Graduate School of Education - George Mason University
Graduate School of Education - George Mason University

Our Graduate School of Education is the alma mater for one third of teachers and administrators in Northern Virginia’s world-class school systems. Each year, more than 3,000 graduate students enroll in our innovative academic programs, which include advanced study for teachers and school leaders, instructional design and technology, and a renowned PhD in Education program that is among the largest in the country.

School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism - George Mason University

The School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism (SRHT) offers exciting, career-ready majors in dynamic fields such as athletic training, tourism and events management, health and physical education, kinesiology, sport management, and recreation management. SRHT features renowned faculty, cutting-edge research, six laboratories and centers, and a diverse student body of more than 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year. Each major requires one or more internship or clinical experiences, ensuring that students graduate not just with a transcript but with a resume that demonstrates their professional aptitude and skills.

Drafting the Findings

"Meanings don't just happen: we make them; we find and form them." Ann Berthoff (1981). "The Making of Meaning." Montclair, NJ: Boynton/Cook Publishers.

Why Do Teacher-Researchers Keep a Journal?

Suggestions for Writing the Draft

Although this is research, you are a teacher. Write about what has happened to your teaching as you have been doing the research. What methods have you developed? Discarded? What have you learned that might help other teachers? What does your research imply about teaching methods?

Write as quickly as you can, but stop to sketch or doodle when you need to show something that you can't readily explain. Write past errors. Don't allow your notice of a sentence error interrupt your thinking. The order of the writing will be the order of your thoughts as you observe or reflect.

Write about what you don't know as well as what you do know. Write as if you were having a dialog with yourself, or someone else, on paper. Ask yourself questions in the writing. Compare what you are thinking about to other experiences or ideas even if the comparison seems far fetched.

Think as you write, on the paper. If you find yourself staring off into space and not writing, try to capture the daydream and slowly return with it to the paper.

In order to tell the story of your research, ask yourself these questions:

  • Why not just write what you think it all means? You can add the data as you revise.
  • What if you divided the paper into sections, or chapters, under different topics?
  • How can you show students' behavior with data rather than value judgments? Isn't this the way you feel, rather than actual data interpretation?
  • How much of your research process does your reader need to know?
  • What authorial voice will you use in this report?
  • Who is the intended reader?
  • How about showing your draft to your students and getting their comments?
  • Does the question and your findings fit together? If not, should you restate the question?
  • If you really don't have a finding in part of your research, why not add it as a question for further study?

From notes given to teachers during the Teacher-Research Project, Oct. 1994 Fairfax County Public Schools led by Marian Mohr.

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See also:

Hubbard, Ruth Shagoury & Power, Brenda Miller (1993). The art of classroom inquiry. Portsmouth, NH: Heineman Publishers, p.109-123.

MacLean, Marion S. & Mohr, Marian M. (1999). Teacher-Researchers at Work. Berkely, CA: National Writing Project, p. 83-90.