Teacher Inquiry

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...

Teacher-Writers: Then, Now, and Next

Author: Robert Yagelski, Anne Elrod Whitney, James Fredricksen, and Troy Hicks Summary: Why should teachers write about their work? What is the evolution of this movement? The authors identify the teacher-writer as an activist, advocate, and knowledge creator. When teachers write and take on these various roles, they assert agency...

Enabling Communities and Collaborative Responses to Teaching Demonstrations

Author: Janet A. Swenson, Diana Mitchell Summary: This monograph explains a useful protocol developed by Red Cedar Writing Project for responding to demonstrations in the Summer Institute, called the Collaborative Responses to Teaching Demonstrations (CRTD). This response takes the form of a letter to the person offering the demonstration, thus...

Mini-Inquiries: Changing Classroom Instruction One Lesson at a Time

Author: Cindy O’Donnell-Allen Summary: When a small group of language arts teachers from the Tar River Writing Project in North Carolina noticed that some students seemed less engaged in their classes, they decided to study their own practices, question their assumptions, and work systematically to change their teaching. Specifically, this...

A Year of Action Research: An Adaptable Model

Summary: This advanced institute program overview from the Lake Michigan Writing Project could be a valuable resource for any sites looking to add an action research/teacher research component to their programming. The overview outlines program goals, objectives, key components, and expectations for participants, as well as a detailed and helpful...

Citizens in the Making—Inspiring Students to Engage in Transformative Civic Learning

Guests: Danielle Filipiak, Ben Kirshner, Ellen Middaugh, Nicole Mirra, and Paul Oh Summary: View this rich webinar about how and why preparing students for youth participatory action research (YPAR) leads to civic engagement, community improvement, learning, and literacy (cue the video to 16:52). Through this inquiry process, students gain an...

Diving with Whales: Five Reasons for Practitioners to Write for Publication

Author: Grace Hall McEntee Summary: The author offers five compelling reasons for teachers to write for publication, including the opportunity to understand our teaching practice and to inform the public. This brief article would work well as a resource for educators who are beginning to explore writing about their work....

Sample Materials for a Professional Writing Retreat

Summary: Thinking of gathering some colleagues together to work on professional writing for publication? This resource includes materials that can serve as models for site and teacher leaders contemplating hosting a Professional Writing Retreat: a sample flyer and application requirements along with different retreat options, and manuscript requirements.

Cultural Landscapes for Literacies Learning: An Innovative Art Museum and Teacher-Research Community Partnership

Author: Ralph Cordova and Michael Murawski Summary: Documenting the cross-disciplinary literacy activities supported by a partnership between teacher-researchers and a local art museum, this excellent resource offers both activities and practical strategies for taking writing about art into the classroom using resources from local art galleries and online virtual art...

Reflection & Reform: Five Myths About Reflective Writing

Author: Joe Check Summary: Making an argument for reflective teaching in the face of mandated, external programs, the author identifies five “myths” or beliefs about reflective writing and suggests ways to address the negative attitudes engendered by them. Useful to demonstrate the potential for connection between reflective teacher inquiry and...