The Research Process
The Process of Teacher Research
Marion MacLean and Marian Mohr (1999) wrote in their book, "Teacher Researchers at Work" that to begin the process of teacher research one needs "a question, a place to record your thoughts, and some colleagues to work with you." The following outline describes the process of conducting a teacher research project:
1. Beginning: What do you need? You need a log, a placed to record your search for answers. You need a colleague(s) to work with you because you are a part of a learning community. Your learning community should have a leader that will help guide the group throughout the year.
3. Data Collecting: You need a systematic way of collecting multiple sources of data and the time to reflect upon what you are discovering. Reflections should be noted in your log as well as in your discussions with your colleague(s).
4. Analyzing Data: You need the support of your colleague(s) as you analyze the data to determine what is important and how your findings relate to your questions and the focus of your inquiry. Because you are collecting many different kinds of data, you will be working toward validating your study.
5. Reflecting on the Findings: You need to pull your findings, your thoughts and reactions about those findings together in some way. This is usually done in what is called a working draft. Some teacher researchers call it a "reflection paper" or a "deadline draft" of a research report.
6. Sharing the Findings: What you discover in the research paper can be shared with your professional colleagues in a number of ways. You can share your with your school staff, submit your paper to publications such as an educational journal or an educational Internet web site, present your paper at an educational conference, or submit your paper to be included in an educational book.
MacLean, Marion S. & Mohr, Marian M. (1999). "Teacher-Researchers at Work." Berkely, CA: National Writing Project.