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Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

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Full-Text Articles in Education

Editorial Introduction: Educator Inquiry Into Authentic Learning, Suzanne Porath Jan 2019

Editorial Introduction: Educator Inquiry Into Authentic Learning, Suzanne Porath

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

As a term, authentic learning continues to permeate educational discussions. It is sometimes called real-world learning, project-based learning, or inquiry-based learning, but at its core, authentic learning experiences involves: 1) activities that reflect work done in the world; 2) inquiry of complex problems through critical thinking and reflection; 3) social discourse and collaboration; and 4) choice (Rule, 2006). This issue of Networks highlights the inquiries of educators across grade levels and subject areas as they implement authentic learning experiences for students.


Facilitating Collaboration Through A Co-Teaching Field Experience, Mark S. Montgomery, Adam Akerson Jan 2019

Facilitating Collaboration Through A Co-Teaching Field Experience, Mark S. Montgomery, Adam Akerson

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

This article describes an action research project in which two teacher educators implemented a co-teaching field experience with pre-service teacher candidates acting as co-teachers to facilitate collaboration among peers. The goal of the action research was to better meet the needs of pre-service teacher candidates and continually develop their ability to grow as reflective and collaborative future teaching educators. To increase collaboration, co-teaching models were implemented in an early field experience. Teaching activities and assignments provided opportunities for collaboration as co-teachers and as members of a teaching community. Data collection and observations indicate peer-to-peer co-teaching helped create a collaborative atmosphere ...


Close Reading In The Urban Classroom: A Teacher's Introspection, Sharonica Nelson Jan 2019

Close Reading In The Urban Classroom: A Teacher's Introspection, Sharonica Nelson

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

The purpose of this action piece is to discuss my experience with teaching close reading in the urban classroom. It explains ideas and challenges that I encountered when teaching close reading in conjunction with close reading strategies. I detail close reading strategies and explain how they can be used advantageously. The article closes with ideas on how I learned the importance of promoting student self-application of strategies, incorporating strategies so that they are not time consuming, differentiating strategies, and ultimately, the idea of promoting reading for enjoyment.


Effects Of Game-Based Learning On Attitude And Achievement In Elementary Mathematics, Kyli White, Leah P. Mccoy Jan 2019

Effects Of Game-Based Learning On Attitude And Achievement In Elementary Mathematics, Kyli White, Leah P. Mccoy

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

Games-based learning involves instruction with realistic game experiences (Cicchino, 2015). This action research study explored game-based learning as fifth grade mathematics students completed a brief unit on ordered pairs utilizing games-based lessons. Attitude and achievement data were collected mainly by surveys, content tests, student interviews, and field notes. Additional information included in the teacher-researcher analysis consisted of classroom photographs, videos, and student work samples. Results revealed that student attitudes improved both toward the lessons and toward math in general. Similarly, achievement improved for all students across the unit. Analysis of the narrative data produced three themes. First, the students acquired ...


The Benefits Of Providing Choice In Pre Service Teacher Education, Tami B. Morton, Agnes Stryker Jan 2019

The Benefits Of Providing Choice In Pre Service Teacher Education, Tami B. Morton, Agnes Stryker

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

Traditionally, teacher educators provide structured lectures for their pre service teachers to impart knowledge of what will be encountered in the field once they begin teaching in schools. However, in this paper, two reading professors who are proponents of constructivist teaching, decide to provide choice in their seminars. Allowing choices provided an opportunity for students to encourage motivation, maximize performance, help increase independence and self-management skills and provide a feeling of control with their learning situation. Choices are evident in both informal and formal assignments throughout the semester. Pre service teachers who were able to share new knowledge in their ...


Engaging Graduate Students In The Online Learning Environment: A Universal Design For Learning (Udl) Approach To Teacher Preparation, Marla J. Lohmann, Kathleen A. Boothe, Andrea R. Hathcote, Amy Turpin Aug 2018

Engaging Graduate Students In The Online Learning Environment: A Universal Design For Learning (Udl) Approach To Teacher Preparation, Marla J. Lohmann, Kathleen A. Boothe, Andrea R. Hathcote, Amy Turpin

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

Today’s classroom is more diverse than ever; it is imperative that universities find solutions for meeting these diverse learning needs. One potential solution is Universal Design for Learning (UDL), which is a promising practice in the K-12 classroom. UDL is based on the idea that diversity among students is predictable and systematic adjustments to the curriculum should be made based on that predictability. While there is strong research supporting the use of UDL for traditional K-12 classrooms, there is little research regarding its implementation in the online university teacher preparation classroom. This study explores the use of UDL for ...


Shuffle Lit!: Using Ipod Shuffles To Encourage Literacy Experiences At Home, Ashlee B. Hover Aug 2018

Shuffle Lit!: Using Ipod Shuffles To Encourage Literacy Experiences At Home, Ashlee B. Hover

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

A kindergarten teacher used action research to examine how literature, audio books, homework, and Apple iPod Shuffles can be combined to encourage and improve literacy at home. The research participants consisted of 16 kindergarten students in Middle Tennessee and their parents. The kindergarten students took home a tote bag with the following contents: an Apple iPod Shuffle loaded with many audio stories, six books, two types of headphones, and an iPod listening/reading log. The students took the project materials home for a week to enjoy with their parents and other family members. The parents or siblings recorded the students ...


A Scaffolding Approach Using Interviews And Narrative Inquiry, Sharon Heilmann Aug 2018

A Scaffolding Approach Using Interviews And Narrative Inquiry, Sharon Heilmann

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

This article examines how educational scaffolding was used in a graduate research methods course to encourage student mastery of two qualitative research concepts, interviews and narrative inquiry. Findings suggest that scaffolding resulted in students’ mastery of both concepts as well as students’ increased attention to quality of interview questions and outcomes. Further implications suggest scaffolding would be useful in combining other qualitative topics such as integrating content analysis skills with research designs such as phenomenology, grounded theory, and case studies.


Una Destinatio, Viae Diversae – One Destination, Many Paths: An Invitation To Design Curriculum, Aviva B. Dorfman Aug 2018

Una Destinatio, Viae Diversae – One Destination, Many Paths: An Invitation To Design Curriculum, Aviva B. Dorfman

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

One goal of early childhood teacher educators is to teach in ways that model teaching young children. What better way to study curriculum than to design it? This article describes a graduate early childhood curriculum course in which the students participate in the process of designing the syllabus. They receive a syllabus empty of topics, schedule, and readings. Together, we design the course according to their interests and needs. By semester’s end there is a full reading list and schedule. The invitation to co-design curriculum provides opportunities for investigation, representation and reflection as does constructivist teaching for children, and ...


Editorial Introduction, Suzanne Porath Jan 2018

Editorial Introduction, Suzanne Porath

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

No abstract provided.


Facilitating Discussion Of Theory And Practice In Education Seminars, Bailey Herrmann, Jessica R. Gallo Jan 2018

Facilitating Discussion Of Theory And Practice In Education Seminars, Bailey Herrmann, Jessica R. Gallo

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

Field experience seminars, discussion-based courses paired with school-based practicum experiences, provide a space for teacher candidates to discuss the theories they study in their university classes and the practices they observe and implement in their school placements. This article describes an action research study that examines teaching techniques that promote discussion in English education seminar courses. The purpose of this research was to collaboratively develop teaching approaches that would help teacher candidates bridge ideas about theory and practice in their development as aspiring teachers. The conversations that challenged the teacher candidates to think critically and theoretically about their classrooms were ...


How Will You Contribute? A Look At An Instructional Strategy To Improve Student-Centered Learning, Christine Kenney Jan 2018

How Will You Contribute? A Look At An Instructional Strategy To Improve Student-Centered Learning, Christine Kenney

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

The dreaded blank stares, looking down at a phone, or the student who falls asleep. University instructors know students who demonstrate these behaviors and have watched them disengage during class. Students might wish to engage, but may not know how. The purpose of this article is to examine the use of contribution strategies with undergraduate students in an effort to foster their engagement in class. Through a semester-long study, students’ usage of seven contribution strategies within course discussions was examined through frequencies and audio recordings. Findings reveal that students incorporated the seven contribution strategies into course discussions however they did ...


Revisiting A Classic: A Book Review Of Understanding Reading: A Psycholinguistic Analysis Of Reading And Learning, Chris Sclafani Jan 2018

Revisiting A Classic: A Book Review Of Understanding Reading: A Psycholinguistic Analysis Of Reading And Learning, Chris Sclafani

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

Often, the teaching profession spends a great deal of time looking towards the future, or considering what might be the next big trend that will help students. However, it is sometimes important to reflect back upon the texts and ideas that set the tone for the profession. Understanding Reading: A Psycholinguistic Analysis of Reading and Learning by Frank Smith is a classic text that laid the foundation for teachers of literacy to move from an existence of teaching rules and exceptions to becoming an actively involved participant in the process of building and facilitating comprehension in students of all ages ...


Experiences And Perceptions Of University Students And General And Special Educator Teacher Preparation Faculty Engaged In Collaboration And Co-Teaching Practices, Leila A. Ricci, Joan Fingon Jan 2018

Experiences And Perceptions Of University Students And General And Special Educator Teacher Preparation Faculty Engaged In Collaboration And Co-Teaching Practices, Leila A. Ricci, Joan Fingon

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

General and special education faculty modeling co-teaching practices in teacher preparation programs can promote collaboration among future K-12 teachers serving children with diverse needs. This article describes the experiences and perceptions of 59 university students enrolled in teacher preparation reading courses with sessions co-taught by general education and special education faculty members at a large, Hispanic serving public urban university in Southern California. The courses included lessons on co-planning, co-instructing, and co-assessing in reading jointly taught by the general education and special education professors; class readings and activities on collaboration and co-teaching; and the opportunity for university students to co-plan ...


Preparing For College Success: Exploring Undergraduate Students' Perceptions Of The Benefits Of A College Reading And Study Skills Course Through Action Research, Christy M. Howard, Lanette Moret, Johna Faulconer, Tanya Cannon, Amanda Tomlin Jan 2018

Preparing For College Success: Exploring Undergraduate Students' Perceptions Of The Benefits Of A College Reading And Study Skills Course Through Action Research, Christy M. Howard, Lanette Moret, Johna Faulconer, Tanya Cannon, Amanda Tomlin

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

The purpose of this study was to examine undergraduate students’ perceptions of the benefits of a college reading and study skills course. Researchers have found that even with increased emphasis on college readiness, many students continue to enter college unprepared for the rigorous academic expectations they may face. With this in mind, this study was designed to examine the perceptions of students entering college and being enrolled in a “support” course based on their SAT scores. Findings revealed that participants valued learning study skills and strategies that supported their understanding of course material before, during, and after the reading process ...


Editorial Introduction, Suzanne Porath Jan 2018

Editorial Introduction, Suzanne Porath

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

No abstract provided.


Reflective Written Pieces: Inquiry Into The Practices Of Pre-Service Literacy Teachers, Janet Mcintosh Jul 2017

Reflective Written Pieces: Inquiry Into The Practices Of Pre-Service Literacy Teachers, Janet Mcintosh

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

The purpose of this action research project was to explore whether a reflective writing strategy, developed and used with pre-service teachers in a literacy methods course, assisted them with integrating theory and practice. The teacher educator analyzed the written reflective pieces and determined common categories. Study findings revealed some themes: meeting student needs, classroom strategies, field link experiences, personal student experiences, and growth statements. Pre-service teachers explored what their current knowledge was and how it had changed through the time spent reading and writing in the course; imbedded within the reflection pieces were references to practicum experiences with students in ...


Self-Reflections On Differentiation: Understanding How We Teach In Higher Education, Nykela Jackson, Lesley Evans Jul 2017

Self-Reflections On Differentiation: Understanding How We Teach In Higher Education, Nykela Jackson, Lesley Evans

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

Teachers are called to accommodate the individualized learning needs of a wide range of students. To support prospective and current teachers with this challenge, it is imperative to help them not only understand the theory of differentiated instruction, but how to implement it into practice. Building upon past research in the realm of higher education, this study sought to identify the past teaching experiences and expectations of two former K-12 teachers that formed the philosophy and practices that they bring to teacher preparation courses. Framed by interview questions used in past research with faculty, the two researchers self-reflected on their ...


Increasing Active Participation And Engagement Of Students In Circle Formations, Justin St. Onge, Karla Eitel Jul 2017

Increasing Active Participation And Engagement Of Students In Circle Formations, Justin St. Onge, Karla Eitel

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

Participation and engagement are important factors in students’ academic achievement and in increasing interest and motivation in the learning process. This study evaluates participation and engagement in circle formations in both outdoor and indoor education settings. Over a four-week study period, four instructors collected data on different circle formations. The four circle formations tested are: instructor and students standing (allstanding); instructor and students sitting (all-sitting); instructor standing with students sitting; instructor sitting with students standing. Results from 86 observation forms show that students had the greatest active participation and engagement in the all-sitting circle formation. The traditional learning arrangement, with ...


Engaging Secondary Students In Collaborative Action-Oriented Inquiry: Challenges And Opportunities, J. Spencer Clark Jul 2017

Engaging Secondary Students In Collaborative Action-Oriented Inquiry: Challenges And Opportunities, J. Spencer Clark

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

I recently helped facilitate a collaborative problem-based inquiry project with eighty-three secondary students. The students attended a large high school situated in a medium size town, surrounded by farmland and smaller rural towns. Demographically, nearly half of the students identified as Latina/o, while the slight majority of the students were White. The two groups of students also identified with the two dominant religious communities in the area: Catholic and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The students were all seniors in an advanced American Government course.


Puzzling Pieces And Spiders' Webs: A Narrative About My Personal Journey To Teaching, Stephanie Burns Jul 2017

Puzzling Pieces And Spiders' Webs: A Narrative About My Personal Journey To Teaching, Stephanie Burns

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

I wrote the following paper upon completing my semester as a Student Teacher at an elementary school in a mid-size Midwestern university town. The goal in writing and presenting this paper was to select a focus area of growth throughout my time in the education program, considering how I’ve developed, what I’ve learned and where I hope to go as I continue forward on my journey of teaching and learning.


Redefining Teaching Itself: A Book Review Of The Reflective Educator's Guide To Classroom Research 3rd Edition., Suzanne Porath Jul 2017

Redefining Teaching Itself: A Book Review Of The Reflective Educator's Guide To Classroom Research 3rd Edition., Suzanne Porath

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

The journey metaphor is a typical representation of teacher research and the authors of The Reflective Educator’s Guide to Classroom Research evoke the metaphor, with images of paths, maps and compasses, because it visibly represents the feeling of starting an action research project. The authors make a point to favor the term “inquiry” over “research” to negate the typical associations with the term research.


Editorial Introduction, Suzanne Porath Jul 2017

Editorial Introduction, Suzanne Porath

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

At the heart of action research and teacher inquiry is a deep desire to improve one’s practice. This issue of Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research highlights educators at a variety of levels reflecting on their work, asking hard questions, examining data, drawing conclusions, and making improvements to their practice.


A Teacher's Inquiry Into Bringing In Biliteracy In A Fifth-Grade English-Only Classroom, Stephanie Lynn Abraham Jul 2017

A Teacher's Inquiry Into Bringing In Biliteracy In A Fifth-Grade English-Only Classroom, Stephanie Lynn Abraham

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

This teacher inquiry project explored how I, a non-Spanish speaking teacher at the time, implemented critical, bilingual pedagogies to foster biliteracy development among my fifth-grade students. One, the project showed that students could further their biliteracy by incorporating their funds of knowledge through a family stories writing project. Two, many students were anxious about reading in Spanish, and dual poetry alleviated this due to its compactness and linguistic scaffolding. Finally, the project showed the continual issues of unequal power relations concerning bilingualism and biliteracy in US classrooms by showing how I failed to include languages other than Spanish in this ...


Fifth Graders’ Interpretations Of The Red Tree, Diane Barone, Rebecca Barone Jul 2017

Fifth Graders’ Interpretations Of The Red Tree, Diane Barone, Rebecca Barone

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

Fifth graders responded to a video of a picturebook, The Red Tree by Shaun Tan. They had not experienced explicit instruction in visual literacy and their responses served as a foundation for basic understanding of their analysis. We learned that they focused on four major areas: emotional aspects; visual qualities, summaries of the story; and a text focus. They understood the character’s emotions and were able to interpret many of Tan’s images.


An Action Research Project By Teacher Candidates And Their Instructor Into Using Math Inquiry: Learning About Relations Between Theory And Practice, Paul Betts, Michelle Mclarty, Krysta Dickson Jul 2017

An Action Research Project By Teacher Candidates And Their Instructor Into Using Math Inquiry: Learning About Relations Between Theory And Practice, Paul Betts, Michelle Mclarty, Krysta Dickson

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

This paper reports on what two teacher candidates and their instructor learned from an action research project into the use of inquiry to teach mathematics. We use a model of the relation between theory and practice in teacher education to interpret what we learned about inquiry. This model describes three modes for teacher candidates to learn about teaching: (1) applying theory to practice; (2) interpreting theory and practice, and (3) building/refining personal, practical and professional theories. We learned to (1) apply the 4D-Cycle Model of inquiry, (2) interpret what it means for inquiry to be flexible, and (3) build ...


Preparing Teacher Candidates For The Instruction Of English Language Learners, Monica Marie Gonzalez Dec 2016

Preparing Teacher Candidates For The Instruction Of English Language Learners, Monica Marie Gonzalez

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

This inquiry utilizes a sheltered instruction approach to lesson planning with the intention of improving teacher candidates’ instruction to English Language Learners (ELLs). In this study a web-based questionnaire and a sheltered instruction lesson plan template were used to facilitate opportunities for teacher candidates to reflect on and practice planning English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) instruction. Data collections used were nine web-based questionnaire responses and thirty sheltered instruction lesson plans. Findings suggest teacher candidates need more experiences with using ELLs’ language proficiency data for instruction and need to learn how to use rubrics when giving ELLs feedback on ...


Editorial Introduction, Suzanne Porath Nov 2016

Editorial Introduction, Suzanne Porath

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

Action research begins with a question about practice, and this volume of Networks presents a variety of questions teacher educators asked about their work with teacher candidates and graduate students. Several of the studies also highlight the cycles of inquiry that can change practice over time.


“I’M Not So Sure…”: Teacher Educator Action Research Into Uncertainty, Carrie Rogers Nov 2016

“I’M Not So Sure…”: Teacher Educator Action Research Into Uncertainty, Carrie Rogers

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

Using a framework of uncertainty that is informed by Hannah Arendt’s philosophy this foursemester action research project describes the creation and analysis of an assignment that allows teacher candidates to explore their own uncertainties in regards to the teaching profession. This action research project examines the assignment and its development over time toward the goal of encouraging teacher candidates to have a disposition that frames uncertainty or doubt as an essential and necessary part of teaching. Findings were mixed. While this study reaffirms the theoretical perspective that action research, for me as a teacher educator, is about taking pedagogical ...


Book Review Of Negotiating A Permeable Curriculum, Ted Kesler Nov 2016

Book Review Of Negotiating A Permeable Curriculum, Ted Kesler

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

Negotiating a Permeable Curriculum was first published in 1993 in the National Council of Teachers of English Concept Paper Series. Now it is reprinted in book form as part of the Garn Press Women Scholars Series. In the book, the extended essay is framed by an introduction by senior editor, Bobbie Kabuto, and an interview by Kabuto with Anne Haas Dyson. The final section of the book is a bibliography of Dyson’s most recent publications.