Director: Ken Zeichner
Funding: Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education [subgrant with Michigan State University]
This project continues Zeichner's studies of school-based teacher research as a professional development strategy. Teacher research builds teacher knowledge while creating opportunities for sharing that knowledge with other teachers. Taking as a focus teacher research related to equity in literacy achievement, Zeichner studies sites in Madison and in other cities where teacher research communities have been established. Zeichner concentrates on the conditions that support or impede teacher research, the effects of this form of professional development on teachers' practice, and the dissemination of teacher-produced knowledge to other teacher communities.
Zeichner works with agencies including the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association to develop guidelines and products aimed at helping other districts develop teacher research networks that promote equity in literacy learning.
Zeichner also explores ways to develop connections among the different centers of teacher research activity in the U.S. with regard to issues of equity in student achievement. Although teacher research has discovered and documented successful practices in promoting greater equity in student achievement, Zeichner says, little work has been done to create structures to enable others to benefit from this knowledge.
This project is part of the National Partnership for Excellence and Accountability in Teaching (NPEAT). Established by the U.S. Department of Education, NPEAT brings together national organizations and researchers from several universities to improve teaching in America, especially in schools that serve children placed at risk. NPEAT addresses two central problems that hinder efforts to improve teaching: the lack of agreement about strategies and the lack of continuity in policies and practices across institutions and policy arenas.