Teacher Inquiry

Practitioner Inquiry and the Practice of Teaching: Some Thoughts on Better

Author: Susan Lytle Summary: In this article, Lytle observes that teacher-researchers aim primarily to teach better, a theme she finds illuminated in Atul Gawande’s Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance, a physician-written book about the practice of medicine. She discusses why it makes a difference to ask those who work...

Window Sill: Teacher-Researchers and the Study of Writing Process

Author: Marian M. Mohr Summary: For those new to facilitating teacher-research, this article provides insight into the process, specifically how teachers approach research, the potential for research to change teaching practice, and implications for teacher education. It’s written as an introduction to a collection of research reports on the writing...

Reflections on Race in the Urban Classroom

Author: Janice Jones Summary: In a thoughtful first person narrative, Janice Jones describes her inadvertent “silencing” of the only white student in a class of primarily African American and Latino students. An example of the power of a teacher’s personal reflection on classroom practice, this essay might serve as a...

New Teacher Initiative Annotated Bibliography

Summary: The National Writing Project’s New-Teacher Initiative supported local writing project sites in expanding their work with early career teachers, placing a particular emphasis on the teaching and learning of writing in high-needs schools. A useful resource for leaders of professional development experiences for early career teachers, this annotated bibliography...

Getting Inside Inquiry: Teachers’ Questions Transform Their Practice

Summary: Useful for teams interested in planning teacher inquiry programs, this resource tells the story of a collaborative inquiry project carried out among teachers from writing project sites in Oklahoma and Nevada that not only transformed their individual teaching practices but also supported them to start teacher inquiry communities at...

Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom

Author: Antero Garcia, Christina Cantrill, Danielle Filipiak, Bud Hunt, Clifford Lee, Nicole Mirra, Cindy O’Donnell-Allen, and Kylie Peppler Summary: This collection of compelling firsthand vignettes written by NWP educators illustrate “connected learning principles” and depict teachers designing opportunities for all students to have access to, participate in, and thrive within...

Mandated Reform vs. Classroom Reality

Author: Joe Check Summary: How should teachers pro-actively respond to school reforms mandated from above? This article advocates for teachers to take the lead in determining how these reforms are best implemented at the school and classroom level through reflective inquiry practices. Specifically, the article covers three main lines of...

Historical Fiction in English and Social Studies Classrooms: Is It a Natural Marriage?

Author: KaaVonia Hinton, Yonghee Suh, Lourdes Colón-Brown, and Maria O’Hearn Summary: What happens when history and ELA teachers form a study group to develop understandings of disciplinary literacy and ways this new knowledge might affect each person’s practice? As members read and reflected together on historical fiction and nonfiction, they...

Book Review: Inquiry as Stance: Practitioner Research for the Next Generation

Author: Elizabeth Radin Simmons Summary: The reviewer provides useful examples of how Cochran-Smith & Lytle’s book might support teacher inquiry practices. Initially put off by the fact that most authors were university professors, the reviewer soon found much value when reading the book from the perspective of a school coach....

The Disruptive/Transformative Potential of the Common Core State Standards

Author: Meg Petersen and Megan Birch Summary: Arguing that the Common Core State Standards “represent an opportunity to disrupt and transform existing instructional practices and ways of thinking about curriculum,” the authors challenge teachers to move beyond facilitating writing toward becoming authentic intellectual partners with their students in response to...