AuthorSchroeder, Jean Slack, 1948-
AdvisorShort, Kathy G.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to explore the nature of inquiry of classroom teachers. It considers what influences the thinking, decision making, and actions taken by three classroom teachers as the inquire in their own classrooms. In particular, emphasis was placed on what facilitates and what causes tension for the teachers as they inquire. This qualitative case study included data collection strategies of initial and final individual semiformal interviews, informal interviews, dialogue journals, and observational field notes. Study group sessions with the teachers and myself were audiotaped and transcribed. Categories were constructed using open coding and a constant comparative method. The study found that not having a vision of what the classroom looked like using new theory and practice was a source of tension. The people in the everyday working lives of teachers were both facilitating and a cause of tension while inquiring. Issues of trust in students as learners, in themselves as educators, and in themselves as learners both facilitated and caused tension in the case study teachers. Reflection was significant to moving forward with inquiry and a major part of that reflection was in the context of collaborating with others. Teachers should be encouraged to inquire in their own classrooms as a means of growing professionally. In order to do so, however, there need to be ways to support inquiring teachers. Possibilities for supporting teachers include providing resource teachers with whom they can reflect and collaborate, concern for learning and learning process, detailed accounts of classroom life, and creative rethinking of time concerns. The formation of voluntary study groups has great potential in school settings not only as a support system for teachers who are inquiring, but also as an alternative for staff development. Based on a constructivist model of learning, study groups provide teachers the opportunity to talk and think together. This format also offers teachers the chance to examine their own beliefs which guide their practice and lead to new inquiries.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Language, Reading and Culture