qaych Cycie point. First, it is a cycle. This means that the process has momentum; it feeds you in
itself and carries itself forward. As the seven—year—old author Greg says of writ— mscan
ing, "After the guy wrote [the book], he probably thinks of questions people will discip]
ask him and revises it .... " Similarly, the understandings in most lines of inquiry Smndj,
spawn further questions and puzzles. The end comes when you decide to stop; HIM IO
it rarely comes because you have found an answer. more (
Second, the cycle can have several points of entry; although to do the work rather
completely there is only one starting point. As a teacher you can get hooked at the Sm
pretty much any point in the process. You may decide to have your students keep
learning logs on their progress and this can become the data (data collection). `
You may be looking over some students’ written work and begin to speculate
about a particular pattern in their mistakes (data analysis). You may explain to a Sugg
_ colleague why you think a certain activity has been difficult for students at this level Them
_ (understanding), and then wonder if that is always the case (question/puzzle). Lawn,]
You may hear or read about someone°s findings (publishing) and question them Calm,.
from your experience (inquiry), and so on. However, the starting point of the authm, y
.-ei .·:‘ ===- ‘a‘i -`-. ` <.· ‘·-·‘ * ll‘- .·‘. ` Ji l cycle——and the place to which the other five phases ultimately lead back—is inquiry. Inquiry provides the headwaters of the process; it provides the energy to keep it moving. Third, if you choose, the whole cycle except for publishing can remain pri- vate to the teacher. Absent making it public, teacher—research need never be known or indeed affect the outside world. But I believe that going public with the understandings that result from teachenresearch is critical for two reasons. ‘ First, as I have said, making the understandings public gives power to the cycle. Publishing engages the teacher-researcher in the creating of knowledge, which, in turn, can shape policy, practice, and conditions of work as well as improve and deepen understanding of teaching and learning (Kincheloe, 1991). Second, going public is an importantway to test one’s findings. if teacheeresearch remains entirely private, it can become solipsistic. Teachenresearchers need to hear oth- ers’ reactions to their work, to engage in public debate, and to consider various perspectives. Because they stem from research, these discussions are based on information and analysis, not simply on opinion. So while there is a choice about making the work public, there are also consequences of that choice. To go public with the process of teacher—research and the understandings that result from it, helps establish a new professional community. It helps to transform edu- cation from a practice of implementation to a practice devoted to understand- ing learning, and it can strengthen teachers’ understandings of what they do by attracting others’ informed scrutiny of their work. In this chapter I have outlined the teacher—research cycle conceptually. The two frameworks presented are meant to provide maps to guide the work at the- hyphen. Doing teachenresearch requires a special kind of balance in controlling the dimensions and responsibilities of both roles. Like lifting a kayak, it takes a certain amount of strength and energy to restructure your work in the classroom so you can pursue a line of inquiry as you are teaching. It may also demand that you intervene in what you would ordinarily do in teaching for purposes of your research. Understanding teacher-research also requires organization to follow a disciplined sequence from inquiry through data collection and analysis to under- standing. Like folding a sheet, the work of teacher-research has its own partic- ular logic and discipline. Finding it in the teacher—research cycle makes the work more doable. But having read these two frameworks, which, as frameworks, are rather abstract, you might well ask what does all this mean in practice? That is the story of the next chapter. Suggested Readings . There are various approaches to capturing context in doing research. Sara Lawrence—Lightfoot’s book,_The Good High School: Portraits in Character and Culture (New York: Basic Books, 1983), is a pioneering example of what the author calls "portraiture,” an approach that works to capture the texture and FRAMING THE TEACHER-REsn·ARcH CYCLE • 39 ( complexity of teaching and learning. In his article "Tipping the balance,” (Harvard Edzicatioizal Review 60 (2) pp. 217-236, 1990) joseph Cambone applies the procedures of portraiture to write about a teacher working with demanding special-needs students. There has been a fair amount written about action research as a form of teachenresearch. I have found the clearest and most comprehensive account to be Ernest Stringer’s book, Action Research: A Handbook for Praciitiorzers (Thousand Oaks CA: Sage, 1996). A more classic presentation of action research in education is S. Kemmis and R. NIcTaggart’s Action Research Plans-zer (Geelong, Australia: Deakin University Press, 1988). For more on Leo van Lier’s typogology of research methods, see his book _ The Classroom and the Language learner (London: Longman, 1988). Another interesting discussion of this complex territory is L. Neuman’s chapter, "The meanings of methodology, ” (in his book Social Research Met/nods. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, pp. 43-66, 1991). lvly chapter, "The ‘Unstudied problem’: Research in teacher learning in language teaching," (in D. Freeman and j. C. Richards (eds). ‘ Teacher Learning in Language Teac/ning (New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 351-378, 1996) outlines approaches to researching teachers’ knowl- edge and perceptions of their work. P I ¤ Dome TEACHER—RESEr\RCl·1: Fnom INQUIRY ro UNDsns‘rixND1N<; l '‘‘'Q TE; _`’` §.Z"i€iE=.Q?Y?§".; -`"_ -L-nr;.-;_;" l_” 1 .f.--Q? ·Q=·‘fi,g?.f[*‘ ‘ CARNIVAL RIDESZ AN Account or Btoiuuimo Tracia ra~Rtsr.¤>.ac1a
Wagner Veillard e
y my
/ K%*\
s s /
if I / Il A ;{{}{11¤.mi;]1 . g
ll lf! xl I .
A W ;;lA~ I lil
C;. "`————.`j; é - I L
WM I?} lflg? l¢*»—\_
A A LV" A low ` the
Dear readeg -—-·
It is raining as I write this note to preface this chapter. I am trying to l _
imagine who you are and what you may find as you read this Wagner Vmuard
account. As an author, I have to admit that I am excited, and I am
also a bit apprehensive. This is the first time I have "gone public" as
a teacher»researcher; what you will see here is my first work. To
introduce what you will read, I would like to tell you a hit about who
I am and what led me to do some teacher—research in my classroom.
Caamivar Rimes: AN Accouisrr ot BEGINNING TnAcHER—REsaAacH • 41

I was born in Rio de janeiro, Brazil, and started learning English at
a language school when I was 12. After finishing high school I
worked as a chemistry technician until I was awarded a scholarship
to attend college in the United States. I graduated with a major in
business and then went back to Brazil, where I taught English for five
years before returning to the United States to pursue a 1naster’s `
degree in TESOL.
The events in the chapter you are about to read took place several years i
ago, when I was a middle school English teacher teaching five classes _
a day at an international school in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The environment ‘
blurred ESL and EFL: The school was in Brazil, but the medium of l
instruction was English. Therefore, I was using materials prepared l
for students who were native speakers of English, although more I
than half of my students did not have English as their first language. 1
At the time, I was also participating in a teacher development pro-
gram offered by the School for International Training in partnership (
with Associacao Alumni, a binational center in Sao Paulo. The pro- 1
gram, which lasted the better part of a year, was d-ivided into four E
modules. There were two intensive modules of course work during {
school breaks in january and july, which were combined with doing 5
teacher-research on-site from February to june, and then again from i
August to November. This chapter describes my first work as a t
teacher-researcher; Chapter 6 recounts my second project. 1
When I wrote up my first project, I did not think about publishing I
it. In fact, I did not even have a computer, and the first version of this
chapter was handwritten, as you can see from the cover of the report, i
which I drew. I used the carnival image as a metaphor for my first r
_ experience with the discipline of the teachenresearch process. I enjoy f
using metaphors in writing because they help me assemble my ideas C .
within a new perspective. In developing my line of inquiry, I drew on
two things that I enjoy tremendously: writing and working with I
teenagers, especially eighth graders ages 13 and 14 years old. r
I hope you enjoy reading this chapter. I also hope that I will read, I
sometime soon, your accounts of doing teacher-research, and how V
you felt when you were carrying a kayak by yourself the first time. t
Yours, S
Wagner Veillard (
""`v—+—~—$ v I
TO T ea cneR—R eseas cnet: ` _` t-
QQYT This Investigation asks you to examine how Wagner Veillard moves from a C
teacherk toward a teacher—1·eseat·cher’s orientation over the coarse of this chapter: if
As you read the chapter, make a list of the ways in which the author, Q,
Veillard, approaches his teaching as a teacher versus as a teacher- I
‘‘‘`-`` ·i.. ·‘‘‘ i=-

researcher. When is he acting as a teacher and when is he acting as a
Ifyozr are working iuit}2 peers, do this Investigation alone as you read
the chapter and discuss your notes afterward.
The school term is over, and I feel like a child in an amusement park. The
atmosphere is fascinating: lights, music, movement. I do not know what to try
first or where to go next once I make my first choice. A small sign tells me that
II am not old enough for certain rides. \IUhen I focus my attention on the many
rides I am allowed to explore, I get mixed feelings of boredom, anxiety, antici~
pation, and fear.
The school term is over, and I am fascinated by the possibilities of what one _
can do with one’s data. There are different ways not only of breaking informa-
tion apart, but also of putting it together. I have learned about instruments, ‘
sources, strategies, and the importance of analyzing data before collecting new -
evidence. I realized how crucial it is to share what you are doing with colleagues
so that true collaboration occurs. Somehow overwhelmed by these insights, I
really do not know where or how to start my analysis. My only desire is to cri- [:0,, Vgillamyg
tique my research procedures. I wish to focus on what I did not do and on what accgum Of his
I could have done better. I ain anxious to redesign my plan and continue my subsequent work,
research with a new group of students when the nextrterm begins in August. see Chapter 6.
Forced to go back and see what I can say based on the data I have, I feel
frustrated. The results are not the ones I would like to present. To make
matters worse, there are huge flames in my burning questions; but how did the
fire get started? In order to answer this question, we must move on to our first
carnival ride.
THE Feiuus Writer.: Tue Cortrextr, THE Reseancn Gnour,
AND Mr Questions
I teach at a Catholic American school in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Altogether, there
were 47 students in my research group: 21 in the first class, and 26 in the sec-
ond. They were in eighth grade, 13-14 years old, and they had been my students
for one semester; they were known as “English 8" classes. The students were in
school from 8 AM. to 3:10 RM., the school day was divided into eight periods
of 45 minutes each. I saw them every day, either from 12:45 to 1:30 or from
2:25 to 3:10 RM. The first group came right after lunch, while the second group
was the last class of the day. The school used two basic textbooks for this level:
one for grammar and one for literature. Besides these, one novel per month was
to be assigned as outside reading. Over half of my students were upper-middle-
class Brazilians. The non-Brazilians in the group were children of businessmen
and diplomats. In most cases, these students attended the school for only two
years, because their parents were then transferred out of Brazil. The following
table shows the nationalities of the students, in declining frequency, in my
research group:

Figure 3.1; Research group: Nationality and number ihci
Brazilian _ 27 Mexican 1 Pimus
Korean 10 Japanese 1 inter,
U.S. American 4 Dutch 1 time
Argentinian 2 Finnish 1 THE
romt 47 l¤ as
· of hc
Since I really enjoy writing, I decided at the start of the semester that my wtf
inquiry would be related to this skill. Aware of my personal bias, however, I start- Us ff'
On tgachmg ed analyzing my own writing. I was intrigued by the steps of the process: what _ Work
VBVSUS happens from the moment I find an idea worth writing about, to the moment I [el-ICC
rggggrghgiglg hand my final version to a reader. I finally stated my research question as; V€YY
qU€5tiOnS’ I. How crm my students assess their own wrizfirzgf Soul
ee Chapter 4, 669*
D- 61- As a teacher, my concern was to provide students with whatever tools they need- them
ed in order to judge their own writing. I now realize how difficult such an In
endeavor is, but as I started the term my view of the process was a simple one. 1980
These were my supporting questions: an? l
- na s
IA. How can I get my students to write more and better? [gpm
IB. How can I get them used to rewriting? SIUQI
. . . . {GPIC
IC. How can I provide them with opportunities for self and
peer correction so that I, as the teacher, am not the sole
evaluator of any specific writing? 2
assumptions Although they were not clearly stated, the following expectations were deeply
the research rooted in my mind:
process, A _
E Chapter 4] I. I want my students to see the teacher as a learner/reader in the _
p_ 53_ classroom. U
2. I want my students to understand that rewriting is an inevitable
step in refining ideas and polishing a writing piece.
3. As I give students the chance of reading one another’s work, I hope
they will be able to find, and possibly correct, their own mistakes.
4. At some point, I expect students to hand me thefinal version of an [
assignment and say, "'l`his is the best I can do, both in terms of what _
I know and how hard I can worl<.” `- As you can clearly see, there are many traps in my expectations. The most dan- gerous one is the idea that I want students to look at writing in the same way I l do. In hoping that they will eventually verbalize a sense of achievement, #4 . above, I wonder if I am assuming that they need to say what they have done in order to learn from it. Am I thus looking to be rewarded as the teacher with I Dome TEACHER—RESEARCH: Fnoix-1 Iisiouiizr TO Uisnensraisoiwo E ;-·,i-;;;_:; ..’_. ;: ;—= :V-;j_;_r;ra;a¤:»¢·e-es.g‘·=··*"‘·T ·‘.i; .··i .`-~r- -· ji; __.e -;·i>-<.-r_;§g;Q._;;.—_;.i_fQ__Q_.L._{;_jj;_;.‘ Q, _. . gj,. ._-_.-- _ if -.-- , --l`-A ”i'‘ Ii `·`` Z.-”?= `C ‘--_ Zi.- -i.f·.`?{i —¤?-ifi. =="i --`· ‘ ‘‘·- i ·` ¤'.’. —i_E* - I i === ` _ l their statements, even though the students may see their own rewards in the work they do for themselves? When you are up there on a Ferris wheel seat, you can usually see the entire amusement park, and what lies around it as well. I have tried to give the reader an overall impression of the research project: who my students were, what my initial interest was, and the kind of environment in which we were operating. It is now time to go down so that one can find out what I actually did in the classroom. THE ROLLER—COASTER OR JOURNALING In accordance with this ride, I plan to explain very quickly the ups and downs . of bow I worked with my students and their writing. I chose my journal as the cart for this ride for it is the only piece of evidence on which I can rely to take us from the beginning to the end of this adventure. In looking back at my own work in the first module of the teacher development program, I saw that my reflective writings were the most powerful element in the experience. So, on the . very first class, I asked my students to keep journals. I told them that nobody would read their entries unless they agreed. I also told them that I would be ` keeping a journal myself. To link us together in this common enterprise, I asked them to sign their names on the cover of my journal. In keeping with Gattegno’s ideas on the Silent Way (Gattegno, 1976; Stevick, 1980), my objective was to "learn my students" while "they learned themselves and the language? So I decided that I would ask students to write in their jour- nals in class at least twice a week for a two—month period. The entries might relate to themes that the students would develop further in writing their compo- sitions, but they were not restricted to this focus.'Below, I have listed some of topics I assigned in journaling, and my reasons for assigning them: JOURNAL ENTRY TOPIC REASON IN ASSIGNING IT ` For students. . . Think of guidelines for group work To come up with their own ruies Write about a book that had an ` To share titles and popular authors impact on you. What makes a good presentation? To create their own standards for oral presentations How did you feel when Marcin To experience how Marcin, and other was lecturing for ten minutes non—Portuguese speakers, might feel in Finnish? when Braziilans used Portuguese in English class activities Go back to the predictions about To develop skilts in predicting and the book you chose to read. guessing as part of reading Were you right? Bring a special object to class To share something personal, and describe it and to improve skills in descriptive writing Canmvnr. Rioss: AN Aocoumr or Bsommmo TsAcHsn—RssnAncH • 45 Use yourjournal entries to think To provide me with student feedback Desj about the first four weeks of on the first month of the teacher- journal English class. Write a letter to a research project ing abc friend telling him/her what we did researc and how you felt about it. would How do you start your day? To move from their experience into Wag HO Compare your morning routine the novel Johnny Tremain, to explore Xvith th to that of other classmates, similarities and differences that th ‘i’lFl ml" lf’.’°ll'llly.Il€“‘i?‘.lf"S.‘.. .. . . __.... _. u . . . ...u.. -. .....c . _..u.. Thereft Draw a class map. Go back To increase students’ awareness study. ` to the one you drew some of possible social groups and eliques discuss time ago. Are you sitting in in the class actually the same place? these al There were a lot of advantages in asking my students to keep journals. By nals I lv having them write most of the entries in class, usually for no longer than ten Studen minutes, I had the chance to write in my own journal during class time. imagini Therefore, my field notes referring to students’ questions and comments are he did quite accurate. Once the class was over I sat down, reread my notes, and tried Veillarc to analyze my students’ reactions to the lesson by writing reflective memos to Gets an myself. Beyond the research process, this procedure also helped me to prepare in my t materials for the following day. I also used the journals to help my students This understand themselves better as individuals and the class as a group. By the end of the first week of school I was using the journal in class almost every day THE S because it had proved to be an excellent tool in preparation for pair work, Althouj group tasks, and class discussions. In terms of my research question, I assigned . same cr as many different types of journal entries as I could think of so that, later on, better v my students would have a variety of options to choose from as springboards for “becorr composition topics. The journals certainly made my students write more, if I words i ` compare their entries to the amount of writing they had done in the previous semester, during which time they wrote only four compositions. Hgm, 3., I want to mention three incidents which I think illustrate the students’ emerg- gngcdctgj ing motivation to write, although I have no way of showing a direct connection Sl ima, SEQ between motivation to write and the use of journals in the classroom. In the first Di lpendix C, case, Marcio, a Finnish boy, continued writing in his journal even after I stopped p. 202. assigning writing tasks. He kept on making his entries until the last day of class, and offered me his journal as a gift at the end of the semester. In the second, lf; Katia, Patricia and Neuza, in the sixth period class, and Edison, in the eighth #$ period class, got together and transformed a novel they had read during first semester into a play. The play, entitled The Trojan Wm; had sixteen acts, which what 6 were more like connected skits. The student actors and actresses interacted with Wmds j these writers in order to create and refine the dialogues. They plan to start ,0 be H rehearsing next term. Finally, Elizabeth had one of her poems selected by a pub~ afgug tj lisher in the United States to appear in an anthology of works by teenage Concise authors to be published next year. thcmsgj l time TEAC}lER~RESEARCFI: FROM INQUIRY TO Umnnnsraisioiisio I __:=‘ _.=‘ ‘·f§·-i;;_-_·‘Q·%§;i;i"l{ .c-— %-. ---‘_ -‘‘_i i-°;.‘§{i=1_¥¤ -·i``‘ i QV ‘.‘. 4 I V Despite all the good news, however, there were disadvantages in using the journals. I became too involved in trying to find out how my students were feel- ingabout the writing process, and so there were times when I digressed from my research question. I do not regret what I did, but had I kept a narrower focus, I would have more relevant data. I have since found it difficult to identify the most useful journal entries to code, and the analysis is very time consuming. I was not able to analyze all of my students’ journals because l could only work with the journals willingly given to me at the end of the semester. As I had said that they would control their journals, I had to respect my students’ privacy. Therefore, I only have six journals, not including my own, to include in the study. When I assigned letters, had them prepare interviews, or organized class discussions, I was able to get a sense of the contents of students’ entries without actually reading their journals, because they used their entries as a basis for these activities. However, when I read the actual journal entries for each day in the six jour- nals I had, I realized that there were many details which I was never aware of. Students were paying more attention to my actions than I could ever have imagined. For instance, Marcio wrote on February 15: "Veillard took notes as he did yesterday. " On April 26 he wrote: "I really don’t like English now. And Veillard is not Veillard, he’s something else, ‘regular,’ only cares about grammar. Gets angry easily. " His entries made me wonder what was I taking for granted in my teaching. This carnival ride is over. THE SXWING BOAT: FROM Vi/RITING TO READING Although I do have samples of students’ writing, in particular three drafts ofthe On 3 priori same composition, I have no basis on which to state that my students became data analysis, better writers. I realize that I did not have clearly researchable criteria for what see Chapter 5, ` "becorning a better writer" meant. In one coding, I counted the number of DD-iO3·iO5- words in their different drafts. The table below shows two examples: Figure 3.2: Gumparing lengths nf cnmpusititm drafts Student Michel Euridice Draft Number of Words Number of Words #1 77 83 #2 79 86 ‘ #3 82 99 What exactly do these data tell me? One might argue that if the number of words increases through the drafting and revising process, students are learning to be more specific and detailed in their descriptions. But someone else might - argue that if the number of words decreases, students are learning to be more concise and that, as a result, their writing is more powerful. I realize that data i ‘ themselves don’t tell you the answer. You always have to interpret them in some Canmvat Rimes; AN Accouisir or BEGINNING TEAcHER—REseARcH • 47 way. I also tried to analyze the kinds of comments students wrote on One anoth~ I · - er’s com ositions when I ave them the chance to ive one another eer feed- On redefining P g g _ P _ research back. Unfortunately, l was not able to reduce these comments into categories quggtigng, that made sense to me, partly because I didn’t have enough data to make useful . see Chapter 5, comparisons and thus to see the categories. pp. 91—93. If I look closely at my data, I am thrown towards the other end of this swing boat. The only question I might be able to answer does not really deal with writ- ing, but rather with reading, a skill that is very much related to writing. My ‘ research question would then become: _ " What happens when my students choose what they read?” To explain this shift, let me refresh the reader’s memory. My students were required to read one novel per month. According to school rules, the teacher assigned the book, and the whole class read it. Last semester however, I gave my students the opportunity to choose one of the novels they would read, the very first one, so that each student was reading his or her own book. I have outlined the process by which students chose and read their individual books below. February 7: Hon1ework—"Think of three books you would like to read, but for some reason have not managed to." February 8: "In groups, share your titles and choose one book you ; would like to read by February 24. W/e will all start reading our var- ious books on February 1()." ` February 9: "Think aboutia book that had an impact on you. What was it like? What was the story about? Why and when did you read it? Why did it have an impact on you? Would you recommend it? To whom? Remember to bring this book to class tomorrow. " February IO: "Acquaint yourself with the book you brought in. . ‘ Describe it: the cover, the pictures, the number of pages, table ofcou- tents, title, author, year of publication. Why did you choose it? When do you plan to read it? What kind of story do you expect? "Prepare a reading contract and show it to a classmate. For example, John intends to finish reading 1984 by February 24. It he doesn’t, he wiii not play on his computer for three days." February 13: "Write a brief paragraph about what you have read. ‘ Make two predictions based on what you have read so far. Walk around the classroom and share what you wrote with a classmate." I February 14: “Prepare a card according to this model: Your name is reading title of your book by author of the book you are reading. - "Tomorrow I will post the cards around the classroom so that every- one knows what everybody else is reading. I want to try and create the feeling of an art gallery by displaying each reader’s choice. I will· also record all the book titles in my journal.” l ! 48 • DOING TEAc:HER—ReseARcH: FROM INQUIRY TO UNDERSTANMNG Y February 17: Homeworkr——"Continue reading your book. Imagine you are a character in the story. You can be yourself as an extra char- acter, or you can take the place of a character who already exists in the story. Wfhat would you change or do differently in the story?" February 20: °‘Find a partner and interview each other about your character and the changes you would rnake.” February 21: ‘°Go back to your predictions about the story (February 13). \Vere you right?" Febrzmry 24: “ Retrieve your cards that were posted on February 15 . lf you are done reading, prepare a drawing that summarizes your book, If you are not done, write a letter to yourself explaining why you have not finished, what the penalty was in your reading con» tract, and what you can do to finish reading your book." What can I say based on the evidence I possess? Twenty—six out of 47 students on digplgying chose to read suspense books. T hey opted for stories about ghosts, supernatural data, see beings, crimes and detectives, mysteries, or horror books. The table below sum— Chapter 5, rnarizes the data on how many students read which types of book. DP- @8-119- Figure 3.3: Studesits’ reading chelsea NUMBER OF STUDENTS (OUT OF47) WHO READ TYPE OF BOOK _ THIS TYPE OF BOOK Suspense 26 Books that have been turned into movies 8 Sports 3 ’ Mythology Fantasy 2 Science Fiction 1 Other 5 Thirty—five out of 47 students were able to finish reading their hooks by February 24. It is interesting to look at the 12 students who did not finish read- ing their chosen books by the agreed-upon deadline. Alone in my office, I laugh at how different our perceptions are. For example, I think I was fair in letting the students decide what and how much they wanted to read by the deadline. But Ayrton justifies not being able to finish his book, writing: ‘°The teacher gave little time." Or there is Rosaugeia, who, when asked to think about the first four weeks of English class, writes in her letter dated March 12: "Until now we did— a n’t do any reading." In general, students were excited to be able to choose what . they were going to read as Benedito put it in his journal: "And what’s good, we can choose the next booi<." Nevertheless, they expressed concerns, such as: “Does it [the book] have to be in English? But what’s going to happen if we can choose whatever we want? How can we show that we have read it? Does it have Cnuuivar. Rimes: AN Accouisir or BEGINNING TEACHER-Reseaacra • 49 to be a book from the library? How are you going to grade/test us on this I book?” This opens up the whole issue of how students perceive what they are doing. Sudeep comes to me at the end of class on February IO and says: "This class is better than the others, more active. Vile don’t have to write so rnuch." _ I He pauses, “I mean, we do, but it is not the same!" I say, “Hum, that’s right. You do write here, but how is it different?" Sudeep replies, "We don’t have to copy from a bool<.” . i As I have said before, I do not necessarily want to present these as research results, but they do give a flavor of what actually happened. I T1-ie Ciuiousizrz How THE Pants (DoN’t) Frr Toortnen As a child I used to look at the carousel and wonder how it was possible for the ' horses to move up and down and move around, without getting out of their vmking at predetermined places in the_ circle. Looking at myself as a learner of teacher- ie hyphen, research, I believe that my biggest mistake has been trying to make my research | fhapter 1, work operate like a carousel. In other words, I have attempted to present neat >- 5—8 émd contrasts: writing as a process versus writing as a product; oral and written
lmptef 8· comments in self and peer feedback versus number or letter grades; my person- I
177`178· al beliefs about learning and teaching versus institutional goals. Perhaps I am
setting myself up for failure if I take on the task of changing one of these parts
and try to keep it from affecting the whole. I see now that is impossible; the I
parts are interconnected like the carousel horses. On the other hand, the disci~ t
g pline of research, as I understand it, does require structure and regularity, like il
the spacing of the horses on the carousel. I need some space to figure out this t_
seeming contradiction: How do you separate a part of your teaching from the D
whole of your work life in order to study it? _ li
Now, I am out of my classroom, in the middle of an exciting ride of the third fl
module in this teacher development program. I am aware that my cart will twist P
and turn, driven by doubts and insights. Every now and then, I may still grab €_
on to the handle of old beliefs, just for the sake of safety. But I can already pic- U
ture myself standing in line for the next promising ride, when I will again be `%`
back in the classroom, with my students, perhaps to research again. ,
Tnrnkino aaour Rrseaie cn Desroiv
This Investigation as/as you to czrmlyze Veillrzrdis account in rr particular we);
I according to the hasic questiorzs that drive the process ofreseerch design. You may -
want to fczmilirzrize yourself with the Iirvestigetiorz hefore you reed the chapter;
‘ or you may want to return to what you have reed in order to complete it.
Respond to the following questions in any order; they provide a
— framework to move an inquiry toward a planned research project. (I
use the terms "you/the reseacher" because the questions can apply
equally to reading other people’s research.)

S WHAT? What is the inquiry? What is (are) the research-
ahle question(s)/puzzle here? What are the sup-
porting questions/puzzles?
¤ WHY? What is the background or rationale of the
research? Why are you/the researcher interested
in it? What motivates the work?
¤ WHERE? Where will the research be done?
In which particular classroom(s) or site(s)?
E WHO? Who will be the participants in your study?
What role——if any—will colleagues play in the study?
H HOW? Wliat data are relevant to the research questions?
How do youl the researcher plan to collect them?
How will you! the researcher analyze them?
_ H WHEN? What is the provisional time lineor schedule?
When and how often will youfthe researcher
gather data? F
I SO WHAT? Why will the research matter? To whom might it
make a difference? What might you/others under-
stand differently as a result?
Answer these questions, as far as possible, from the information in
the chapter. As you do so, also make note of things that you find miss-
ing. Which—if any-—of these questions does Veillard not address in
this account? It can help to do this task in a 7 (rows) X 2 (columns)
matrix, in which you list the seven guide question words down the
left side, the information you find in this chapter in one column, and
things that are missing in the other.
After doing this Investigation, you may want to read Veiliard’s own
comments in Chapter 6, (pp. 143-145), in which he offers a brief cri-
tique of the work reported in this chapter.

A CARNIVAL Rimes: AN Accouwr or BEGINNING TBAQHER-Ressancu • 51

4 ‘ Figure 4.1
One or two morztlas is really too little time to be able to see wlmt is
lmppeitiizg in tt clttssroom. l need to go back signin and rigtziit, to
see to/mt is laczppenlrzg . . . 1.vl:¤ether the tlaiszgs I rim Endiirg eontim-ie
to be there. ‘
Helena Portillo
It is one of life’s ironies that sometimes you need to do things that seem com-
plicated in order to arrive at simple insights or understandings. One ofthe two
characters in Edward Albee’s one-act play Zoo Story captures this idea quite ·
wonderfully when he muses, "So1netimes you have to go a long distance out of -
Sr-msealchl your way in order to come a short distance back correctly. " This is, in essence, AS Y' E
V E0 D‘*S*g"· the dilemma of movin f ` `· t t l ` d · l h ' teacher-
Um #41 g rom an inquiry o tie questions an puzz es t at it _ _
I spawns. As I said in Chapter 2, inquiry drives the teacheeresearch process, ¤d€UUfY
although it may not necessarily be its starting point. It is often only with the pas- F€$POHd
sage of time and the commitment of energy to the process that the research-a ble first Pm
questions actually disrill themselves from the inquiry. To expect otherwise is to d0€‘S» SI
misunderstand the research process and perhaps to create unreal expectations €H€€» HI
for yourself. As one colleague put it, "Teacher-research is a great opportunity doing 0
for MoncIay—morning quarterbacking. Once it’s over, you recognize what it has Of thc D
been about.” This attitude of Mionday-morning quarterbacldng, or second- think if
guessing how the football game should have been played the day afterwards, is _ Speclllal
what can propel the teacher-research process into another cycle. WMUOI
It is important to realize that being clear about your questions is not necessar- A
ily where you begin the teachenresearch process, but it is usually where you end A
up. In this chapter we look at the parameters of inquiry more closely to see how _
it can spawn questions, how teaching questions and research—able questions dif- M'
fer, how research—able questions suggest the data that respond to them, and how, mg m 3
on this basis, to plan an overall project. This cycle forms the backbone of the the PIU
teachenresearch process; in this chapter we will examine the mechanics of hYP°*h‘ I
launching yourself into that process. I
` I
s i
omo Teacnen-Reseaaci-1; Fnom INQUIRY TO Uisioensrnwnmo I '

i Figure 4.1: Teacher-ressarch: Frm inquiry in design
ry . . r-.r 4
..`.;.. · {A
r _., ‘= ..-.rr 0
..__.. I _ A *S»
4 ·- .·`- · " ` .‘..: 2;-;.: ·:-- `·.. i6
y _ __ _- ; ‘*‘‘ ri; (
_ _-.-‘— Q
I { O. I rrrrr
uN¤Eas·rAu¤mss _- in
· _ __ _ I '``- ,_ _ - il
_ =--- __=_ U i ‘-
EL = `j‘‘ Q __ ;: DATA ANALYSIS
i "PUB1.I5HING"—
As you can see in Figure 4.1, this chapter focuses on the first part of the
t€aCl1€1‘—1‘€S€aIClI cycle: l‘lOW you move tl1£Ot1gi1 the initial stages of inquiry {O
identify and elaborate questions, to determine the kinds of ‘data that can
_ respond to those questions, and how you lay out a research plan. However, this
first part of the cycle usually stems from what precedes it. it can, and usually
(lO€S, gfO\V l)Otl`1 0UiZ of 3SSU1'1}ptlOHS YOU l)I'lI1g K0 lZi]€ iflqtlify l-[OIT] YOU? €Xp€[l··
ence, and from understandings that you may have gained through reading or
doing other teacheuresearch. This prior information inevitably shapes the form
of the new inquiry. From it g1`OVV thc preconceptions yOu may have fOr Why yOu
think {l'1l1`lgS l]Hpp€I1 E18 lZi1CY do ll'} YOUF iC€HCl'1iI1g. AH Ofl€Hlf€lfiO1”1 of lI“lqlllI“}’ &l"i(l
Sp€Cul£ttiOH holds these pI€COHC€ptiO1'1S up to SC1't1€i11y 3HCl qtl€StiO1'1iHg; an ori—
entation of ClOi1”1g and action g€DCt‘ally W01‘l{S simply to I'€CO1'1fl}fII1 then}.
. - . . . A-a m.
Kim Mortimer was a begmnmg teacheuresearcher when she wrote the follow- _
ing in a memo. Here she sets out very clearly the intimate connection between =-e
the preconceptions she brought into the research process, which she calls her O ii''```
hypotheses, and how she framed her initial inquiry. · K"?

Account #4.1: Kim Wlmtimer, l dggeiplii
“Ad0lescents, anxiety, and second language Iearning" gay or 1
When I began teaching Spanish to seventh and eighth grade students fmls fc-
(ages 12·—-14) at l\/Iarlboro Elementary School, I noticed that they mqmfy
seemed unusually prone to “turning off. " While paying attention, lis- 5 c0ut‘S€S
tening or reading and comprehending well in English, they would _ 01¥SlY al
frequently stop listening or reading in Spanish. When I spoke in T tions ca
Spanish for more than a few sentences at a time, they stopped listen- Second,
ing and would often speak over me or turn their heads away. They inquiry
said thing like, "I have no idea what you’re saying. What are you ‘ assumgy
talking about?" qugsgg,
In contrast, the fifth and sixth grade students (ages 10-11) were much Bild Flu?
more willing to listen to or read Spanish, even when it was unfamil- slightly
iar. They were clearly eager to comprehend the message, often guess- ness ani
ing out loud in English about what was being said. When they were mss 33
wrong, they simply guessed again until they selected the correct phne Og
meaning. I began to wonder about the cause of this significant dif- This
i ference in behavior between the two age groups. Why were the older .
_ _ , pieconc
students so much less likely to do the wor/a ofcohzp1·ehea.s1o1z? Did thi
it have to do with how they felt about learning Spanish? This became twi
my line of inquiry: ` SO; lgm
How the seventh and eighth grade students felt about learning OH QOH];
Spanish, and_ what effects these feelings had upon their (appar- tbypoiog
ent willingness to engage in) comprehension. - EO Shu],
From the beginning I hypothesized that the students were "turning off" validity
because of substantial anxiety associated with trying to comprehend will leai
an unfamiliar language. I believed that the intrapersonal risks involved of valid
in interpreting Spanish, trying to respond correctly, were too great. in their
It was safer to refuse to understand at all, to refuse to listen. I derived ty and 5
this hypothesis largely from my own experiences in adolescence and mg you
with second-language learning and my observations of others. It . -
seems a basic human response to react to overwhelming pressure by is SO ig
shutting down and refusing to address any portion of it. I assumed [Exam
that the pressure the seventh and eighth graders were feeling was Your OV
internal anxiety: that hearing and not understanding Spanish caused ’Whei U
them significant (and largely internal) stress, and thatthis anxiety with ob
was outwardly manifested in their refusal to listen or respond. I also Y0 COHK
assumed that by making meaning explicitly clear (usually with much teacher
English) at every step of the way, their anxiety would be reduced. Sjneeth.
Now I am not sure this was an appropriate assumption. people,
·..-_,__ In this memo Mortimer elaborates preconceptions from her experiences as a stu- Chaplin i
dent, as a teacher, and as an individual who holds a certain position in society. tiiebhsl
Th€S€ ideas, which She, like any of us, brings to teaching, inevitably shaped her sd fund
ii thinking. The teachenresearch process, however, pulls her beyond them. mS'ghtS
Inquiries, regardless of their nature, do not spring out of thin air; they are bliautyf )
rooted both directly and indirectly in who we are, what we believe, and the ques- dlect Oi ,
tions we are socially positioned to ask. For instance, a first~year teacher may well research )
have different questions and perceptions of middle-school boys and classroom Rathch ;
*i:Q.Q’i- i

lr discipline from those of a veteran teacher. Or it may be more likely to occur to a
gay or lesbian teacher than t0 a straight teacher to examine how teaching mate- O Wh t
, yials represent the lives of gays and lesbians, if they do at all. This fact that wachgm bang to
l inquiry is shaped by the assumptions by which we live our lives suggests two teaching from
l courses of action in embarking on a research project. First, you need to think seri— experience, SBS
ously about what you believe to be true in teaching and learning. These assunip— Lomgr (1975);
F tions can provide a solid point of departure for developing a line of inquiry. See 8];,0 Bailey
l Second, it is important to review your specific preconceptions about your line of et al. (1996).
I inquiry as it is unfolding. It is worth asking yourself repeatedly, "What am I
y assuming or taking for granted? How could I be wrong in what I am seeing?" By
[ questioning yourself, your assumptions about teaching and learning generally,
and the preconceptions you have about the particular inquiry, you keep yourself
slightly off-balance. Being unsure about what you know creates a sense of open-
ness and vulnerability fundamental to good research. You chase down that open-
ness as you organize your inquiry into a research plan, and thus build the disci-
pline of your work. _
F This principle of challenging yourself to reexamine your assumptions and
* preconceptions is also central to the notion of validity. Validity has to do with On Validity,
two things, One is procedural. It depends on getting the research process right Sag Chapter 7,
i so the data respond to the research questions, analysis is appropriate to the data, pp. 164-175.
{ and findings are supported by the analysis. The solidness of this chain depends
on controlling the research situation, as we saw in the discussion of van Lier’s
i typology, and on the researcher’s skills in carrying out the process. It goes back
Q to Shulman’s first meaning of “discipline" as methodicalness. The other side of
validity has to do with confidence. Can you, as the researcher, and others who
will learn about your work reasonably believe in its results? These two aspects
i of validity are clearly linked: Solid, disciplined procedures can create confidence
in their outcomes. Underlying how procedures are used, however, are the clari-
l ty and self-awareness of the researcher, which is why recognizing and articulat-
ing your assumptions and preconceptions, as Kim Nlortimer did in her memo,
is so important. Such insight is the foundation of your work as a teacher-
E researcher. No amount of good procedure will compensate for being blinded by
your own preconceptions.
¤ When talking about research, people often think of validity as synonymous . ‘
i with objectivity. In the conventional view detachment and distance are supposed
‘ to come in large part through one person (the researcher) studying others (the
. teacher and the students). In teacher-research this relationship is recast
` sincethe teacher is the researcher. Objectivity cannot be located in two separate
people, the researcher and the researched (Fine, 1994). Rather, as mentioned in
Chapter 1, in teacher-research one person carries out two distinct functions that
i establish different perspectives on the work he or she is doing. These hyphenat-
ed functions of teaching and researching together offer the potential for unique
insights into the complexity of classroom teaching and learning. The order and ‘
beauty of a landscape seen from afar are quite different from the texture and imme-
diacy of walking through that same countryside. The objectivity of teacher-
research is not a function of distance and detachment in a conventional sense.
Rather, it hinges on the discipline of how one is involved in both teaching and
, -*_»· i- I E Z . =‘*'i"`i J . - ` I - ` ` ` .

researching, as mentioned in Chapter 2. In discipline, or the self—aware method-
ical control over what you are doing and why, lies the foundation of validity in
teacher-research. This foundation begins with keeping track of assumptions that
animate the work. i
`i‘. Locarnvo me {NQ Uttar
This Investigation hegiris a series of Investigations throughout this chapter that j
I are aiiriecl at helping you tlainle through a research plan. in this lnvestigatioiz
tivo alternatives are sitggestea': (A) using reflective zvritirig, and (B) rising vicleo~ E
tape as a prompt. _
Alternative (A): Reflective writing
_ _ _ PUR
Think about the teaching you have done recently or that you will be A I
doing. Think about the school context, the students, and the content t t
you have been teaching. _ was
_ _ _ _ ‘ agar
Brainstorm the following questions, making notes for yourself as you hea,.
go along: mw
H Vllhat do you wonder about in your teaching and your cept
students’ learning? . at W
H Vllhat puzzles you about your students, the content, or the hind
organization of your classroom? Cllffe
_ _ · _ . time
¤ What aspects of the students’ learning do you want to It
understand better? . bew
B Yfllhat are some aspects of your teaching situation that intrigue ques
or trouble you? `Why? expr ‘
B Vllhat do you know about your teaching or their learning that Wh]
you are interested in verifying? CSW
t is
Use the loop-writing process, outlined in Appendix A (p. 198), mm:
to sharpen your inquiry. . Whc
, , - I Or i
Alternative (B): A video prompt the ‘
Arrange to have your class, or a portion of it, videotaped. Ideally you or u
would have someone else run the camera as you are teaching. ence
Perhaps a colleague or even a student will do so for you. However, . that
you can also videotape yourself very satisfactorily without help. You ‘ n
need to set up the camera using a wide-angle focus to take in as much tmc
of the classroom as possible. Be sure the image catches as many stu- don l
dents as possible. Start the tape recording at the beginning of the les- mm
son and let it run until the tape runs out or the lesson ends.
‘ rese
Review the videotape. Look carefully at what is going on and who is thin
doing what. Think about the following prompts as you watch it: you
I What questions do you have about your teaching as you watch Poli
your students’ learning in this lesson? PHP} e
» Donsio Teacnen-Reseancii; Paoli INQUIRY ro Unnenstaubmo

_..‘ .t`=‘ »‘4., g A-Q:.]_°.¤"-Y ’‘‘ -·‘'‘ Qi tf ‘--· i `t-r z i-’i ‘=. ji-I ..-= l 2 {

H What puzzles you about what you see? What are you unsure of?
5 What aspects of the students’ learning do you want to better
W Why do you think things are happening as they are on the tape?
How would you know? What speculations does this raise about
students’ learning and/or your teaching?
I What do you know about your teaching or their learning that
you are interested in verifying?
Refer to the video—viewing suggestions outlined in Appendix A
(pp. 19%-199) for further ideas of how to work with the videotape.

Punrosn, TIME, AND Ourcoivie ._r;
At the beginning of this chapter, Helena Portillo, a Brazilian teacher—researcher,
was quoted about time in the research process. Portillo says, "I need to go back
again and again, to see what is happening {in my classroom]? Time is at the Pu,p0S9_
heart of teacher—research: thetirne it takes to do the research and, perhaps even Time
more crucially, the time before the research begins. It literally takes time to con- Qutcomg
ceptualize an inquiry, to think about what you take for granted, to look closely
at what you assume or hypothesize about a situation or a group of students. Most i
fundamentally, doing teachenresearch is about using your time as a teacher in
different ways. The irony is that even planning how to do things differently takes
time, which many teachers do not have.
It is useful to put this issue of time in a three-part frame, bracketing it
between purpose on one side and outcome on the other. Purpose raises basic
questions: Why am I interested in this inquiry? Where does it come from in my
experience as a teacher (or perhaps as a student, a parent, or a human being)?
Why am l asking these questions? Who is this inquiry actually for? Clearly a
component of the response to these questions will be personal, as in "I am doing
this for me, because I want to know or understand X or Y." There is usually
more to it, however. There may be a student or a group of students in your class
who indirectly suggest the inquiry to you by who they are or what they are doing.
Or it may be circumstances beyond the classroom: a change in the curriculum,
the schedule, or the Status-quO in general, such as team teaching with a colleague,
or using new materials or technologies. Or the impetus may arise out of experi- ·
ence, an intriguing or a nagging issue, or an interest in reexamining something
that has become familiar and predictable to try to see it in new ways.
While it has a personal dimension, a particular inquiry’s purpose is usually
traceable to the situation you are in and the teaching you are doing or have On teacher;
done. This fact grounds the work in your direct experience and in so doing, it work |5v6S_ SEQ
introduces the issue of time. Unlike colleagues who conductother forms of Freedman et al.
research, teachenresearchers always face the challenge of doing at least two (1983). A
things at once. So the idea of doing teachenresearch raises the question of how
you use your time as a teacher and to what ends. Seen from an external or etie
point of view, most of the time teachers are primarily engaged in accomplishing
purposes set by others, such as finishing the chapter or the unit because it is in

the curriculum, or monitoring the playground or the lunch room as called for in l the ms
the labor agreement or job description, and so on. Indeed, for many teachers, ` Wm H6
the only individually managed time is what are euphemistically called their bc fig;
" planning periods. " ln this frame, using time for inquiry is difficult; it often goes assum
against the grain of school. But it is not impossible. Q ` inquh.,
Though there is an automatic structure to how teachers spend much of their the HH
work time, there is also the space to think differently about what is going on in puts al
the classroom. Simply put, it does not have to follow that because time is struc~ I WON]
tured, therefore ways of thinl1Nc Y
_i‘.·‘ 5 `-‘. z-‘-z;;-3* -··· ‘·i-`Ffi .; ._.- ¤-· ‘ ‘‘-= ir ‘Y2-iY¥*·i E j

' Any question, whether it is teaching or researclvable, has a point of view. in Fgr an Gxampgg
- research—able questions, that point of view should direct you toward inquiry, of working with
= being off-balance with the status—quo, and reexamining the givens in the class- teaching versus
room situation. Within research—able questions themselves, however, there are i’B$€6VCh
also important differences in perspective that shape the inquiry. Two of these '?lU€SllO“$· See
l distinctions—-first—order versus second-order and emic versus etic perspectives- Wagngf Vsiiisrdt
E help to orient you toward where the data or information that can respond to a Cizclizplé
l particular question can be found. pp. 4.{_48’.
FIRST-ORDER vensus SEco1~tD—ORDaR Pertsrecrrves -
My family spent a year in Brazil when my two children were in elementary A
school. My children entered Brazilian schools speaking little Portuguese and
quickly found the classrooms quite different from what they were used to in the
United States. My older daughter, who was eleven at the time, befriended a
classmate who spoke some English. Early on, her friend told her not to worry,
that -" the teachers sound like they’re angry all the time, but that’s just the way
. they teach.” My younger daughter, who was eight, confirmed this observation
Saying that her teachers had three ways of talking, "loud, louder, and l0udest.”
After some months in school, however, these distinctions disappeared, although qq
the kids would occasionally comment that their friends in the United States
would find the Brazilian classrooms really loud, with "lots of yelling going on.°’ ‘
Ference Marton is an educational researcher who is interested in how people `S'` if
understand things around them, and particularly the teaching and learning that First. Versus i
they engage in in classrooms. in his work, Marton makes the distinction between second-order
researching what people do, which he calls first—order research, and researching research
how they perceive what they do, which he calls second—order research. Distin-
guishing between accounts of activity and behavior and accounts of thinking
and perception requires a shift in research perspective, as Marton (1981) explains:
In the first, and by far most commonly adopted perspective, we ori-
ent ourselves towards the world and make statements about it. in the
second perspective, we orient ourselves towards people’s ideas about
the world (or their experience of it). Let us call the former first—order
and the latter second—order perspectives. (p. 178)
When my daughters said that Brazilian classrooms were really “loud" and had
"lots of yelling going on," they were making second~order observations. While
this may have been the case from their North American point of view, to their
Brazilian classmates these same classrooms sounded "normal." The Brazilian _
friend who told my daughter that "the teachers sound like they’re angry all the . _
time, but that’s just the way they teach" was actually bringing together two sec-
ond—order perspectives, the North American~—-"the teachers sound like they’re
angry all the time"+ and the Brazilian—"that’s just the way they teach." Both
second—order perspectives are accurate depending on who you are. To introduce
a first-order perspective into this discussion, one would need to describe the sound -
level in the classroom in more standardized terms, using decibels, for instance.
I use the term “standardized" here on purpose. lt is important to realize that
we cannot equate first—order with being "ob}ective" and second»order with being
Foniyimo AN INQuiRY: Fnoivr Quesrioius TO PLANN1No THE Pizojncr • B5

"subjective." Both perspectives are based on assigning meanings to what is l if
observed or experienced . The difference is that first-order perspectives use cate- · exist
gories and forms of description that others outside the situation can verify if i tanne
they employ the same ones, while second-order perspectives use the categories sons,
and forms of description the people in the situation use themselves. l can describe f€$€3?
the same situation in two ways: “Yi Feng sat next to Katrin." (first-order: “sit~ Bett}’
ting" and “next to? are terms most observers can understand and match to ceptic
what they see) or "Yi Feng sat next to her friend, Katrin." (second-order: whether defini
Katrin is a friend depends on what Yi Feng tells you, and on what Katrin her- spans
self thinks). lf they are second—graders, "friend” can mean one thing; if they are cepti< high school students it can mean another. Thus second—order perspectives cap- good ture, as Marton says, “people’s ideas about the world (or their experience of figure it),” while first—order perspectives label that world. their i The world does not operate on first-order information alone; in fact, second- woulc order information is often critical, as the following story illustrates. Benjamin ‘ interv Whgrfl See Lee Wfhorf was a well-known linguist in the early twentieth century who devel- _ €€PYi( man (1982) oped the concepts of "linguistic relativity," that although there are elements that UGH- - all languages have, which Whorf called "universals," different languages por- and t tray the world differently. W/horf’s ideas have had a substantial impact in the I {mm fields of anthropology, linguistics, and education. Wlien `Whorf was starting his P€0Pi career, he supported himself as an insurance claims investigator. He wrote of a order case in which a tannery insured by his company had had several fires of unex- nome plained origin. Vlfhorf was sent to look into the circumstances of the fires before HS Pl’· settling the claims. He found the tannery well—organi2ed, with careful attention Th paid to safety issues. There was, for instance, no smoking permitted inside the good building because of the highly flammable solvents used in the tanning process. €US$iO Workers were permitted to smoke, but they had to do so on a loading dock out- _ allel d side the building. moth Like the other claims investigators who had examined the plant before him, can hz Whorf was perplexed, since there were no obvious causes for the fires and indeed everyone seemed to be quite safety conscious. As he was leaving the building one 1- · day, he noticed workers smoking outside. They were standing beside some bar- f ' rels, above which a sign read "Empty barrels." As he finished his cigarette, a i man tossed the butt on the ground beside the barrels. This practice, it turned ; l out, had been the unintended cause of the fires. The problem was that the bar- I l rels were not empty; rather, they were empty of tanning solvent, but they still f l contained highly flammable fumes. Thus a stray cigarette butt that landed in an l l “ernpty" fume-filled barrel could cause a fire. YX/horf’s point in recounting the · 2 . story was that the word "empty,” although accurate in general English usage, ’ r was misleading in this situation. The workers, with the best of intentions, took g , the word at face value. It stood for the real situation and people acted accord- l _ ingly; however, in this case the “real situation" was different. The barrels were i i l l ‘ empty of liquid solvent but still full of combustible vapors. Thus, in Marton’s ‘ i I terms, tannery workers were taking first~order actions on the basis of second- ( order perceptions. , p I 1 ZJING Ti2AcHER—REsEARcii: Fnoivi INQUIRY ro UNDERSTANDING E ‘ ` ! l ` ` ` l { I find Marton’s distinction useful because it makes clear that any inquiry can . exist on two planes: the level of action and the level of perception. As with the tannery workers, there are the actions that people take and there are the rea- sons, the thinking, the explanations that surround those actions. Teacher- research clearly investigates both realms. It examines the impacts of actions, like Rafe, to Betty in her study of the comprehensibility of directions, and it also probes per- Vigngttgs; eeptions and reasons as Vera does in trying to understand how her students Chgptgr 2, define “good°’ conversations. More often than not, however, teacher-research page 25 I spans both the first-order realm of actions and the second-order realm of per- ception and reasoning within one inquiry. ]oan’s study of emerging literacy is a good example. As described, her study looks at what students are doing as they figure out reading and writing in English. If she were to ask the chiidren about ` I their reading and writing, what is easy or hard for them and why, and so on, she would be generating second-order information for the study. If she were to also l interview other teachers or the students’ parents and caregivers to get their per- ceptions of the children’s work, she would add further second-order informa- l tion. All these data are second-order because they capture people’s perceptions and thinking about emerging literacy in these students. \X·'hen the data come from the students themselves, they are firsthand; when they come from other people, such as teachers or pi11‘€11tS, they are secondhand. Taken together, first- order and second-order data can paint a rich and complex picture of a phe- nomenon, which is why l\/Iarton and his research colleagues refer to their work as p}ae1zome1zogi·apla;#, blending the words p/aeriomenoii and etlmograplay The four questions, discussed as teaching and research—able (pp. 62-63), offer -i good examples of first-order versus second-order questions. ln the following dis- I cussion, I analyze the orientation of each question. As you can see, these are par- allel distinctions: teaching versus research-able is one, first- versus second-order is another. Both can apply to the same question, which is to say, a teaching question can have a first- or a second-order orientation, as can a researclrable question. 1. Wlaat kinds of listening activities do my students like? This is a second-order question because it focuses on students’ opin- ions, what they like. If the question were recast as "YXlhat kinds of listening activities enable. my students to make the most progress in listening comprehension?” it would then be a first-order question _ evaluating the impact of certain activities on students’ listening com- prehension. 2. Wlaat is the impact of praise ori the group dynamics? This question has a second-order perspective because it leads to examining students’ perceptions and experiences. In order to answer it, the teacher-researcher will have to examine the phenomenon from ‘ the students’ point of view: Wlhat do they see as "praise"? How does it affect their learning? It would not be possible to investigate this question except by getting into each student’s frame of mind and i ‘ understanding the various points of view. PORMING AN INQUIRY: FRON1 Qtiastioins TO PLANNING THE PRO]ECT • 67 . fj _ 3. How much oral correctiorz helps students ledrrz? S0 This question sits in the middle; it can include both first-order and ‘ QI second-order perspectives. Students’ learning can be assessed using 5 P10 i such external measures as test scores, grades, amount of participa- 1'0 tion in class, time on/off task, and so on. Likewise, oral correction strategies can be defined as teaching behaviors: peer correction, mod- F eling the correct answer, coaching to correct, and so on. These are E first-order aspects of the question. But the core of the question is the verb, helps, and this is a second-order issue. What the students per- C' ceive as "helping" them learn may differ from what teacher sees as W useful and/or what the external measures show. Similarly, what the OZ students see as “correction" may differ from what the teacher thinks she is doing to correct. This difference in perspective lies at the heart of seconcl~order research. To study, borrowing Marton’s words, "people’s ideas about the world [of the classroom] (or_ their experi- ence of it) " is what makes teacher-research so fascinating. Without . this perspective, teachenresearch can become mechanical documen- tation of what is going in teaching and learning and can miss the inner worlds of the participants that animate and make meaningful those processes. ~— 4. W/lay do students take so long to break into small groups L' for group work? Fi If you contrast this question with question #2, you can see the dif- al ference between first- and second—order orientations that Marton talks th about. This question is posed in a first-order perspective. It involves W time—"students take so long"—and behavior—"breaking into dr small groups for group work/’ The data may show that they don’t lg have their books, or that they talk a lot to peers as they shift activi— rg ties, or that they walk very slowly from one group to the other. All di ; ‘ of this first-order information will point to the physical world for K responses to the question "why?" Not having books, talking a lot, and walking slowly are all data of actions and the material world. As In findings, these can suggest actions to address the situation: Students at ‘ should have all the necessary books with them, not talk, move more Ol quickly, and so on. §h The second-order perspective introduces parallel and fascinating dimen— l fi sions to the same question. For instance, you might ask students l what they see happening during the passing times, or whether they W see these transitions as taking a long time. You might examine their l to perceptions of the differences between large and small groups as two l dl — social settings, and so on. ‘ W l Y C3 i y pl . . . . . . . di Second-order information is based in perceptions; it contributes to what j SC l anthropologist Clifford Geertz (1977) called a "thick description” of the sit- | uation. The thickness comes from getting at the complicated texture and inter- ’ QI l play of actions and perceptions, of what people do and how they understand _ * what they do and why they do it. Second-order information will point to the . hl - C} . _ I · Dome TnAcnen—REsEARcn; Fnoivi INQUIRY TO Umonastamoimo i‘‘·-·i' i·`‘`_ 5 ¤ ¤.-‘ ¤Z".T:°-in J ·`-‘ 1 ‘- `--- T' -r.‘ Q li __‘--` _ l social world of beliefs, values, meanings, and interpretations for responses to the question "why?" Together, first- and second—order orientations to a question cre- ate a mosaic of information that can get at the messy complexity of life in class- rooms. piggy". AND SECONDORDER QUE§TTON$ Continuing the series on developing ri resecntch plan, this Investigation focuses on distinguishing between first- rind second-order perspectives as rz tool in deve]- N oping researc/2 questions. Using your recast list of questions from Investigation 4.3, sort them · into first—order and second-order questions. Start with those you are most certain of and then work with those that seem to go less clear— ly in one group or the other. Remember that finding the distinction is a matter of practice; there are no absolute answers. if you tire working with others, you may want to pool your ques- tions for the sorting process, and then select a sub—set to work with. LOOKING FOR DATA: EMIC VERSUS ETIC PERSPECTIVES ,:_:__ Eirst—order versus second-order perspectives refer to the orientation ofthe inquiry, and thus to the questions that evolve within it. Enuc/etic is a related distinction iinil that frames this issue from the data side of the process. The basic question is: Emic . Vifhose experiences and views of the world are we capturing? It reminds me of Versus gtic doing homework with my children; I would say, with some desperation, “But perspective look, this problem isn’t hard. You did one just like it yesterday. " To which the distinction retort would be, "It’s not hard for you because you already know math1" This distinction between insiders’ and outsiders’ perceptions has been adapted to qualitative research from the field of linguistics by anthropologists and educa- tional researchers. In looking at the sounds used in a language, linguists talk about distinctions between the chunks of sound that are meaningful to speakers ‘ of that language, which they call phoneinic distinctions, and those distinctions that can be made among sounds but do not necessarily carry meaning in that language; these they call phonetic- distinctions. In English, for example, the dif- ference in the initial sounds in she and be is a phonemic distinction; it gives us two different words that label different genders. Whether we say sive with a level tone or a falling—rising tone makes no difference in meaning in English, but it does in Mandarin Chinese, where she with a falling—rising tone means "to like," whereas with a level tone it means “west.” So tone is a phonetic distinction; it _ can be produced by speakers of any language. In Mandarin tone produces a - phonemic distinction, while in English it doesn’t. Any language is a system of . distinctions in sound. Pbonetic distinctions are those that can be made among sounds, while phoneinic distinctions are those that carry meaning for the insid- g ers who are users of that language. Anthropologist Kenneth Pike (1963) adapted these definitions to the study of n how cultural groups assign and interpret meanings to their environments and experiences. His analogy was that language is a system of distinctions in sound FORMING AN INQUIRY: FROM QUESTIONS TO PLANNING THE PROJECT • B9 i ·i-_- Ct »'-_. I` K-'` P n " in ` K I I - " I that its users take for granted as normal, while culture is a system of distinctions I in meaning that members of that group take for granted. Pike used the term emie, from phonemic, to refer to meanings that the insiders of a particular sociocul- l tural group assign to a situation. He contrasted it with etic, from phonetic, to refer to externally observable or documented aspects of a situation or phenome- non. Thus, etic is what outsiders see; emits is what insiders know. I had a clear experience of this distinction when one of my children started nursery school. She used to come home talking about something she called "the blue lion." All I knew about "the blue lion" was that when you sat on it, "you had to be quiet. ” From her emic perspective as an insider to the nursery school class- room, that was all there was to say about it. When I asked her etic questionsabout “the blue lion" as an outsider, I would draw blank looks or one—word respons- es. "How big is the blue lion?" Iwould ask, envisioning a stuffed animal. "Big," she answered. "Everybody sits on it at the same time." I tried to imagine thirty nursery—schoolers sitting on a stuffed blue lion. "When do you get to sit on it?" "Everyday. We sit there everyday." I was getting nowhere in trying to grasp what it was. As an insider with her emic understanding of nursery school culture, the blue lion was a fact of life. From an etic point of view, to me as an outsider, it made no sense. I could not attach the idea to anything I understood. Then, some weeks later, when I happened to be in her classroom, my daughter point- ed to some worn blue tape that marked a large circle on the carpeted floor. "That’s the blue lion," she said. And it all made sense. This blue circle or line ("lion") of tape was where the children sat at the start of each day for "circle" or sharing time (Cazden, 1988). So her emic and my etic perspectives converged, but they did not replace one another. ` First- and second~order orientations serve to organize the kinds of questions we E ask and how we approach gathering information to respond to them. Ernie Thi and etic perspectives describe the point of view intrinsic to the information we mu gather. Together these two sets of distinctions sensitize us to that fact that what we see and hear will depend on where we sit, what we can ask, and what we can say. The following research memo was written by Ann Hoganson, who conduct- j ed a teacher-research study with high school students studying Spanish. The first I paragraphs detail how Hoganson used her assumptions to define the research- able questions within her line of inquiry. You can see her moving between first- and - second-order orientations and proposing emic and etic ways to capture data. . Account #4.2: Ann. Hoganscn, ‘·= When I began mY research Prolect, I assumed the students would be ,,1 Hoganscn unable to communicate using memorized chunks of material and m that once they had studied a unit they would forget the material and · i be unable to use it in a communicative situation later. I assumed that by memorizing language, students would be unable to retain it and Shi thus would not truly progress. I also assumed that teaching gram- wh l matical paradigms would be more useful than asking the students to { thi , memorize the structures without explaining them. I supposed stu- Sh, I . | I Donut; TnAcnen~RnseARcn; Enom INQUIRY TO Urtnsnsrarrnrrsio ;.:.1·». -·=r_»-__=·= _·_· - ;;— ,.··_ e‘-.- e ··‘·L i.`i-s= Z `‘‘'-===' ¥i“ "·ic `? 'i‘e'` in iii i'.· in =‘‘; ` ( dents learned best by inventing and practicing dialogues or short skits and that students would define "knowing” Spanish as being able to read, write, speak and understand the language in an authen- tic context. In other words, "knowing" Spanish meant being able to communicate with Spanish speakers using the four skills and in a cul- turally appropriate manner. My original line of inquiry was: What happens when novice—level (ACTFL, 1986) foreign language students memorize chunks of language? Next, I broke my inquiry into five research—able questions: 1. What does "knowing Spanish" mean? 2. How does memorizing material affect creativity with the language? 3. What activities help students memorize material? 4. How can students apply memorized material? _ 5. How do students communicate when they only know memorized material? ` I began my research by focusing primarily on what knowing Spanish meant to the students and which activities they believed helped them learn the language. These two questions (#1 and #3) - became my actual line of inquiry because I realized my concept of "knowing" a language differed from the concept held by my students ` (Hoganson, 1996; original emphasis). Martine Emir: AND Eric Pnasrncriviss This Investigation combines examination offirst» and seconcborder orientations toward the inquiry with emic and etic perspectives. on gathering data. Read through Ann Hoganson’s memo (Account 4.2). 1. Decide which of her questions carry first—order and which carry sec- ond-order orientations. It can be useful to sketch a diagram or flow chart showin how the uestions interrelate and which orientation _ S Cl (first—order or second—order) they come from. 2. Think about how Hoganson will need to blend emic and etic per- spectives to gather her data. Which question(s) will require her to take on the insider’s point of view (emic) and which to take on the outside _ (eric) perspective? It is useful to sketch a chart with the questions down the left side, and to include notes on emic or etic data gathering. . Hoganson establishes a first—orcler orientation with her original line of inquiry. She focuses on how her students manipulate chunks of memorized language, which would lead to gathering etic data on how they perform in Spanish using this language. As she unpacks the inquiry into research-able questions however, she begins to probe the second—order realm of their perceptions by asking her - Fonmmci AN Inouiav; Fnom Questions TO Pi.ANNu·~io Tim Paogncr • T1 students "`What does ‘knowing Spanish’ mean?” (#1). The other questions carry gcfi forward the first-order orientation toward activities (#3), applying material an (#4), and using memorized material (#2 and #5). Accordingly, questions #2 to i Skll #5 would probably lead to gathering data from an etic perspective on material fcsl taught, how it was taught, and student performance using it. Question #1, how- Ygsl ever, recasts the inquiry; it would require data from an emic perspective on how Om students define "knowing Spanish.” In her last paragraph, above, Hoganson COH moves that second—order orientation forward when she writes, “I realized my rl concept of ‘knowing’ a language differed from the concept held by my stu- to 6 dents." Hoganson illustrates nicely how the focus can redefine itself, always thes within the same line of inquiry. She also shows how probing a phenomenon as the a teachenresearcher can uncover issues that might be missed or overlooked as a viev teacher How students view the subject-matter they are learning is clearly impop teac tant in teaching it. In fact, successful instruction depends in part on understand— hal? ing their point of view so that, as a teacher, you can address it. `nori ` the . teac Afinal observation about emic and etic. Although they often are character- vt C ized as a dichotomy, and I have presented them here as such, that stark view (lx?] can be misleading. In the world, whether you stand inside or outside a setting, Thu activity, or phenomenon is more a relative than it is an absolute. It is a matter thro Emir:/etic of perception, both your own and that of others. Do you see yourself as an mail elationships insider to this setting? Do others see you as one? That perception is based on an tiles opposition; in other words, you may be more of an insider than someone else, ilk? or less one than another person. Going back to the homework example: VV hen Of lf I help my daughter with her math homework, I find the long—division problem Crea causing difficulty to be pretty straightforward. My daughter tells me thatl think DEX - it’s easy because I already "/mow math." Between the two of us, I am in an emic position as an insider to the world of long division. Hers is etic: it doesn’t make In 3 sense to her. Then, after I explain how I would solve the division problem, she thm may say, “But that’s not the way l\/lr. G. taught us. That’s not the way we do it than in our class." Suddenly my knowledge and understanding become etic, while my wha daughter’s math classroom becomes the emic frame of reference. To solve the mw) . math problem in the proper way, I need to understand how the insiders do it. Smsl “Lool<, both ways will work, ” I say a bit petulantly. “Yeah, but only one isthe are ( right vvay," she retorts. the C Emic and etic are always comparative. They contrast membership in a par- flflm ticular world of meaning, like my daughter and me in relationship to her math ll IS ( I class. That membership, no matter how transitory, creates a point of view on the p Cases I setting, activity, phenomenon, or even information. It thus establishes the distinc- ( _ tion between those for whom a world of meaning makes sense as insiders (they ( imm- know Mi: G’s way of doing long division) and those who see, label, and interpret PON it from the outside (like my way of doing the math problem). One view, the emic, Pla?] , is the way those who are in the context make sense of it. The other expresses dsfm | how those same events, issues, or phenomena make sense to people who are out~ ( files? side them. What is interesting is that both ways may well arrive at the same mqu] r i "answer,” as when we both solved the long—division problem. But the ways of l Of th l . [ ( Donut; Teacher:-Reseancn: Faoin Inounzv to Unoaasrannmo l I ..‘- i»‘·.. ; `’`’I §YiQ'T$* . --—.f 3 1’"i?.‘¥£* QT- "‘_. Y `.‘-i - QE.? iii .*.` ~ r ·`-r - `··’` ‘ - ‘‘_’ _- . ..’- ,_- - .. ..._-;_,—.;;;._i,=.-.`_;<--zrrcriia-;_ . . n _, -- .; - - _ j r getting there differ. One way makes sense to one group——the math class and the textbook authors»—the other way works for me with my dated long-division skills. These different interpretations of the phenomenon can lead to the same result. The knowledge of long division being taught and learned here is not the result, but how we get there. So, as my daughter says, the differences between our ways of solving the problem are significant. There is a right way for her community, in her world of meaning, and that is the one she needs to learn. The profound importance of teachenresearch is that it can offer public access to emic understandings of life in classrooms. lt can thus make local sense of these things to a wider world. Wlieii teachers research their own teaching and the learning of their students, they reposition themselves. Their emic insiders’ views make others’ views etic. Most educational research speaks on behalf of ` teachers and students. The way it is done, the classroom is a tourist stop and what happens there becomes local life and customs to be viewed and interpreted. Its norms, practices, and activities are explained by people who are not natives of the culture. Even though many educational researchers have been practicing teachers, or may collaborate closely with teachers, theirs is always an etic view of classrooms. They do not work there. With teacher—research, the ernic is explained by those who live in the classroom (Elbaz, 1992; Freeman, 1996). This means that other views become etic. When teachers speak for themselves through the research process, others cannot claim to speak for them. Like the math example, the end results in many instances will not be different. But bow these results are arrived at will differ, and that is crucially important. Because, . . like the math example, that is where the knowledge actually lies. In that process ` · of insiders making sense of what happens in classrooms, different knowledge is created and valued. We turn next to how that actually happens. DEVEI.OPING Reseancn PLANS: GUIDING INQUIRY INT0 AcrroN In a grand sense, the research plan is how you go about creating knowledge through your inquiry. Although we have devoted a good deal of attention to 3% them, developing research—able questions within a line of inquiry is only half of Investigations what is involved in getting started in the teacher—research process. The other half 3.1 and 3.2 in involves determining the kinds of data that can respond to those questions. In a WS Ghnplgi'- sense, laying out a research plan is like a conversation, in which the questions are one voice and the data are the other. If the questions ask for something that the data cannot respond to, or if what the data say does not connect to the ques- tions, then there is a mismatch between how the inquiry is conceived and how it is carried out, between the research—able questions and the research plan. Such cases become dangling conversations that are inconclusive. Developing the research plan is like scripting the conversation. It is like out~- lining the talking points in advance so that the individual parts connect and sup- ` port each other to create the larger argument. First and foremost, the research plan involves making a series of decisions-some more tentative, others more e definite—~that will guide the process of the inquiry into action. The fewer of . _ . these decisions that are made on an ad hoc basis, the more disciplined the ‘ . inquiry will be because its structure will be clear and will carry forward the logic of the inquiry. - FORMING AN INQUIRY: Fnoivi QUESTIONS TO PLANNING THE Pnojecr • T3 The framework of a research plan is simple and straightforward. Like the [ structural beams of a house, this framework supports the specifics of the inquiry. p g The framework follows the basic question words, as shown in Figure 4.3. . . . flgllfe 4.3: 0ll8Sl|{II'lS tl} gllllllzl I’ESEHI‘Gl] |]lHfl!IIllg Gvelgpmg 8 WHAT What kinds of data will respond to the question? search plan . t .. r- - .... . -. t ._ ..-.. HOW How can/will I collect the data? WHERE/FROM WHOM Where and from whom will 1 gather the data? WHEN/HOW OFTEN When and how often will i gather the data? WHY What am l trying to find out? What will l do with the data? What is my “tirst—cut” analysis? Decision #1: What kinds ofdata will respond to the question? Data are information that comes from various sources. The value of a specific piece of data lies in- these two facets: what it says and where it comes from. Iawkins When people talk or write about “sources of data,” this distinction is often •67). blurred, although it is a crucial one. Data are a blend of information and where that information comes from. A very simple example: If a student says "That ll homework was really hard, " as the teacher you will hear the comment in light lj of who the student is, his or her background with the content, how hard a work- 3 er he or she is, and so on. Who provides the data is an important element in _ what the data are. Here a basic map of student(s), teacher, content, activity, and Q] setting can be useful. Figure 4.4 suggests that information can be found in five l basic areas: the student or students, the teacher, the class content, the activity, ll and the classroom or school setting. _ q Three of these areas, content, activity,_ and setting, are in the public world; ll they produce first—order data. The other two, student(s) and teacher, have inner E worlds. While they take part in the public world, they have opinions, feelings, - beliefs, and so on about what they do.`These data about their experiences pro— F. l ll vide second—order information about how they perceive the public world. — Balancing and blending this public and private information is part of deciding I what types of data can respond to your research question. The issue of how questions and data line up is central to structuring the l\ research design. Given a particular question, certain data willrespond to it. For T instance, the question "What is the impactof praise on the group dynamics?" h requires data on three items: on "praise,” on its “impact," and on “group ‘ tj dynamics.” From the question, however, it is not self—evident exactly what the Si data should be or who specifically they should come from. What are data on J 5 "praise,” for example? Or "group dynamics?" And what does "impact” mean? Impact on whom? . . . on strong students, on weaker students, on the class as a l whole? None of these issues are self—evident, which reveals the first challenge of l developing a research plan. l imo TEAcunR~RasnAncii; Faoin INQUIRY TO Unneasraisioiwo Figure 4.4; Sources uf information: A basis map an TEACHER T is STUDENT z;‘`”’``` ` ` SETTING Often the research questions speak a different language from the lived reali- ty of the classroom, so that it canbe difficult to know where exactly to find information that responds to them. In the case of this question, the place holders (see p. 62.)—"praise," "impact," and ‘°group dynaniics”·—mal€1`$ 0
have listed in turn. Discuss the type and decide how each person mostl
D might collect it in his or her classroom. Keep in mind the realities I
of each person’s situation. Wk _
Display visually this information about who will be collecting which lcct th
data in which ways in two forms: dem _
Grid #1: To get organized, create a grid with the types of data involv
across the top and the means of collection down the left ing wl
side. Fill in the each cell with the names of group members
and their research sites/classrooms. Set this grid aside. I ,
‘‘t‘` ``--‘ i‘·s¤ ‘-i=T .=-_ S2 .--- -i.· ` ``ii 7 ``·-i i i` Q il
. E

l Grid #2: To keep track ofthe group research plan, create a grid
with the names of group members and their research
sites/classrooms across the top and the types of data
down the left side. Make the cells fairly large because
you will ·be adding more information to each one in
investigations 4.8-4.10. Enter the means of collection in
each cell where it applies. Leave blank those cells on the
grid that do not apply.
You will use this grid in the remaining Investigations in this chapter.
Decision #3: Wlae-ite and from whom will I gather the data?
By now it should be clear that data are inextricably linked to their sources. In
the phrase "who says/does what,” "who" is as important as "what." Decisions
about where and from whom to collect data are a central part of focusing the
research process; it is here that the research plan is useful. Working through
these decisions in advance can help to keep you realistic and anchored in your
setting. There are a couple of guidelines to keep in mind:
H Think ahont how rnany people yon actually need data from.
It helps to begin by thinking about the “universe," or total group, from
whom this particular type of data might be collected. In the example of students’
experiences of group work, the universe would probably be all the students in
the class. However, it may not be necessary to collect data from the whole
universe on this question. In fact, you may be better served in terms of time l
and energy to start with a subset. So the first question is: Given this universe,
what can be a useful and representative subset? Do you need data from every-
one in the class, or could you focus on four or six students? If so, how would
you choose them?
ln the case of large~scale quantitative studies that use statistical measures, this
question of how to reduce the universe of a study to a reasonable size is known
as "sampling." The basic principle of sampling is representativeness, which is On sampling,
l generally achieved though randomization. In other words, selecting the sample see Kerlinger
on a random basis from a given universe of the study theoretically gives every- (1986),
one in that universe the same chance to be- picked as a source of data. However, Chapter 8-
as a procedure to guarantee representativeness in teacher-research, randomness
usually doesn’t make sense, given the limited size of the universe and the num-
bers of students. Therefore, representativeness will depend on other factors, the
most basic of which is the question “Why am I selecting this source of the data?"
I Think about where you can reasonably collect the data.
Where and when, the next decisions, are often directly linked. Can you col-
lect the data you have in mind during the lesson? lf the dataare samples of stu-
dent work or a short reflective writing, then you probably can._ But if they
involve interviews, it may not be possible in the classroom setting. So determin-
ing where you can collect the data can help you to be realistic about the process.
5 Less data well collected are more valuable than more data
gathered haphazardly.
1 Fon1x·rINo AN INQUIRY: Priori QUESTIONS TO PLANNING T1-ie Pnojecr • `I9 ·
yl `I ‘ l- '-‘’ i_cif._ I 1 2 `'tt` " ‘ -· - ‘ ‘ ‘- U i _ ..s.

lt is a natural reaction to feel as if you have to get everything—student work Dec;
from every student, interviews with all the boys in the class, your own journal
entries after every lesson, and so on. Quantity can easily overtake quality, with AS ll
the mistaken impression that more data, no matter what the quality, is better Thm
than less data, from a thoughtfully selected sample, collected rigorously and mllf
carefully. While it is crucial to have enoiigh data, it is equally important to have bcmi
the right data from the right people. Therefore, the useful axiom is: less data y dem;
well collected can be more valuable than more data gathered haphazardly. The Caml
axiom comes with a caveat, however, that sometimes, due to the realities of whe;
working at the hyphen of teaching and research, one can undercollect data. two
Strategic and realistic choices about sources of data will guide the research Ol lh
process by focusing on what is essential. Like anything, that skill grows with lcctl
time and experience. mgg
Drvrroenvc A Resimrecn PLAN . . . DATA So nieces _ in yr
This Investigation exarnines data sources. Refer to Investigation 4.6 for an balai
mm Siources explanation of the options (A), (B), and (C). bag;
-.1t:t-r- A. For the data you have listed in the first column of your data Col- gf yr
lection matrix (Appendix B, p. 200), think about from whom and S€]{_
where you will collect those data. Enter your decisions in the third at {E
column on the data collection matrix. Think about why you would {hg ]
choose this or that source. lf you were to explain why you had $0Iié
chosen that source, what would you say? lcctj,
When you have finished, review what you have listed. Think closely cum
about your teaching situation: ls this realistic? Can you do it? Remem— __
ber the axiom about quantity and quality: Less data well collected _
are more valuable than more data gathered haphazardly. This is not E
meant as a reason to undercollect data, but simply to be realistic
about what you set out to do so that you can protect the quality and Refe
thoroughness of your efforts.
B. I f you are working with others, work through these questions for M
the data on one person’s matrix at a time. Then discuss each source
using these questions as a guide: Why have I chosen this source?
Is this realistic, given my teaching situation? Can I have reason-
able access to these sources, given my other responsibilities? `
C. Ifyon are doing a group project, identify sources for each type of ` l
data you have listed. Keep in mind that the sources should be
2 comparable across all teaching situations. In other words, you
don’t want to interview the boys in one class and the girls in
another. The aim should be to establish comparable sources for
each means of data collection in each teaching situation.
Enter this information on Grid #2 that you started in Investi—
gation #4.7. -
··-..·‘‘ { .=-- i·;·.¤;;?·i- Q`Q -=`` ifi `.'‘ ..‘‘‘. ·· - _ {

Decision #4: W/hen und how often will I gather the clutu?
As we have noted, time is a—perhaps even the—~central issue in teacher-research.
There is no way around the fact that teachers’ lives are filled with many, often
conflicting, demands. Adding research to the mix can intensify the sense of
being pulled in too many directions at once. While it does not erase these
demands, the fact of scheduling your data collection carefully and thoughtfully
can help to reduce that feeling of things spinning out of control. Decisions about
when and how often to collect data are crucial ones. They need to be shaped by
two forces: the reality of the demands of teaching and the necessary discipline
of the research inquiry. It isn’t good enough, from a research standpoint, to col-
lect the data when you have the time or when the opportunity arises. Like a sav-
ings plan or a diet, you need to forecast what you will do when. But from a
teaching standpoint, it may not be realistic to forecast collecting data constant-
ly. it is a balancing act. You need to account for what seems workable for you
in your teaching context, given the demand of your work life. And you need to
balance these decisions against the discipline and structure of your inquiry.
Here the axiom is “well begun is half done” or "well-scheduled is half the
battle." Think through the process. Place the data collection within the context
of your teaching duties and the demands of your life. Be reasonable with your-
self. At the same time, be disciplined about what you will do. Plan to collect data
at regular intervals, with a rhythm that has a logic to it. Pace yourself: Look at
the long—haul of your total research plan and the time available. Then make
solid decisions and stick to them. Time is also a factor in triangulating data col-
lection, which we will consider in Chapter 5, (pp. 96-98), but for now it is A
enough to forecast a reasonable collection schedule.
Drvitroriivo A Resin-iscu PLAN . . .
Scnrnuriivo DATA Correction
Refer to Investigation 4.6 for rm exploitation ofthe options (A), (B), and (C). Schgzjulmg
-i=·ai;2 A. For each of the ways of collecting data you have listed in the sec- Data COKGCUOH
ond column of your data collection matrix (Appendix B, p 200),
decide when you will collect those data. Think realistically of the
data you need and how often you can—and need to—collect
them. Here again, keep your teaching context firmly in mind.
Temper your enthusiasm with realism to create a schedule that is
feasible for you and meets the discipline of your research.
B. lf you are working with others, work through these decisions on
one person’s draft plan at a time. You can be helpful to one anoth-
er by gently asking your colleague whether the proposed schedule .
is doable, and also by monitoring the discipline and regularity of
the data collection plan. _ _ ,
C. lf you are doing ci group project, determine the schedule for each
means of data collection you have listed. Bear in mind what will
be realistic as well as what will be comparable across your teach-
Foizmmo AN TNQUIRY: Fnowi Quasrroisis TO PrANNiNo The Pnojncr • BT

ing situations. As in determining sources of data, the aim should You
be to establish a comparable schedule for each means of data col- Wha
lection in each teaching situation. YOU?
Enter this information on Grid #2 that you started in lnvesti— mil;
gation 4.7. data
Decision #5: What will I do with the data? hung
What is my “)€rst—cat” analysis? T—shi
Although it may seem premature to think about what you will do with the data have
spout gnaiysgs once you have collected them, it isn’t. There is nothing less productive than leav- ele
ing the data you have collected to sit around and get stale. For one thing, you IS hk
lose out on the excitement of seeing what you have. Like berry picking, it can the S
be highly motivating to look in the bucket from time to time to see what you draw
have collected. For another, you lose the opportunity to let the data you have fhg h
collected shape what you need to do next. Often the data will reshape the ques- is thi
tions, so it is crucial to plan ahead and consider what you will do with data as here
you are collecting. This is what is called "first-cut analysis." anal)
Doing the first—cut analysis is a way of seeing what is in the data. It is not YOU l
necessarily, or even often,_ the ultimate way in which you will analyze the data; may
rather, the first—cut analysis is how you will get started. It creates forward F
momentum in the research process that will carry you from collecting data into F4-L1
analyzing them. You can think of first—cut analysis as similar to the process by ` " ` W
which you review your mail. Wlhen you pick it up, you find that you need to This
open some of the mail to read the contents, while with other mail, like cata- Il/wel
logues or supermarket circulars, which come already open and accessible, you
can flip through them. Still other mail, such as hills or bank statements, which
you can identify just from the envelopes, you may set aside. This type of review,
which is almost second nature with your mail, is essentially a first—cut analysis.
It allows you to_ see what is there, according to the categories of action that each
piece of data demands. Occasionally a letter will trick you-like the advertise-
mont which is made to look like a bill—aand this can cause you to reflect on the
categories you take for granted. This, too, is part of first—cut analysis. As you
review the data you have, you want to be alert to information in them that chal-
lenges your expectations, categories, or assumptions. ,
First—cut analysis usually involves commonsense strategies such as reading ’
through the data, counting instances (how many people answered . . .), listing if
and/or grouping-common themes or ideas together, sorting responses by some
characteristics (all the girls said . . .), underlining similar words or themes, com- i *
paring X with Y, To figure out an appropriate first—cut analysis, you need to
hold the data up against the background of the research question and the
inquiry. lf you look at the data, you can-see what is in them: Can you count
them? Can you make lists from them? Can you read them for themes? Are there
things that you can compare within one data set or among data sets? These are
all ways of unpacking the information that is in the data you are collecting. As
iomo TEAcHER—RnsEARci1: Fnoiu Iisiouinv TO UNDERsTANDrNo
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you ask these questions, think about your inquiry and what you want to know.
Whatever you do with your data needs to be guided by the inquiry that triggered
your work in the first place.
The metaphor of unpacking data helps to conceptualize the process of deter-
mining first—cut analyses. If each type of data is like a suitcase, unpacking the
data is like taking things out of the suitcase. Before you unpack, however, you
usually scan the room to see where you can hang the clothes that need to be
hung up, whether there is a chest of drawers, where you can put the socks and
T-shirts, and so on. Underlying this process is the fact that you know what you
have in the suitcase, so you know what you need in order to unpack its contents.
Determining the kinds of first—cut analyses_ you will pursue to unpack your data
is like figuring out the hangers and drawers you need to unpack the contents of
the suitcase. As you take things out of the suitcase to hang them or put them in
drawers, you may notice that you didn’t include something you need. Perhaps
the hotel has a swimming pool and you didn’t pack a bathing suit. This, then,
is the second critical function of first-cut analyses. As you unpack the data you
have, you can see what other data you may need to collect. Doing first—cut
analyses on your data as you are collecting them serves two functions: It helps
you to see what you have and it helps you to notice what you don’t have and
may Wélilt to collect.
Devsrorinvc A Rssearacn PLAN . . . Fntsr-Cnr Azvarrsis
This is the Emil Investigation in the series on designing ri research plan. Refer to i
Investigation 4.6 for rin explanation of the options (A), (B), and (C). T
A. For each of the types of data you have listed in the first column
of your data collection matrix (Appendix B, p. 200), decide what
your rzpprouch to first—cut analysis will he. H ow will you unpack
the data to see what you have? The aim is to think through what
you will do with the data before you start to collect them so you
are less tempted to let them sit and get stale, and you don’t find
yourself with incomplete material. In the last column of the matrix,
jot down one or two. logical approaches to first—cut analyses for
each type of data. i i
B. If you are working with others, work through these decisions on
one person’s draft plan at a time. Use colleagues to brainstorm
several first-cut analyses for each type of data.
=-· C. I f you are doing it group project, determine one or two approach-
es to first—cut analysis for each type of data you plan to collect.
Then, enter this information on Grid #2 that you started in
Investigation 4.7. ‘ ·.
Note: In tz group research project, first—cut analyses work in two stages.
First, each person should do his or her own analysis on the data he
or she is collecting. This is like (A), above. Second, group members
can pool similar data to do first-cut analyses on them. Keep in mind
Fonmmo AN INQUIRY: FROM Qunstioisis TO PLANNING THE PRo]ncT·• 83

that the data come from different settings—classrooms, and teach—
ers—so they must be treated individually before they are treated col~ .
lectively, otherwise their individual origins will be muddled or lost.
The first-cut analysis is your preliminary visit to the data to see what they say.
Where you go from here is the subject of the next chapter.
Suggested Readings
On ·second—order research, Ference l\#Iarton’s work on phenonienography is not as
widely known in the United States as it is in Europe. A 1981 article, "Phe—
nomenography; Describing conceptions of the world around us," (Instructional
Science 10. pp. 177-200) gives an excellent overview of this approach of ethnog—
raphy which focuses on participants’ experiences and perceptions. l\4arton’s book _
with S. Booth, Learning and Awareness (l\/lahwah, Nj: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1996)
provides a more in~depth examination of his approach to researching people’s con-
ceptions of their work and their worlds. There is also a Web page that provides an
up-t0~date list of phenomenographical research conducted by Marton and his col-
leagues (phenornenographica: http://www.ped.gu.se/biorn/phegraphhtml).
The classic work which launched the emic/etic distinction is Kenneth Pike’s
Language in Relation to a Uni;7ea' Theory of the Structure of Human Behavior
(The Hague: Morton, 1963). In his book, Yranforining Qualitative Data (Thou-
sand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1994), Harry Wolcott weaves together exam-
ples from his long career as an educational sociologist with a discussion of ana~
lyzing and presenting data (see also Chapter 7, pp. 146ff. in this book). Finally,
Vivian PaIey’s article, "On Listening to What Children Say” (Harvara'
Educational Review 5 6 (2) pp. 122-131) is an excellent discussion of collecting
data from young children by a leading teacher—r`esearcher.
There are many ways of thinking about the interrelationship among the stu-
· dent, the subject matter, and the teacher: Science educator David Hawkins, wrote
what is now a classic article on this constellation of relationships which he called
the ‘I-Thou—It’ relationship, (Hawkins, 1967). Also Pam Gross1nan’s The
Making of a Teacher: Teacher Knozvleclge and Teacher Education (New York:
‘ Teachers College Press, 1990), mentioned in Chapter 1, talks about how teachers
construct their understandings of what they are teaching. In 1990, Mary Kennedy
prepared a very readable survey of research in this area, A Survey of Recent
Literature on Teachers’ Suhject—l\/latter Knowledge (East Lansing, MI: National
Center for Research on Teacher Learning).
Many of the books on qualitative research in educational settings contain sec-
tions, some more elaborate than others, on developing research questions. Two E
that I have found particularly useful and clearly written are Chapter 4
(pp. 49—61) of joseph Maxwell’s Qualitative Research Design: An Interactive
Approach (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1996) which overviews the process of (
developing a research question, and the section (pp. 295-335) of lyiichael Quinn (
Patton’s Qualitative Evaluation and Research Methods (Thousand Oaks, CA:
e S I l
I • Dome TnAcnER—RsseARcn; Faoin Inotnav TO Unoaasrannino
S S S S. S Sr SS .. . S S S .... .._. S. S SS S S

{ Sage Publications; 1990, 2nd ed.) on how to word research questions and on
research interviewing (see Appendix C: Interviews, pp. 216-218}. Both books are
~ aiso excellent resources on research design and developing research plans.
Maxwe]l’s book is straightforward and accessible. Pattoifs book is now a clas—
Sic in the field; he writes in a way that is clearly grounded in his enormous expe-
rience of evaluation and research design.
i' i i i ..__ °`” .__. _'i.` _‘,' i J; ‘ `- ' ` -"". i.` ri ` .. tn ‘ ‘‘‘‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ = ‘- ‘ i" 1 `
. ..t_.__ I}

g w
If we begin with certainties, we sha!] end up in doubt.
But if we begin with doubts and we are patient with them,
we shall end in certainties.
Sir Francis Bacon `
Doing teachenresearch can feel like juggling. ln previous chapters we have
talked about how teaching and research can impose seemingly contrapuntal
_ demands: Teaching draws you into taking action and doing things in the class-
imhfgggggg room, based on what you know and need to accomplish; research pulls you in the
Dai;) COHGCUCQH opposite direction, toward questioning the bases of those actions and what you
and anmysis assume to be true. Their essence is captured 1n Francis Bacorfs statement. Doing
teachenresearch means maneuvering between doubting what you are finding and
i what you are becoming certain of. Orchestrating this opposition is a skill and ini-
tially, like most new skills, it can feel contradictory, like patting your head while
rubbing your stomach. With time and practice, however, the oppositions begin to
support one another and can become second nature. But the tension is usually
sharpest when you are collecting data and starting to analyze them.
Once you are launched into the research process itself, the work entails two
complementary activities: data collection and data analysis. Normally these are
thought of as sequential activities, which they are to some degree. It makes sense
that you have to collect information first in order to analyze it, like shopping for
food before you can prepare the meal. However, given the demands of teaching —
and integrating research into it, and given the need to balance doubting and H
becoming certain, it is important to see data collection and analysis as integrat-
ed and mutually reinforcing activities. It is thus more like mentally reviewing ,
what you have in the refrigerator, what you feel like cooking, what you cooked Ill z l
yesterday, and how much money you have in your wallet, in order to make deci- UO?
_ sions about what and how much to buy as you shop for the meal. I
‘`t· fi? _i'` T}. `·.'--- Y i; ‘ Zi>f;`?;‘Q ‘‘,```i‘ ";··¢ ii . 4 ‘ l

ir ’ E lhis chapter is about how to carry out the work of teacher—research. Given iia
your research question and your research plan, how will you go forward
with collecting the data and with analyzing them? i`l
The chapter is organized around the basic movement from data collection to From data
data analysis seen in ’Figure It will constantly remind you how that move- Collection to
ment is more recursive than linear. As you collect data in response to your anagysgs
research question, you will be pushed to think about collecting more or other
related data to fill out the picture.
Figure 5.1: The teacher-research cycle: Gnllacting and analyzing data
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l tionnaires, you need to figure a way to get the other half to respond, and so on.
( This is what sticking to your research plan entails. Data collection cannot be a
e casual undertaking; it needs to he organized, sustained, and well—mar1aged. The On developing
; discipline of doing teachenresearch means that you think through changes as 8 research Dlfmi
E they happen or are forced upon you, and that you keep track of departures from SBE Chapter fh
; your research plan by making note of them. Wliat you don’t or aren’t able to do pp' 75"84*
is part of the picture of the research, and you will need to take it into account -
in the data analysis.
Changes in data collection happen against the backdrop of your inquiry.
They are adjustments in the overall scheme, substitutions within the given menu
- of the research plan, Sticking with your inquiry provides direction and coher-
ence to these adjustments as you make them. The research plan provides the
structure for data collection; the inquiry provides the reasoning behind it. The
plan manages the ongoing nature of the work by responding to the following
questions: How (when) (where) (from whom) ain I going to collect these data?
What am I going to collect next? The inquiry keeps you anchored in your ques-
tions: "Wliy am I doing this research? W/hy am I collecting these data? What am
l going to do with the data? What do I assume/expect? How might I be wrong?
It is important to reiterate that the inquiry and the research question are not
( one and the same. The research question or puzzle is a point of entry into the On inquiry and
inquiry, It expresses the inquiry in a form that allows you to investigate it, take quggtigng, gag
action to understand it, and collect information that may shed light on it. In the Chapter 2,
course of doing this work, you may well find another way to phrase the ques- DD. 34-35.
tion, another puzzle, that provides a more fruitful entry point into the inquiry.
Thus the question or puzzle may well redefine itself; however, the inquiry
remains constant. For this reason, sticking with the inquiry does not mean stick-
ing to the specifics of the research question. The inquiry houses the question,
and the question furnishes the inquiry with specific direction, Indeed, more
often than not, the specifics of the research question will change through the
work of data collection and analysis. However these shifts can-——and should-
be traced back to the inquiry itself. ln the following account, beginning teacher-
researcher David Mathes describes this process of reframing research questions
within an inquiry.
Account 5.1: David Mathcs,
“D0ing pair work in a sixth-grade class"
My inquiry on the subject of pair work in my sixth—grade French i:li‘
classes (students ages 11-12) at Guilford Central School emerged David Mamas
from a loop writing exercise (for procedure see Appendix A, p. 198).
The following line of inquiry developed:
\‘Vhat are the factors that contribute to effective group work
` . in the foreign language classroom?
ln this teaching experience, I wanted to experiment with using group
work to work effectively with mixed-level classes. However, as my
teaching progressed, I found, for different reasons, that I was doing
i .

far more pair work than group work. The French levels in the class~ I
es were not as diverse as I had predicted, and I found that pair work r
gave the best results for the amount of time I spent with each class. I
Therefore, I substituted the words “ pair worl<” for “group work ” in 0 my inquiry. I began with the following research questions: 1. W/hat motivates students in mixed—level foreign language groups? 2. How does student—centered group work influence _` students’ performance in traditional ‘teacher—centered foreign language lessons? 3. How do social relations out of class influence group work interactions in class? 1 As I got into the data-collecting process, I found that not all of my I questions were clear. Or they did not reflect the reality of my classes, . ` or the data I was collecting. I found it hard, for example, to define I the word “motivates” in (I) "\X/hat motiurues students in mixed— · ( level foreign language groups?” And there was the problem of defin- ing the universe of students I wanted to study. In my classes at I Guilford school, students ranged in age from 9 to 15 years old, and I found it difficult to break down data from such varied ages. The I scheduling helped to focus matters. Since I had much more contact I with my two sixth—grade classes (ages 11-12), I decided to concen~ I trate my research in the sixth grade. The data I had collected at that point suggested that the students’ I attitudes toward school in general, and their prejudices for or against l classmates, influenced their attitudes about working in pairs. For that { reason, I decided to concentrate on question #3: . j . . . I ¤ (3) How do social relations out of class influence group work ‘ interactions in class? I , From the data I had collected in one sixth~grade class, I found that I . _ could compare the boys’ attitudes to those of the girls. I thus came up with the following subquestion based on question (3): (3A) How do boys differ from girls in their approach to pair work? These data came from only one of my sixtlrgrade classes (of about 15 students), so I decided to focus on just that one class. Because I , - often alternated pair work with more traditional teacher-centered lessons, I could contrast the students’ attitudes and performances to these two types of instruction. So I also focused on the question derived from #2 above: ( (3B) How does student—centered pair work influence students’ performance in traditional teachencentered foreign language lessons? I2 • Dome TEAC]iER—RE5EARCH: Fuom INQUIRY TO UNDERSTANDING l ¤ ··-- . v-.e ‘·t‘ .‘c. Q- I--. ‘_·-`e`‘ ic:_·--‘a‘ i `.si-‘‘ e-"a · - l J.1.._ l Q Aojusrnvo RESEARCH QUEsrrO1vs THROUGH DATA COrr.ECr1Oi~r ° ’e:;:-¥ This Investigation traces the evolving connections between cz research question and clam collection. _ Working alone or in discussion with peers, read through David Mathes’s account (Account 5.1) in which he explains how and why he redefined his research questions in the face of his teaching and the data he was collecting. Identify the turning points in this redefinition and, for each of them, describe what led to the adjustment. It may help to make a bubble diagram or flow chart that shows the move- ment from one question to the next and the influences that caused ` the shifts. Trace the final research question (#3) back to the original inquiry. How are the question and the inquiry related? How has the inquiry been redefined through these adjustments in the research question? How have teaching context and data collection shaped these adjustments? _ Your research question, and the inquiry that undergirds it, animate how you collect data. Your research plan frames the decisions you have made about how you will collect data in response to your question. ln collecting data, you can draw from a range of possible techniques, Like teaching a lesson, when the techniques need to respond to the aim or objective, in gathering data you want the techniques to match the purposes for which the data are collected. Those purposes, in turn, respond to the question you are investigating and the inquiry driving the work. DATA COLLECTION TECHNIQUES Figure 5.2 gives an overview of data collection techniques available to you as a teachenresearcher. It is drawn from an Australian publication, Tec1chers’ Voices: Exploring Course Design in tz Changing Curriculum, edited by Ann Burns and Susan Hood (1995). Figure 5.2: lilethuds and techniques used in actinn research METHOD DESCRIPTION journals/diaries regular dated accounts of teach§ng/ learning plans, activities and classroom occurrences, including personal philosophies, feelings, reac—_ tions, reflections, observations, explanations - teaching logs more objective notes on teaching events, their objectives, participants, resources used, proce ‘ ` dures, outcomes (anticipated or unanticipated) i document collection sets of documents relevant to the research - L context, e.g., course overviews, lesson plans, ` students’ writing, classroom materials/texts, assessment tasks/texts, student profiles, student records · - COLLECTING AND ANALYZING DATA • 93 observation closely watching and noting classroom events, l Ei? § happenings or interactions, either as a i g Tg participant in the classroom (participant obser- E E vation) or as an observer of another teacher’s ;=-' 8 classroom (nonparticipant observation). {Q g Observation can be combined with field notes § *6 recordings and logs orlournals. Q *9,* Held notes descriptions and accounts of observed events, is ie including nonverbal information, physical set W tings, group structures, interactions between g participants. Notes can be timebased (e.g., S every 5 minutes) or unstructured according to E A the researchers purpose. i- ip recording audio or video recordings, providing objective § E records of what occurred, which can be is g reexamined. Photographs or slides can also :> $
be included. _ *5 Q
transcription written representation `of verbal recordings,
using conventions for identifying speakers and Q
( indicating pauses, hesitation, overlaps or any i E
necessary nonverbal information I _ 2
surveys/questionnaires sets of written questions focusing on a partie- § in g
l ular topic or area, seeking responses to closed gt ig
or ranked questions/options and/or op_en-ended § ¤ ¤ is
personal opinions, judgements or beliefs. 3 · E Ig
Used in non tace~to—face situations ( w `“
interviews/discussions face—toeface verbal sessions conducted by the E E
. researcher as unplanned, planned or structured E us
interactions. The researcher can use previously ,, ` g
planned questions, structured interview E ` E E
schedules or allow the interview to unfold i. j J1 H
spontaneously ; l E 3
. 7.. ...-.....7 7... .7....... .... . .. ....... .. ..,. . .... ..... 7 .,.. ..... .,.. 7 ..7. ...,.. ..-. 7, .... ...7.-.77.... .... ....7,.-.. _.. ..7. . Q: I Q
stimulated recall use of previously recorded or transcribed data '§ z 0 § i
to prompt responses from participants on E E g a
actions, feelings, thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, N
following events or activities being researched gl 0,,
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3 pros and Like teaching techniques, you can examine each of these data collection tech- g Ig .
Of VBHOUS niques for its purpose (why use it?), its procedure (/aow_to_ use 1t?), and the = yy C
ques] SGS advanced preparation and/or setup it may require. Appendix C (p. 2(llff.) S 5 ii? _
mal; and describes these data collection techniques in detail. Since many people have used I; § E E
lan, 1989, these techniques, given their experience, there is also advice on the pros and 3 § g I
.02-106. cons of each technique. L" ( _
Figure 5.3 outlines basic techniques for data collection in and out ofthe class- {...
room and provides a good starting point for cataloguing the various ways in E E i
which you can collect data in your teaching. Each technique addresses five ? ,5 ¤
areas: (l) What you do in the classroom, (2) what you think about what you do, I gi E
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- i- . §E0m§,.. ¤§§g<¤-r = COLLECTING AND ANALYZING DATA • 95 E . . [ . (3) what your students are doing in the classroom, (4) what they think about what they are doing, and (5) evidence of what they are learning. The table shows how the techniques cluster in each of these five areas. TRIAN GULATI ON ,___; TiT? “ i T——?iT___T"" § Exrroaino Tiuaivc; Urarioiv The following Investigation prepares you for the concept oftririizgzilatioia in dum 9 collection and mmlysis. Working alone or with peers, think about and then discuss what makes Thu the following physical objects sturdy and able to stand independently: basic Group A: a bird bath; a telephone pole; a hat stand; a tree ( Group B: a fence; a dry stone wall; a sign board; a bicycle i Group G: a three—legged stool; a traditional native American ' tepee; a tripod; a tricycle Group D: a table; a car; a chair; a cat or dog ( At its most basic level, triangulation is about what makes something sturdy, able to support its own weight, and therefore dependable. In the physical _ world, things that are "triangulated" are better balanced and physically more (_ _ _ dependable than things that are not, because they are able to stand by them- Tnangulation . . . . . selves. In the conceptual world of research, triangulation simply builds on this principle. The term was imported from land surveying, where, as evaluation specialist Michael Patton (1990, p. 187) explains, quoting from Fielding and Fielding (1986, p. 23), "a single landmark only locates you somewhere along a line in the direction from the landmark, whereas with two landmarks you can take bearings in two directions and locate yourself at their intersection? In Ts research, triangulation means including multiple sources of information or points (. of view on the phenomenon or question you are investigating. There are, in fact, three layers on which you can triangulate your research: the level of the data sources; the level of data collection, or research methods; and the level of data analysis, or theoretical triangulation. Of the three, triangulating data sources and collection is the most common. Qualitative researchers Catherine Marshall and Gretchen Rossman (1989)define “data triangulation" clearly and simply as “the act of bringing more than one source of data to bear on a single point. ” (p. 146) D° Triangulating data sources is a matter of where you get your information; (_ triangulating collection methods is a matter of varying the ways in which you gather that information. Researchers Matthew Miles and _Michael Huberman (1984) make a great comparison to detective work. Tiny explain that the ( notion of triangulation is linked to eliminating——or at least minimizing—bias ( in findings and thus to increasing your confidence in what you are finding as A? yl you analyze your data: thing ond, · focus l of tri · DOING TEAcHER—REsnARcH: FROM INQLMRY TO UNDERSTANDING ( - l i‘'_ i jY’i’- { ;.‘· '-i- T- ·.'i Q -·;_{Y. _·‘‘ ‘t_`' Z- ''..-- ? ii :i=- ?T ¥f`>;`: ·· " · V - - . l

It I Bias is not inevitable. Detectives, car mechanics, and general practi-
gg tioners all engage successfully in establishing and corroborating find-
ings with little elaborate instrumentation. They often use a modus
operandi approach which consists of triangulating independent indices.
Wlien the detective amasses fingerprints, hair samples, alibis, eyewit-
H ness accounts and the like, a ease is being made that presumably fits
one suspect far better than others. Diagnosing engine failure or chest
pain follows a similar pattern. All signs presumably point to the same
il conclusion, Note the importance of having different kinds of mea-
surements, which provide repeated verification. (p. 2,34)
The classic framework, outlined by sociologist Martin Denzin (1978) details four
basic types of triangulation (quoted in Patton 1990, p. IS?}.
(1) Data triangulation makes use of several sources of data. In a first-
order study of student writing, you might use the writing itself,
your corrections (and notes on how it was written), and the assess»
111E:11tS of another teacher. In a second-order study, you might use
the writing samples, students’ perceptions, and your views.
(2) Investigator triangulation uses more tlaan one investigator to gath-
er the data. In addition to yourself you might have a fellow teacher
make field notes on the writing class, or you might have a student
conduct some interviews, for example.
(3) Methodological triangulation uses multiple zvays to collect data,
and thus to study the problem. You might conduct observations
and interviews, and collect student work to study the question you
have. Like the detective example, this type of triangulation is the
one we most commonly think of when designing studies; however .
it is not the only——or even, in many instances, the best—one to use.
To these first three types of triangulation, I would add :
(4) Triangulation in time and/or location means collecting the same
form(s) of data and/or using the same method(s) over cz given ti:-ne
period or with the same sources in several different locations. For
example, the former might mean tracking a student or group of
students for a term; the latter might mean shadowing the student(s)
in several different class settings with different teachers.
Denzin’s final form of triangulation occurs in data analysis:
(5) Theoretical triangulation uses more than one perspective to ana-
lyze the data. You could analyze a videotape for the sequence of
. activity; for gender and participation; and for topic, language used,
_ and errors made, for example. `
As you consider these five types of triangulation, it is important to keep two
I things in mind: First, the aim of triangulation is to strengthen your study; sec-
ond, the types of triangulation you use will depend on your inquiry and the
focus and design of your study. Figure 5 .4 (p. 98) shows how the different types
of triangulation can strengthen research planning.
I Co1.1,12cT1Nc; AND ANALYZING DATA ¤ 97
I r -lt- ' ‘tri‘ r ·» .‘t‘ i ·l = ’ i ‘‘‘i r ·rr‘ rv; =‘ ‘ ..‘— it J r ii · ·ii· i -.‘‘ s
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ngtmi 5.4: Research planning and types pf triangulatipn l DAT
T tr
What What kinds of data will Data triangulation have
respond to the question? tcgct
How How can/will l collect Methodological triangulation; analy
the data? investigator triangulation impu
Where and Where and from whom Triangulation in location; thats
from whom will l gather the data? investigator triangulation · · ‘h‘
- us l
When and When and how often will Trlangulation in time; §]g__
how often l gather the data? Methodological triangulation and X
Why What explains these data? Theoretical triangulation uncg
How can I best unpack T}
them? U U g . U U g argue
By ta
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gritious 4.2-4.6, to apply zfrirmgiilrztioiz to your plan. (196(
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in investigation 4.4. Think about the types of triangulation above: Their
H How does each form of triangulation apply to the study you are mms
designing? com};
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€1:.£ T M
l Correa aint; DATA ANALYSIS Disrtars
l This Investigation contim-res the focus on approaches to data analysis hy com-
parirzg the two data analysis displays generated in Investigations 5.5 and 5.6
through the groimded and a priori data analyses.
Take the data analysis displays you created in Investigations 5.5 and
5.6 and lay them side—by~side in front of you.
I f you are working with peers, put the grounded displays together
and the a priori displays together. It is best to focus on one group of
displays at a time, and then to compare the two groups.
A corrzparative look:
Working alone or with peers, list the ways in which the two displays
are similar to and different hom one another. Consider the following
E What does each display tell you? What does it not tell you?
¤ What information is available in both displays? What
information is available in one but not the other? Why?
H What further questions are triggered by each display?
Talking through a display:
As part of the data analysis process, it can be invaluable to talk
through what you are finding. This activity pushes you to articulate
your emerging understandings of the data.
Two important caveats: Talking through a data display is not the same
as having a conversation. lt is important to stay close to the data, to
voice what you are finding in it and to not elaborate. It is equally
important to keep track of the insights and ideas that surface in the
process, to note questions and half-formed notions and ideas. The dis-
cipline of talking through a data display lies in balancing two needs:
staying close to the data and actively pursuing all interpretations.
H Find someone who has not worked with the data and who
might be interested in your findings on the topic. Select one of
the two displays to explain to him or her.
E Begin by stating the inquiry and the research question that drives
the analysis. (These are stated at the start of the respective
H Then talk this person through the display. Let the person ask
questions. r
You should respond only on the basis of what you know from the
data and your analysis. Do not introduce any external information.
lf you don’t know the response to a question (which will be quite
likely), note the question as one for further study. `
_ ._.. _i-`_` ‘ " ``_. :`.i iii gif; ·__·i ,_.;i_p;.i;;-,— gn-ié j ‘ .·‘p ‘ ·,._· Q .`_._-__ __ · - ya'; __~_ - _ · ‘--= " _‘ Q f_ -‘e._ T -;:1; -.1 .
I r

You may want to repeat the process with a different person, using l th
the other data display. The point here is to have the experience of 3l
working from both displays to see how they are similar and how they fh
differ, and what questions they trigger in your respondent.
After you have finished, make notes for yourself about the process of S;
explaining a display. Think about the strengths and issues involved ti,
in each type of display. Also consider where each display leads you bg
in analysis: What are the next questions that arise out of each one? C;
TTiT?T—"T?lT—.T" ";T>TT tt
__;jp . . . . li;
pinn Putting together emerging understandings of data, whether through mapping, it
as Landers did, or comparing data displays (as in Investigation 5.8) is crucial ht
to arriving at comprehensive and viable interpretations. Researchers talk about K
_ _ the viability of interpretation in terms of its “robustness." A robust interpreta-
mdlllg patterns- tion or finding is one that is founded on strong and recurrent patterns of evi- W
ln data dence. Finding patterns and relationships in data is the essence of data analysis. [
Patterns and relationships will take different forms depending on the content of T
the study, the research question, and the inquiry. However, they share a deep T,
structure of three basic characteristics. Patterns in data can be superior/—
subordinate, co—occurring, or sequential or recursive.
In a superior/subordinate relationship, something seems to cause, direct, or
include something else. In the data from the unemployment letters, for instance, _
there may be patterns, such as a number of writers who say they are angry about
losing their jobs, while others write that losing their jobs has opened new direc—
tions in their lives. These patterns can be characterized as superior/subordinate
relationships in which losing one’s job can make a person angry and/or create a ,
sense of redirection in one’s life. A co-occurring relationship is a less strong or
hierarchical version of the superior/subordinate relationship. Co~occurrence refers
to when one topic occurs often in the data in proximity to or in a relationship
with a second topic. In the example, if many of the letter writers talk about hav-
ing financial difficulties in the context of being angry about losing their jobs,
this may be a co—occurring relationship. Lack of money is not the only reason
the writer is angry, but it may be a related reason.
Often, in the complexity of learning and teaching in classrooms, and in schools _
as social environments, it is hard to firmly establish clear superior/subordinate
relationships in data analysis. It is often more accurate and useful to talk about
co—occurring relationships in order to show how patterns and aspects in the data lil
relate to one another without having a definitively causal relationship. Establish- a
ing causal connections in data through a superior/subordinate relationship usu~ y
ally requires reference to a norm or standard that is accepted by the disciplinary s-
community. In the case of statistical analyses for example, the concept of prob~ ii ,
ability provides such a norm. Probability is used to define how likely things are _ A J
probabmty to co—occur in relation to one another, compared to by chance. Statisticians, and I ·
5 3 Cocccumng the research community at large, generally, use the standard ofp 0.05 to talk U _ [
relationship about probable relationshipsthat are "statist1cally significant. ” This means that t v
the probability of this particular relationship between the categories in the t -
analysis occurring by chance is less than 5 percent; in other words, it occurs by S
chance in less than l of 20 cases. So phenomena that co—occur by chance in less 1;
E ¤ Donvo T£AcHnn—REseARcH: Fnom INQUIRY TO Uiuneasrauniivo
<‘‘ .. ..-. V ..;.; ..... .- ·- ,··~.. it- `‘‘` 2 j.t?"T=;*.. - `_‘. · - --._ - - V3.?-.;`Qg.__;§j-Q;;,.j;;:¤`1—7 I Y " ` " - · Lf I i than 5 percent of the cases are described in statistical terms as having a "prob· _ able” co-occurring relationship. The less the probability, as it drops below p < 0.05, ‘ the stronger the possibility of superior/subordinate relationship. The third type of relationship among data in analysis, a sequential or recursive one, is based on patterns of order and time. ln this relationship one thing pre- cedes or follows another, which precedes or follows a third, and so on. When the pattern continues linearly, the relationship is sequential; when it connects back to itself, it is recursive. In analysis, these types of patterns connect data or categories often through the order of things and not through a hierarchy. Thus the sequential or recursive types of relationships can be quite common. For teachers, sequential and recursive relationships are familiar parts of classroom life. The daily or weekly class schedule is a recursive cycle; the curriculum, when it is presented in a book, for instance, is usually organized sequentially. Often, however, language curricula will be spiraled so that topics and skills are returned to in increasingly depth and complexity, thus combining sequence with cycle. PATTERNS or RELATIONSHIP nv DATA ANALYSIS . . . . . . . . ‘n:‘ ‘‘_‘c - This fourth Investigation in the series on data analysis examines the types of relationsirips found in data analysis displays. `tr " Working alone or with a peer; use the two data analysis displays you created in Investigations 5.5 and 5.6 to examine the kinds of patterns and relationships you find in them. Start with the display of your grounded analysis and identify an example of each of three types of relationships: superior/subordinate, co-occurring, and sequential or recursive. Depending on how you made your map (see Investigation 5.5, step 5), you will probably be able to identify some or all of these three types of relationships. I f you are working wit/0 others, focus on everyone’s grounded analyses. Turn to the display of your a priori analysis and do the same thing. Given the matrix of this display, you may find it difficult to find a sequential or recursive relationship; however, the superiorlsubordi- - nate and co-occurring relationships should be easier to identify. Ifyon are working with ot/vers, focus on everyone’s a priori analyses. These three types of relationships can help you to understand the various pat- terns you may find in the data. ln this sense, they can serve as archetypes, against which you can examine the specifics of your data and the interpretations you are building. At some point, however, the analyses of different types and · sources of data must be put together. Coalescing these separate interpretations r ‘ into a version of the whole is where we turn next. PUTTING TOGETHER ANALYSESE BUILDING A VERSION OF THE WHOLE Eric Bass is a highly skilled performer who works with puppets of various sizes which he designs and makes. Bass generally begins by fashioning the head and then develops the body to accompany it, although he will also work from a scrap of cloth or other material to make the .puppet’s torso and then develop a head to go with it. Bass then builds stories to engage the puppets. He is quite Coiincrriisio AND ANALYZING DATA • 113 i ‘ - {ZT “¤ e· .-‘. '% ?ii‘?·: 'i ’`- ?F --.-- i Q; Y ‘; _`*i - ·‘i` .. `P ‘‘-`' ii iiii ``’‘i .i-` ‘*Y“ ‘"`ici‘ l iniff`iiikiljl-will-i`i2-·Y ei‘i· ifi} ‘·‘: I ‘·‘ --.` -···—· `·‘¥ ‘‘ ``‘ I ’ ‘ ’ ‘‘‘ ¥*¥ ’ - 1S’? `‘. . ` -;;‘ 2 E —. .- 2;CT‘.?€i : - EF .`;-- iii; ;:-·- 3 --‘- ;- 1 -·-‘ ..‘-;· ;-.iiE·§fji_ DNIGNVLSHHGNQ OJ. AHIOONI I·'€O‘d_;[ ¥HD}1VE{SE{}I·}1HHDVEI,I_ DNIOQ • I 'H}HI) AUI (IH 9I)HLU ‘SA19IA.I91UI JJOLIS IHUI} IO S9I.I9S H snId °S9I,I]iI9 9S9LI__I_, 'S9I.I}U9 SI I)911I999.I I 'S9IJ1U9 GAIII IT>9U§ISSB SHA1 SJUQIDHJS 9AII Am
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l Dam mmlysis
l I began coding my data after receiving the students’ second entries
and immediately I began to doubt my initial assumptions. I was not
seeing any evidence of improvement. Indeed, some of the second
entries seemed to be more poorly written than the first. 1 did not eas-
ily abandon my assumptions, however, and I held firm, believing that
great progress would come in the next round of data collection.
There were spurious advances, but nothing like the clear, incremen~
tal progress for which I had hoped. It was only after finishing teach-
ing the class, when I began final coding, that I realized that my data
would shed little light on how stzzrfents correct errors through jour-
rmlirzg. Indeed, given the data at hand, I was more inclined to dis- -
cover why students do not correct errors. I decided to pull back and
open up my research question by asking, “\V/out is going or-2 when
students are asked to write ri jo:-rrrml er1try?”
in analyzing his data, Klenime was very explicit about how he assembled the I
various strands of his findings. At each juncture he built a cumulative analysis
that pointed toward his research question, almost as if he were building a bridge .
from the information he had toward what he wanted to understand. I-Iis dia-
gram, in Figure 5.7, outlines the flow of his findings. ` .
Figure 5.1: J. D. Klsmme, "J0urnaling and prinr knuwIadgs": Data flaw chart _
g g “CONNEC1`EDNE9$" I I
. {FRENCH SYNTAKJ il; ;2<\C<*_;,__ 9% "` GRAMMARL, ETC.) Qi V? vb _,i;~?' rt — sruuuirrs U/ORD FOR {Agp; Process to -wORD COMPLETED _— ...,...e.·.a;.e.a.s..aa -—-. aaai-;— ¤¤¤€¤¤¤¤§- 9 . - - - - - Tearvstanoiv IA K (JOURNAL) . . .... . . . · Q Z in ani ,» emma QUCSUOHI U/,'|6lf' is ITGPPBHFW? Wheh STUILIEVTTS USB I · PFFOI" kHOWl€d58 O WFWQ QJOUTHGII Qhfry? Corrscrrno Ann Anarrznso Dara • 115 -· H: p,.`_ `.__ in in .`_i ii.i `c·. V 'tie * Y -·-i `Y ‘ii-` _Z`-§I]:i‘ii..§i"""i`i‘ ```- `‘-_. .'E:l_’_`¤-fi]`. ` Ir R Kleinme explains the development of his analysis as he built up the compre— W hensive picture from the three strands of this analysis, which he calls "Findings." Account 5.3C: J. D. Klemme, "1curnaIing and Prior Knowledge" Findings Finding #1: The first thing that I discovered in my coding was that sentences in the journal entries had strong English syntax, as in the following example: "Dans le film French Kiss une personne du Frangais est repre— sente si un aggressive, alcoolique avec un grand accent." We could translate the sentence almost word~for—word following English word order: "In the film French Kiss a French person is represented as an aggressive alcoholic with a big accent. " In other entries, the student really is translating directly and actually plugs English words into the sentences when the French equivalent is not immediately retrievable. There were some exceptions to my stu- dents’ word—for-word translations. An example of this, in the sen- tence above, shows that the student has some knowledge of French syntax. Although “une personne du Francais" is not accurate French, it does show that the student knows something about how French ( 3€lj€CflV€S RPC used. ygu These observations allowed me to conclude that my students seein to will he translating their thoughts word—for-word into French except in be places in which they have prior knowledge of how French varies syn~ CXP tacticaily horn English. (Finding #1) ‘ agi'? Finding #2.: I began my coding hoping to find evidence of student progress in learning French. I thought that the common mistakes made in the students’ first and second entries would disappear in later writings. This was not the case. l\/Iistakes that never appeared in the first and second entries suddenly appeared in the fourth entry. I concluded that students were not making full use of their linguistic knowledge. I decided to test this hypothesis with a series of short interviews in which I asked individual students to correct mistakes similar to the ones they had made in their written entries. Most stu- dents were able to correct these mistakes quite easily. For example, one student chose to use the English words monster; witch and dream in a journal entry, yet during the interview she was able to come up with each of these words in French. I therefore concluded that any students do not always ina/ee use of their prior knowledge. (Finding #2) EVE; . - putt Finding #3: I now knew that my students were using word—for~word Cm} translation except when they had prior knowledge of French. I also you knew that they were applying this prior knowledge inconsistently. I int decided to choose the entries thatl thought made good use of prior l I · DOING TEACHER-RESEARCH: FROM INQUIRY TO UNDERSTANDING i l :-.· .. . ·- ..-- e--— a-a. ·‘·e zi? ;- $3 I .— . if ‘..-- Z. .. .·‘‘i`e. j ·i:.;` ` I-¤`:‘ a I i T knowledge to see if there were any commonalties among them in how the students used the French they knew. In this way I thought I might find what caused students to make better use of their prior knowledge. I selected one entry each from the three students who handed in their journals consistently. From these journals, I selected the entries that I found to be the most "French," by which I mean the entries appeared to strive to use French vocabulary and syntax accurately. I noticed first that the three entries were quite different from the other fifteen. Entries D1 and D2 were quite personal, and entry D3 had a very original, even whimsical format. Also, in each case the entry I had chosen was the longest entry written hy that individual. ` Because each of these long entries was either personal or creative, I hypothesized that the student was able to “connect" the topic with the writing in some personal way. I arrived at this conclusion, how- ever, after I had finished my data collection and so I was unable to verify it with these student writers. Still, it certainly appears that stu- dents were hetter able to access prior knowledge when they "con- l nected" with what they were writing. (Finding #3) The reason for ' this remains unclear and needs further study. Perhaps, for instance, the students took more time and tried harder when communicating ideas that were important to them. Creating an integrated analysis of your data involves putting the pieces of your various insights and findings together into a possible whole. If you now return to I1No (
--.. =;.- - ·· s - = . g. ...( —- . 3 ·· -· -; -— - . . ... -=-. ·` ‘i.. · · l

1 Display, p. 111). Keep in mind that the aim is to articulate the links
that you see. Often talking through these connections will make
them more apparent to you. For this reason, you may want to pause
periodically to take notes on what you have just said. (You can also
use a tape recorder to record your narration.)
if you are worleing with peers, have one person serve as notetaker
while a second person talks through his or her display and the oth—
ers respond with questions and comments. Then rotate roles.
4. Reread your notes, referring to the integrated display, to see what
makes sense and what questions you have. Draft a second version of
the display, which now includes: (a) the relationships of themes or
patterns in the data; (b) the what—how-why: What you know about
these relationships, how you know it, and why you think this is the _
case, and (c) the new or remaining questions that you have. Finally, _
list ways you might investigate each of these questions. This can now
serve as a basis for writing up your work.
TowAnD MAKING Aivarvses Puerto
Displaying data through analysis moves inquiry towards understanding, and a
research question towards a response. These procedures serve to build a picture of
what you are finding. They allow you to see what you have and, perhaps, what
additional data you will need. In this sense, data analysis marks an important
turning point in the teacher—research cycle. It takes you out of the specifics of data,
toward the bigger picture of what you are finding out through the process. As
such, qualitative researchers will talk about the relentless ways in which data start
. to come together, when you start to see many connections, patterns, or themes
simultaneously, only to have these interpretations fall apart as more data are
added that cannot be accommodated or accounted for. This is the tension that
Francis Bacon talks about, in which certainties spawn questions (Bacon’s
"doubts") which spawn certainties. These are the turnings of the research process,
and of teachenresearch in particular. They are the rhythms by which knowledge is
· built. In creating knowledge from local understandings, analyzing data also accom-
plishes something else in the research process, however. it prepares you to make
public what you are finding and the understandings you are generating.
Suggested Readings _
There is a tremendous amount of work available on research design and
research methods, and on qualitative and interpretive research in educational
“ settings. On the issues of research design, Fd recommend two titles. Ruth
Hubbard and Brenda Power’s book The Art of Classroom Inquiry (Portsmouth
N. H.: Heinemann, 1993) does an excellent job of laying out design issues in i
teacher-research, particularly chapters one through three. joe Maxwell’s book,
Qualitative Research Design: An Interactive Approach (Thousand Oaks CA:
Sage Publications, 1996) is a good general guide; however it is more oriented to
Correcrmo AND ANALYZING DATA • 119

educational research. lvlarshall and Rossman’s Designing Qualitative Research
(New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989) is also a very readable account
of designing and carrying out qualitative research projects. A
On data collection, Pd recommend two books: jo lVlcDonough and Steven
McDonough’s book Research Metlaods for English Language Teachers (London:
Arnold, 1997) is an excellent compilation of data collection strategies. The other
is Michael Quinn Patton’s classic book, Qualitative Evaluation and Research {
Methods (2nd edition) (Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1990) which pro-
vides detailed advice, gleaned from extensive experience, on data collection and
analysis. Patton writes in a very readable style; however I would recommend this
as a source book to consult. Also, please see Appendix C (pp. 201-218) for a
fuller discussion of data collection techniques and related references.
On data analysis, the classic sourcebook is Matthew Miles and Michael
Huberman’s Qualitative Data Analysis (lst edition) (Newbury Park, CA: Sage
Publications, 1984). This is a thoroughly comprehensive and thus somewhat
daunting book; however it is well—worth consulting as a source, Harry VT/olcott’s
book, Transforrning Qualitative Data: Description, Analysis, and Interpretation
(Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1994) is a wonderful account from an (
experienced practitioner of how to approach the analysis and writing up of qual- I PRE}
itative data. Wolcott intersperses his technical discussions with examples from · -
his extensive work. i Deal

to an
to fa;
to co
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if- c

I Wagner Veillard
i Dear read er;
5 If you have been reading the chapters in this book in order, you will _
have gone through a process very similar to the one I went- through Wagmr Vemard
when I took part in the teacher development program in Sao Paulo,
Brazil, which I mentioned at the beginning of Chapter 3. As I
explained, the program lasted ten months and was divided into four
modules. The first and third modules involved intensive course work,
‘ during school vacation. Wie spent the second and fourth modules in
our schools, doing teacher-research. In Chapter 3, I described the car-
nival rides I took as I moved my thinking from a teacher’s to a
teacher—researcher’s point of view. Now, in this chapter, I am again
doing the “worl< at the hyphen," doing a teacher-research project in ‘ my school as part of the last module of the teacher development pro- ` gram. This time the focus of my inquiry is the influence of teacher - feedback on students’ writing. Yours, l Wagner Veillard Reviewrrwc Rrseaacn Design ‘· . This Investigation, which is the same as Investigation 3.2 (pp. 50-51), asks you ` to analyze this chapter from the poiirtof view of research design. You may want to familiarize yourself with the Investigation hefore you read the chapter; or you may want to read the chapter Hrst and ther: retzrrrz to the Irivestigatiorz in order ` to compfete it. i Tracnsa Fniensacx ON STUDENT Warrmo • 121 ` ` - ·-`.` ‘· -. ‘,‘‘ l -_-,‘i-LQ"¤_'c.¢ZQE`§ifT;_f·-*2 ``- . __ "·‘_`‘`-' __ fj Z; Q ,-,` ‘iY i'?..` i--Ti '--- l iii: ``-_ `·`·.'”i ‘’r- . l` il ...· .1: ‘--- ;':::-·;1 ‘· ` ·" . - . " `````` M · `V · . ‘ J - . - - “ .i' · . ..-_ Z . ‘ _ The following questions can be responded to in any order. They pro- Af vide a framework to move an inquiry toward a planned research pro- G ject. (I use the terms "you/the researcher, ” because the questions can H apply equally to reading other peopIe’s research.) H WHAT? What is the inquiry? What are the research—able questionls)/puzzle here? CO What are the supporting questions/puzzles? th, F WHY? What is the background or rationale of the research? pf· Why are you/the researcher interested in it? th; What motivates the work? I It B WHERE? Where will the research be done? Sai In which particular classroom(s) or site(s)? I; I ¤ W`HO? Who will be the participants in your study? lh; What role—if any—~will colleagues play in the hb study? ‘ {Ei ll HOW? What data are relevant to the research questions? I How do you/the researcher plan to collect them? ( 2' How will you/the researcher analyze them? I In B WHEN? What is the provisional time line or schedule? UC When and how often will you/the researcher Ha gather data? lh‘ H SO XVHAT? Why will the research matter? gl; To whom might it make a difference? S, What might you/others understand differently as a result? di Answer these questions, as far as possible, from the information in {0, the chapter. As you do so, make note of things that you find missing. ` CC Which-if any--of these questions does Veillard not address in this CO account? It can help to do this task in a 7 (rows) X 3 (columns) , matrix, in which you list the guide question words down the left side, mc the information you find in this chapter in a second column, and lm things that are missing in a third column. . if I Oi a 1. What is the purpose of this report? th, I am writing this paper to help the reader understand what happened to me as qu , both a teacher and a novice teachenresearcher during the last module of the teacher development program. It is also my intention to share who my research partners were, the environment in which we were working, the reasons for my original inquiry, and the literature on which I based _my ideas. After that, I intend to describe my research plan, what we actually did, how my students felt sd about the class, and how I managed to keep the project going in the midst of dc: j other teaching and curricular demands. In displaying some of the data I gath— UH ered and explaining the reasoning behind my analytical process, I want to show thi j how my students and I perceived the changes that occurred in their writings. “?‘ vit ( . I ¤ Dorint; TEACIiER—RESEARCli: FRoM INQUiRY TO UNDERSTIXNDING I j After drawing a few conclusions, I will suggest improvements I feel would be j necessary were I to investigate the same topic again. In the last part of the chap- ter; I will outline how I plan to continue my efforts as a teacher-researcher once the teacher-development program is over. This chapter is divided into seven sections of which this is the first; each one consists of a question and an answer. I chose to write about my experience in this manner for two reasons. First, I had a hard time figuring out how I could Qn formats present everything I wanted in a coherent form. In drafting my report, I found for reporting that I kept jumping from one topic to another, going back to previous items which research, see I had not fully explained, and generally making a mess out of what I wanted to UWB CIISGUSSIOH say about my students, their writing, and myself as a teacher-researcher. Second, Of WOICOII in · I thought it would be good to use a format that permitted readers to determine Chaptar 7· the order in which they would read the chapter. The arrangement of questions pp' 16O`164‘ I that follows seemed logical to me as a writer, but I encourage the reader to find _ his or her own way through these questions. By choosing what to read next, l readers can decide what information they need or want. - 2. What was my research question and why did I choose it? ' In my first attempt at researching my teaching, described in Chapter 3, my ques- tion was "How can my students assess their own writing?" There were major l flaws in this inquiry. Because of the poor quality, in my judgment, of the work l they handed in, I had assumed that students did 110t already evaluate what they wrote. I also found juggling teaching and researching a realchallenge. Trying to cope with n1y research project and, at the same time, the _school demands for assessing and grading students was tough. Furthermore, my inquiry, which com- bined working with self, peer, and teacher feedback, was more than I could han- dle. As a teacher I do use all of these forms of feedback on student writing, but 598 jnvgstggatgon for research purposes, this time I focused only on the last type: teacher feedback. 33, pp_ 50-51, Compounding my problems in my first project, I was inconsistent about data collection. As a result, at the end of the process, it was almost impossible to make meaning of the evidence I had collected. So as I- began this project, I felt I‘ needed to prove to myself that I was capable of designing a research plan, even if not a very creative one in my opinion, and of being disciplined enough to fol- ,low it to completion. i I realized that a focused research question would be crucial if I were to avoid the problems I had encountered the first time. So I decided to frame my research · question as _ What happens to my students and their writings when they receive different types of feedback hom the teacher? _ However, once again I found I was trying to cover too much ground ifI want- ed to consider all the possible ways a teacher can provide feedback on what stu- dents write. For example, teachers talk to students, cross out incorrect spelling, underline improper grammar, write comments about content, list questions on the margins, put letter or number grades on compositions and so on. They often use more than one of these forms of feedback in a mixed format, or they pro- , vide no feedback at all, and sometimes do not even return students’ assignments. TEACHER FEEDBACK ON STUDENT Wnirino • 123 I = ‘`h-_ _-_‘ __i-.·i- .-··. .··- ..... ·_·.e r g e.—, - -:-- --_,, --.. . . i In discussions with my advisors on this project, Donald Freeman and Silvia I ( Corréa, I realized that I was setting myself up for a potential failure if I did not l Part narrow the focus of my research. I adapted my-question to: l hasdl What htzpperzs to my students and their writings when they receive teacher feedback either on form only or on content only? · EMO I thus separated the focus of the feedback I would give into feedback on the cafet form of the students’ writing, including spelling, grammar, organization, coher— 40 Cl ence, and so on, and feedback on the content of what they wrote. I established since that students would produce five writing pieces, and in order to reduce the num- SC ber of variables, these writings would consist of descriptions and narratives flooc only. Before rewriting each one, they would receive a response from me, the at scl teacher. For the first writing piece, students would get feedback on the content was · only; for the second, feedback on form only. Then they would tell me which type syste; of feedback—form only or content only··—they preferred to receive on the next place three assignments. They would also explain why they had chosen that type of Brazi feedback. I would give the other writing assignments and would correct them, I dents focusing on either form or content according to what the student had request— 5 8:00 ed. After they had revised their fifth piece, I would ask students if they saw ‘ from progress in their writing, what kind of progress they saw, and if they would like habit to continue receiving the same type of feedback and why. 4 W My idea was to investigate what _type of teacher feedback my students felt ` H mst. and helped them the most. I was interested in finding out whether what they per- . Figure ;cOm;;-Oyd9y ceived as helpful actually made a difference in the quality of the writing they estions and produced. In other words, I wanted to examine whether my students saw i search, see improvement in the same way that I did. This point alone demonstrates that, PNHPTGF 4, although struggling to be less teachencentered, I still viewed my role as a very D- 65*59- -important one in the classroom. I took for granted that they needed my feedback on their writing in order to make progress. My questions were just which type of feedback students would prefer receiving, which kind I would feel more comfort— able giving, and what our impressions would be when the writing was analyzed i according to an established set of criteria for what constitutes good writing. As in my first project, the core of my inquiry again rested on writing because p I enjoy it immensely. I write a lot myself and am always anxious to discover why certain procedures work for me so that I can help other people find out what works for them and why. To top things off, l was asked to teach a writing class at the school, and I felt it was perfect timing to have those students be my research partners. 3. Wherz and where did I conduct my research? According to my initial plan, the objective was to spend one week on needs assessment and then five weeks to collect students’ writings at the rate of one assignment per week, for a total of six weeks. Due to a series of interruptions- holidays and classes being canceled because of school events—it took me nine weeks to gather all the data I had planned. I started collecting information on , August 2. and finished two months later, on October 6. l l l Domo TnAcHnR—RnseARcn: Fnom {Nomar TO UNDERSTANDING I '-’* `--t» A " A ’ -=-` ‘ .r._ T ‘ I A A A I l ......-;. Z, ._ - -` - ’‘E lvja I carried out my research at an international school located in the southern Hm part of Sao Paulo, the same site as the work reported in Chapter 3. The school has an enrollment of 700 students, distributed from kindergarten to twelfth grade. The school offers a Brazilian curriculum, an American one, and an Inter- national Baccalaureate, The latter is geared toward pupils who plan to go to Europe for college. The school facilities include two libraries, an auditorium, a the cafeteria, two computer labs, an indoor gym, a soccer field, a chapel, and about er- 40 classrooms. There is always a nurse available for minor emergencies and red since it is a Catholic school, there are two priests living on campus. m— Somewhere in the middle of this institution is Room 29; it is on the second res floor, down the hall at the corner, by the stairs. It is fancier than most classrooms he at school, and, although nowadays various subjects are taught there, the space cnt was originally set up for French classes only. It has a TV, a VCR, and a stereo pe system. There are ten posters on the walls and they show maps and photos of ·Xt places in Europe. Inside the room there is a bookshelf, a fan, and the U.S. and 0,-, djgpmyjng of Brazilian flags. Looking out the window, one can see a grove of trees. My stu— data, aaa II, dents and I meet in this world every morning, Monday through Friday, from Chapter 7, St— 8:00 to 9:05 A.M. The high school principal reads the announcements ofthe day Dil 154464- w from her office at 8:05 A.M. and we listen to her through the speaker: She has the Doing Teacher Research [form inquiry to unerstanding]{Donald Freeman} (ตอนที่ 1)
Doing Teacher Research [form inquiry to unerstanding]{Donald Freeman} (ตอนที่ 2)

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