Paradigms for Teacher-Centered, Classroom-Based Research

Authored by: Helen M. Doerr , Patricia P. Tinto

Handbook of Research Design in Mathematics and Science Education

Print publication date:  April  2000
Online publication date:  October  2012

Print ISBN: 9780805832815
eBook ISBN: 9781410602725
Adobe ISBN: 9781135705831


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The terms action research, teacher research, and collaborative action research have been used as umbrella terms to cover a wide range of classroom-based research activities. The images for teacher research include a reflective process aimed at the professional development of the individual; an approximation of university research that is carried out by teachers; a new methodology with its own epistemology, standards, and questions; or a cyclic process of problem identification, action, and reflection aimed at changes in practice. Just as the history of action research has its roots in an agenda for social change through practitioner research, a common thread among these images is the study and creation of practice-centered change. In this chapter, we elaborate some guidelines for, and methodological variations of, action research approaches to the study and creation of change in mathematics education. We focus on the interplay between the evolving research on, and changes in, mathematics practice, which occurred in the schools and the classrooms of experienced high school mathematics teachers. This is not to suggest that the only model of classroom-based research is action research (see, e.g. chaps. 9, 11, and 13, this volume), but merely to state that teacher research of necessity occurs in classrooms in schools.

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