Opening the Classroom Door: Teacher, Researcher, Learner

Opening the Classroom Door: Teacher, Researcher, Learner

Opening the Classroom Door: Teacher, Researcher, Learner

Opening the Classroom Door: Teacher, Researcher, Learner


This account tracks the return to teaching of John Loughran, a teacher educator and educational researcher. After years of educating student teachers, he went back into the classroom for a year to practice what he himself had been teaching, but was often met with difficult pupil behaviour and unforeseen problems. Split into three sections, this book covers: * a teacher's perspective on teaching * the students' perspective on teaching and learning * learning from experience - the implications for teaching and learning. Using Loughran's extensive teaching experience, this book describes how the classroom situations were played out and lessons to be learned.


There has been an increasing interest in self-study of practice in recent times. In some cases this appears to be related to the development of Schön's (1983) ideas about reflection on practice. Munby and Russell (1994) have developed these ideas to highlight the 'authority of experience' as a key to knowledge and understanding of teaching and learning. There is also a realization that there is no educational change without people change. Therefore, by focusing on personal practice and experience, teachers may undertake genuine inquiry that leads to a better understanding of the complexities of teaching and learning.

Self-study also aspires to provide a stimulus for others to better interpret their own experiences, so extending the personal benefits of self-study to new knowledge for others. Is it possible to make the results of self-study more widely available in ways that allow new meanings to be established by others? Does self-study allow for new forms of knowledge to be developed?

This book attempts to explore these questions through the experiences of Jeff Northfield during a one-year teaching allotment in a secondary school when he taught mathematics and science and was the home group teacher for one class of students in their first year of secondary school (Year 7). At the same time Jeff was the Director of Pre-service Education in the Faculty of Education at Monash University, an academic role with responsibilities and interests in teacher education, teaching and learning, and school level mathematics and science curricula. During this teaching year, Jeff maintained a daily journal of his high school activities including descriptions, reactions and interpretations associated with his teaching and his students' learning. The journal was an important part of Jeff's own self-study of his teaching experience in a secondary school.

This book is written in an attempt to find a way of informing and involving the reader in the exploration of the data gathered from the teaching and learning experiences during Jeff's return to high school teaching. It also demonstrates how the outcomes of self-study might lead to, and better inform, more formal research knowledge.

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