Developing Engaged Readers in School and Home Communities

By Linda Baker; Peter Afflerbach et al. | Go to book overview

11
Multiple Entries Into Inquiry:
Dissolving the Boundaries
Between Research and Teaching

Kathe Jervis National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools, and Teaching, New York, NY

Emily Carr Fourth Street Elementary School, Athens, GA

Patsy Lockhart Barnard-White Middle School, Union City, CA

Jane Rogers Benton Elementary School, Nicholson, GA

Just as children make meaning of their world in the course of their daily lives at home and at school, teachers reach for an understanding of what happens in their own classrooms. Not just some special teachers, but all teachers have deep, but often unarticulated, knowledge about their classrooms. Teachers are not born with this knowledge, but hone it over years of experience. Yet the teaching profession does not automatically, or even usually, provide the occasion for teachers to examine their practice, to make explicit the assumptions or the daily decisions on which teaching is built. Nor is there the chance to analyze the complexities and burning questions of classroom practice with colleagues. What puzzles us? What do we value? How do we enact our values in the classroom? How can we make the particular children we teach more visible and their voices more audible? This stuff of daily classroom life is the essence of teacher inquiry. Should I move seventh-grade Keshana away from the friends she is drawn to like a magnet or can I trust her to find within herself the concentration she needs to write? How can I build a community of readers and writers among second language learners who speak at least four different languages? What do I as a White woman or African American

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