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Teacher Tales of Action Research: Trials and Triumphs

Abstract

"In this paper we tell two different kinds of tales of teachers doing action research. First are five case studies of teachers in an action research course that we (a professor and six doctoral students) collaboratively taught and a longitudinal follow up looking at whether they put their research proposals into practice. Some of our case study teachers did their proposed action research; for others it took time and particular circumstances before they were willing to do research. We wanted to document the barriers and experiences that students from our class had once they stepped outside of our college classroom and into their teaching classrooms and tried to implement their action research projects. Were they supported in their research goals? Under what circumstances were they committed to the project and to follow it through to completion?

The second tale is our own, as teachers and researchers in this course we learned a great deal. We report on the self-study aspect of this project related to our own learning. After co-teaching this course and then collecting and analyzing data for four subsequent years, our co-teaching team concluded this project with mixed feelings about the viability of teacher research. Our self-study analyzes these differences in perspectives."

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