Source: Issues in Teacher Education, Volume 19, Number 2, Fall 2010, p. 109-125.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
In this article, the author investigates how collaborative teacher research can reposition teachers to be powerful stakeholders and policymakers rather than skilled technicians and implementers.
The author highlights selected collaborative approaches, both in pre-service and in-service teacher education, to illustrate how collaboration helps transform practice and research.
Furthermore, the author emphasizes how collaboration bridges epistemic divides between academics and practitioners.
In so doing, the author suggests how teacher education programs might retool and reconceptualize their work to include research relationships with teachers and teacher education that involves teacher inquiry.
Collaborative teacher research can enrich teacher education. Teacher research has the power to improve how prospective teachers learn information about both teaching, as well as transform how they are mentored into the profession. Integrating teacher research into pre-service education, re-skills and positions teachers to be inquiry-oriented, rather that implementer-oriented.
What might a collaborative research approach look like in teacher education and what kinds of institutional and programmatic changes would need to take place?
One way to reconceptualize institutional relationships in research is for teacher education programs to re-think how they work with public schools and the role of teacher mentors.
Another way that some teacher education programs might incorporate programmatic changes to support collaborative research is by incorporating inquiry into practice and student communities need to incorporate research methods as an integral part of teacher credentialing.
In order for teacher education to shift to a more collaborative inquiry-based approach, pre-service teacher assessments would have to incorporate research methods and the incentives must reward teacher research.
Finally, for collaborative teacher research to take place, teachers will have to work alongside academics to engage in continuous professional development.
The author concludes that teacher certification programs should implement the standards and assessments their districts provide them. Furthermore, certification programs should seek to establish opportunities for teacher research with experienced teacher mentors, administrators, and academics.