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2002

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

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Full-Text Articles in Education

Editorial Introduction, Gordon Wells Sep 2002

Editorial Introduction, Gordon Wells

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

This issue of Networks is the last in a year that has seen a tightening of constraints, both political and educational, in response to the increasing violence that has characterized relationships between nations, cultures, religions and economic classes. In education, in almost all the richer countries, there has been a tighter focus on "basic skills" and the memorization of an increasingly large body of "core knowledge", assessed through standardized tests, and a concomitant narrowing of the opportunities for student initiative, choice, and sustained investigation of questions and issues that they find personally significant. Teachers feel harried and hurried, with little ...


Preservice Elementary Teachers' Perceptions After Visiting An Interactive Science Center, David H. Palmer Sep 2002

Preservice Elementary Teachers' Perceptions After Visiting An Interactive Science Center, David H. Palmer

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

This paper reports an action research study involving preservice elementary teachers enrolled in a college science methods course (ie. the course focussed on how to teach science at elementary school). There was an interactive science center nearby which many local elementary classes regularly visited, so I decided to set my students the task of visiting the center and reporting on it. However, I was unsure as to what outcomes the students would gain from the experience. I therefore asked the students to each write a short passage explaining what they had learnt from the experience. According to their responses, the ...


"You Don't Need To Time It, You Just Need To See It": Racing In Children's Science, Richard Frazier Sep 2002

"You Don't Need To Time It, You Just Need To See It": Racing In Children's Science, Richard Frazier

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

The work I present here arose from a number of biases, several of which are described [in the introduction]. Prominent among the biases is extensive experience of teaching science with an averred emphasis on activity and inquiry. Along with the perspective of practitioner is the belief that children's ideas in science are worthy of scrutiny. Fascination with the research into children's conceptions and practices was tempered, however, by puzzlement over the actions teachers ought to take. Reflections on the gap between children's science and standard science came while straddling the gap between my perspective as a teacher ...


The Definition Of Enlightenment - Lighten Up: My Use Of Humor In Social Work Education And Practice, Rich Furman Sep 2002

The Definition Of Enlightenment - Lighten Up: My Use Of Humor In Social Work Education And Practice, Rich Furman

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

In this narrative, I discuss how humor has become a central "tool" of my practice as a social work educator and social worker. I describe how I use humor as a conscious means of achieving student learning. In a very real sense, calling humor a tool is a misnomer as it is a central feature of my personality. Each of us possesses certain personality characteristics that, if nurtured and cherished, can become powerful allies in the processes of teaching and helping.


My Introspective Time Capsule, Michele Stafford-Levy Sep 2002

My Introspective Time Capsule, Michele Stafford-Levy

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

This study takes place in the southwestern part of the United States on the Mexican-American border and is a narrative about a teacher's journey of self-discovery about her own teaching practices through reflection. Dr. Myriam Torres (New Mexico State University) and Michele Stafford-Levy ventured into the typical professor-student relationship. The professor guided her graduate student through a journey of self-discovery and how to document the process of self-reflection and action in her own classroom. By sharing these events from her professional life through autobiography, the student strives to serve as a model for both pre-service and in-service teachers to ...


Learning From Others: Literacy Perspectives Of Middle-School English Teachers, Cynthia A. Lassonde Sep 2002

Learning From Others: Literacy Perspectives Of Middle-School English Teachers, Cynthia A. Lassonde

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

At the center of this interview-based study, middle-school English teachers talk and write about their literacy development, their teaching philosophies, and their curriculum, as they reflect upon their teaching. Portraits of their perspectives of literacy emerge. Using these portraits to reflect upon teaching practices, the author suggests we can effectively examine our own educational philosophies, contributing to our efforts to become increasingly competent educators.


Teacher Research: Learning To Listen, Jennifer Moore Sep 2002

Teacher Research: Learning To Listen, Jennifer Moore

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

When friends from out of town visit, I often take them jogging around my hometown. I have routes I have run hundreds of times; they are so familiar, I run as if on automatic pilot. I seem to forget, though, that my guest has no idea that this is where I turn left, and that is the place where I cross the street to run on the other side. On more than one occasion, I have nudged a friend off the sidewalk or run right into them in my single-minded routine. I forget to ask questions, to explain, to direct ...


Guest Editor's Introduction: Practitioners Of Action Research In International Educational Settings, David Alan Sapp Apr 2002

Guest Editor's Introduction: Practitioners Of Action Research In International Educational Settings, David Alan Sapp

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

This special issue of Networks focuses on "Action Research in International (non-North American) Educational Settings" and brings together work by practitioners from several educational settings such as Spain, Turkey, Bulgaria, and Hawaii. In these articles, the authors explore the challenges, experiences, and promises of increased globalization in education. This work includes case studies focusing on specific teaching experiences as well as critical descriptions of the lives and values of action researchers in international contexts.


Creating A Volunteer Esl Program In Madrid: Action Research For Program Design And Service Learning, Anne Mccabe, Therese Gleason, Tom Hare Apr 2002

Creating A Volunteer Esl Program In Madrid: Action Research For Program Design And Service Learning, Anne Mccabe, Therese Gleason, Tom Hare

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

One of the challenges of accommodating North American students in study abroad programs is providing opportunities for volunteerism, a given in North American culture but not in Spain. Thus, Saint Louis University's Madrid campus began a program during the Fall semester 2001 in which fluent speakers of English volunteer to teach the English language to members of the Madrid community, who attend classes free of charge. We-Anne as faculty advisor, Therese as program coordinator, and Tom as the first volunteer teacher-had very little idea of how the program would unfold, since we did not know what kind of response ...


Teaching Non-Western Students About Western Culture: Western Values Considered Within A Global Context, Adrienne Cochran Apr 2002

Teaching Non-Western Students About Western Culture: Western Values Considered Within A Global Context, Adrienne Cochran

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

Are we gonna live together - together are we gonna live? (Lee, 1989) These are the words spoken by radio DJ Mister Señor Love Daddy at the end of Spike Lee's film, Do the Right Thing. The previous night the police had brutally killed an African-American, which in turn, led to the looting and destruction of the neighborhood pizzeria. This film is rife with the tensions of several ethnic groups living together in close proximity. A few events of the past two years have given me a deeper understanding of the DJ's words.


Effective Inclusion Program Suggestions From Around The World, David Aloyzy Zera Apr 2002

Effective Inclusion Program Suggestions From Around The World, David Aloyzy Zera

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

Reflection, inquiry, and action are interrelated in teacher research because teachers act as thinkers, learners, and practitioners throughout their studies (Patterson & Shannon, 1993, p. 10). Some facets of action inquiry may be more intensely implemented than others (e.g., reflection over inquiry, inquiry over action, etc.), but the fact remains that at some point in the process, all facets are explored in some fashion. The purposes of these facets are to foster dialogue and open avenues of thought that may effect positive change in naturalistic settings. Rather than being outside the system, it is important for professionals who interact within ...


Germain, Martha Hawkes. Worldly Teachers: Cultural Learning And Pedagogy., Robbin D. Crabtree Apr 2002

Germain, Martha Hawkes. Worldly Teachers: Cultural Learning And Pedagogy., Robbin D. Crabtree

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

When I first picked up Worldly Teachers, I had just finished teaching a summer course in a MA-TESOL program in southern Brazil, and had just begun a year of teaching undergraduate courses in Communication and Media Studies in Madrid, Spain. Not surprisingly, I found the book fascinating and useful. Martha Hawkes Germain writes about six veteran U.S. teachers who have studied about, taught, and lived abroad, arguing that intensive international experience profoundly affects a teacher's life and work. She includes reflections about culture shock, friendships across borders, fundamental personal transformation, pedagogical issues, and school reform. It is a ...


Implementing Learner Training: A Case Study, Linda Bawcom Apr 2002

Implementing Learner Training: A Case Study, Linda Bawcom

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

In a learning environment where there are varying levels of proficiency, and knowing that I do not have enough class time to assist the very low level students as much as they need, I hope to present them with skills necessary to take responsibility for the management of their own learning (see Hill 1994; Oxford 1990; Clark 1987). I argue that the implementation of learner training, in addition to giving students choice, enables them to solve some of their own problems (see Allright 1990; Yalden 1987). Thus, along the lines suggested by Cohen and Manion (1985: 220-21) with regard to ...


Change In Action: From Reading To Surfing, Ruth Breeze Apr 2002

Change In Action: From Reading To Surfing, Ruth Breeze

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

This article describes the development of a course in English language for undergraduate students of journalism in Spain. The course was shaped by an initial cycle of action research, but it was subsequently remodelled through a further research cycle in order to cater for changing students in a changing world. It is envisaged that this course may undergo many further cycles of change, which is healthy for the institution, teachers, and students alike. The action research paradigm provides a useful framework within which change can be processed and growth fostered. The project described here is of interest in that it ...


Turkish Student Teachers' Early Experiences In Schools: Critical Incidents, Reflection, And A New Teacher Education Program, Dannelle D. Stevens, Serap Sarigul, Hulya Deger Apr 2002

Turkish Student Teachers' Early Experiences In Schools: Critical Incidents, Reflection, And A New Teacher Education Program, Dannelle D. Stevens, Serap Sarigul, Hulya Deger

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

The primary purpose of this article is to report how Turkish student teachers identify and reflect on the "critical incidents" of schooling that they bring as they enter a new teacher education program. "Critical incidents" are descriptions of incidents in one's past that are viewed as significant in one's learning and development (see Brookfield, 1998; Obara, 1993). The secondary purpose of this article is to analyze these incidents to inform the first author's teaching and field supervision.


Action Research In International Educational Settings: Bridging The Gap At The American University Of Bulgaria, Mari Firkatian, Sandy Feinstein Apr 2002

Action Research In International Educational Settings: Bridging The Gap At The American University Of Bulgaria, Mari Firkatian, Sandy Feinstein

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

As articulated by Yolanda Wadsworth, our use of the word "research" would be a misnomer (Wadsworth, 1998). After all, this article does not even involve what might pass for qualitative research, nor is it intended to serve as an example of research. Rather, it describes an incipient phase of research: observation and description. We are sharing our hypothesis, though our fieldwork is not systematic; we are offering a retrospective, partly impressionistic glance at an experience in an attempt to prepare for future comparative research as well as the developing of pedagogies based on experience. While not adhering to a scientific ...


Using Concept Maps To Aid Reading Comprehension In A High School Biology Classroom, Cynthia H. Joseph Jan 2002

Using Concept Maps To Aid Reading Comprehension In A High School Biology Classroom, Cynthia H. Joseph

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

Teachers are always looking for innovative ways to help students improve their reading comprehension in subject matter materials. One popular method is the use of graphic organizers such as concept maps. This study examined the use of concept maps to aid reading comprehension of science articles by 10th grade students (n=49) in a Florida high school biology classroom. By comparing scores on reading comprehension tests for two articles, one read without concept mapping and one read while doing a concept map organizing key themes and ideas in the article, significant evidence for the effectiveness of concept mapping was found ...


A Teacher Educator's Action Research: Facilitating Preservice Teachers Becoming Writers And Writing Teachers, Merry Boggs Jan 2002

A Teacher Educator's Action Research: Facilitating Preservice Teachers Becoming Writers And Writing Teachers, Merry Boggs

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

Raising test score requirements will not improve writing skills of college students--it will only serve as a gatekeeper, excluding students who cannot write on demand from becoming teachers. My goal as a teacher educator is to find ways to facilitate preservice teachers becoming writers and teachers of writers---not to exclude them from the program. Dr. Glenn Blalock, a writing professor well versed in process writing, agreed that raising the bar on a writing test would not ensure our students improved writing skills, but asserted that providing meaningful writing activities might. I decided that I could create writers' groups with my ...


Mercury In A Sieve: A Search For Meaning In The Responses Of Prospective Teachers, Barbara G. Pace, Jane S. Townsend, Susan Nelson Wood Jan 2002

Mercury In A Sieve: A Search For Meaning In The Responses Of Prospective Teachers, Barbara G. Pace, Jane S. Townsend, Susan Nelson Wood

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

Investigative, inquiry projects are frequently used in teacher education programs to help prospective teachers develop as critically responsive practitioners who respond to diversity. In this article we examine our effort to explore the influence of these projects. As we trace our exploration of data gathered from respondents, 90% of whom were white women, we disclose how relational priorities surfaced in the data, how these priorities complicated our readings, and how they led us to consider gender and relationship in the lives of the participants. We raise questions about the process that might be used to understand what preservice teachers are ...


Pacing The Curriculum In The Context Of School Realities, Larry Giacomino, Michael Gose Jan 2002

Pacing The Curriculum In The Context Of School Realities, Larry Giacomino, Michael Gose

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

Our topic became: pacing the curriculum in the context of school realities. Our 'study' stemmed from our long conversations about teaching and our observations about the changes we had each made over the years to adjust to the ebb and flow of the school year. (We believe that this is "action research" because it has been all about "making changes and observing their effects"-- but it may be one of the longest running action-research studies in that it has taken us over thirty years to articulate our conclusions.) From those conversations we developed a prototype of factors, conditions, variables, that ...


Returning Education Research To Teachers: Education Research As Advocacy, Mark Girod, Michael Pardales, Gina Cervetti Jan 2002

Returning Education Research To Teachers: Education Research As Advocacy, Mark Girod, Michael Pardales, Gina Cervetti

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

This article represents the collaborative efforts of three teachers. Each of us is currently enrolled in a doctoral program at a Research I university, struggling with the pressures and stresses of balancing newfound researcher voices with our teacher voices. Although this is collaborative, it is written in the first person as our voices mingle ­ a reflection of our experience. We hope other teachers will find our ideas compelling, resonant with their own, and feel moved to action in the style we suggest. Education research should be the domain of teachers and this is a call for teachers to take back ...


A Calling Of Circles: Ruminations On Living The Research In Everyday Practice, Carl Leggo Jan 2002

A Calling Of Circles: Ruminations On Living The Research In Everyday Practice, Carl Leggo

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

I begin with a narrative of living the research in everyday practice. The story of teaching is always a tangled story. The story of teaching is a story that we can never get right because the right ways are often found only by pursuing or even stumbling in the wrong ways. Most of my students know me as a gentle and generous teacher with a constant store of words of encouragement. I relate to my students out of an abiding sense of desire to help them know their desires. My desire is to call out my students' desires. But for ...


Editorial Introduction, Gordon Wells Jan 2002

Editorial Introduction, Gordon Wells

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

This issue of Networks is particularly interesting for the wide variety of articles it includes. They range from a high school science teacher's report of the strategy she used to improve her students' reading comprehension and the statistically significant result of her intervention, through contributions co-authored by collaborating partners in different institutions, to a practitioner's "ruminations" that intermingle poetry and prose on the relationship between teaching and research . Together, they demonstrate the many ways in which practitioner inquiry can be approached as well as the variety of genres in which it can effectively be shared.


Increasing Sixth Grade Students' Engagement In Literacy Learning, Laura Jordan, Cher Hendricks Jan 2002

Increasing Sixth Grade Students' Engagement In Literacy Learning, Laura Jordan, Cher Hendricks

Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research

This study is the result of collaboration between a classroom teacher (Laura Jordan) and a university professor (Cher Hendricks). Laura, who completed the initial literature review and collected and analyzed data collected in the field, writes the study in first person. Cher provided assistance in developing the action plan, developing the literature review, and preparing the written study.