1. How can Educational Research impact the teaching profession?
If I had to pick one word to answer this question I would say PROFOUNDLY. However, this all depends on many factors that all come into play when trying to find an answer to this question. For example, it depends on what your school and districts have opted to adopt as the curriculum standard and what research they use to support this. It depends on what sort of teacher you are and what kind of research you involve in the classroom. It depends on what sort of support you have in your school and what sort of research you subscribe to individually. The impact can be one of time consumption, considerable controversy, or simply the effort of sorting through all the studies to find the good from the bad and the ugly.
Joyce says, “An educator who can only teach advanced students is not a full teacher”. (p71) To only have the skills to teach one type of student is to not be a “full” teacher at all. Teachers must seek out additional knowledge to support the areas where they might be lacking in skills. Teachers we must be constantly changing and learning ourselves to improve the “mastery of our repertoire.” (p.71)
The point is not that every practitioner in every field needs to be able to do everything at a high level. It is that the capable generalist has a wide enough range to be able to handle the tasks of the vocation. That repertoire defines a skilled practitioner where different circumstances (in our case, different curriculums and students) need to be accommodated. (p.71)
Teachers have an obligation to explore research and be able to draw conclusions from this research that can support successful teaching. It is imperative to find relevant research and applicability to the adopted curriculum in individual schools. Joyce lists four types of relevant research that can be considered if executed well.
• Descriptive research, plain and simple.
• Descriptive research with correlations and multiple classifications.
• Intervention research in which students are “their own” controls-two types of quasi-experimental designs.
• Intervention designed to observe “experimental” conditions. Again, there are several types of control groups. (pp.41-42)
I think, as a teacher, I must have the comfort and ability to sift through this research, find relevance to the students and curriculum and embrace what is effective and well supported.
2. In what ways might you act as a “teacher-researcher”?
“…good teaching requires studying the students and how well they are learning.” (p.39) In other words to effectively teach, I believe, the classroom must be like a lab. As the teacher I must also assume the role of scientist (researcher) and the students my experiments. I saying that the teacher should perform experiments on students but quite the contrary; a teacher should be an active and involved partner with the students. The role of teacher –scientist then becomes one of impeccable observer in the development, and lack thereof, of skills acquired, understood, and applied. As the teacher, “You can increase student learning by selecting models of teaching that can pull student learning capacity to higher levels, and you can see the effects rather quickly-much faster than many folks would believe.” (p.43) As a future teacher I hope to have a consistent commitment to observation that will drive me to develop successful curriculum for each individual group of students.
3. How would you describe your own style (anticipated style) of teaching?
Although, I can guess at the style of teaching that I “think” I will adopt, I am sure that like anything this will change overtime and with each new lesson learned. Having said that, I think I will be a creative, warm and social teacher. I think I will try to involve student in projects that help them develop a sense of self by creatively exploring and looking at new ideas. I hope to encourage students to finding what they are good and comfortable with but to examine and explore things that maybe harder for them and stretch their abilities. I think I fit into the definition of warm by having the tendency to give praise throughout the day in small increments and in big doses too. As for being a social teacher, I think I will choose to have students to work cooperatively in pairs, groups or as a whole in class. I have an easy time including people in most any situation.
Joyce, B Weil, M., (1996). Models of Teaching (5th Edition). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon