The Ethics of Collaborative
Patricia L. Anders
University of Arizona
A growing number of university-based literacy researchers are entering into collaborative research relationships with school-based researchers. During the past several years, I too have participated in collaborative research both as a teacher-researcher and as a university researcher. My experiences have raised ethical questions regarding such collaborations. The specific ethical questions that may emerge in any research collaboration depend on the various relationships between all of the principal parties involved in the research. This chapter is specifically focused on research collaborations that bring together those who conduct research as university professors and those who conduct research as teacherresearchers in schools serving grades kindergarten through 12.
In this chapter I present a rationale for collaborative research and an overview of the relatively small but growing literature that has helped me to reflect on my experience and to confront the ethical issues derived from that experience. From the literature and from my own experience, I have found no simple answers to the ethical issues facing collaborative researchers; however, a good beginning is to identify the issues and to acknowledge the importance of negotiation and compromise in addressing them. That is my intent in this chapter.
Collaborative research is systematic inquiry carried out jointly by university researchers and teacher-researchers. There are many antecedents to what is actually a recent resurgence in this type of research. Tracing the