What is Classroom Research?
How is one truly able to know when something is research-based? Especially when it takes time to research whether or not the research is valid. Thus, it is not undoubtedly surprising that the term “research” is misused or misunderstood (Duke, Martin, and Akers, 2013). I found myself more recently in a situation where another teacher would continually use the catch phrase, “research shows.” Or at least I liked to think about it as misuse because I felt like it was done in order for her to get what she wanted. However, she is not the only one using this term, as it is being everywhere.
With that being said, how do we know as educators what classroom research is so that we can use it to help with teaching practices? It is very helpful to be able to recognize what classroom research is and is NOT.
I have found that sometimes we become so comfortable in our ways it is easy to accept things as the best way rather then go with what research is saying will improve learning. “A practice may be so widespread that it has been accepted as conventional wisdom (Duke, Martin, & Akers, 2013 p.8).” For instance, in the past we have taught literacy with more narrative text and presently current reform is pushing for more expository text. I am currently, working with others on ways to make sure that more expository text is being taught in the classroom. It hasn’t been an easy change because all of our teaching and materials have been primarily narrative text.
In order to make sure we, as educators, are on the track we need to make sure we are actively taking part in classroom research. Classroom research allows us to be at the top of our game if done correctly. As an educator, I always find myself reflecting on how to facilitate better learning whether that is coming up with new methods of teaching or behavior management systems. I have learned that by using Classroom research effectively, I can save myself time by developing a question based on my need as an educator that can be addressed through a systematic collection and analysis of data (Duke, Martin, & Akers, 2013 p.10).”
Because research is being continually conducted we, as educators, need to be continually researching to improve our practices especially with the current reform agenda (Kiss & Townsend, 2012). If we choose not to be up-to-date with current research will get left behind and not at the top of our game. Classroom research will promote teachers who are the most effective with the current reforms.
Duke, N. K., Martin, N. M., & Akers, A. T. T. (2013). 10 things every literacy educator and school librarian should know about research. Teacher Librarian, 40(4), 8 – 22.
Kiss, K., & Townsend, J. (2012). Teacher Inquiry:Form Knowledge to KNowledges. Teacher Education, 21(2), 23-42.