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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Constructing Knowledge Together: Implications of Teacher Action-research as a Professional Development Model

Dr Patricia Wachholz, Lois Christensen.

The purpose of this project was two-fold: (1) to provide classroom teachers the opportunity to develop research skills through rich collaboration with their colleagues and with university mentors and to establish a context for examination and discussion of the knowledge produced by well-constructed teacher-research and critical analysis of data, and (2) to examine the implications of teacher inquiry and collaboration as a professional development model with the potential of using such a model to develop, implement, and evaluate the impact of school-wide reform initiatives. Each participant designed an individual action research project, using a teacher inquiry framework developed by the coalition of Essential Schools to frame his or her research question. While the teachers primary focus was on the content and implementation of strategies or interventions and resulting impact on student learning and motivation, analysis of teacher responses to a set of questions reveals that participation in teacher research and collaboration impacted participant confidence, enthusiasm toward teaching, and expansion of their definitions of teacher professionalism.


Dr Patricia Wachholz  (United States)
Associate Professor and Chair for the Division of Educational Studies
College of Education
Florida Gulf Coast University

Dr. Patricia Wachholz is Associate Professor of Education, Chair for the Division of Educational Studies, and Director of the National Writing Project at Florida Gulf Coast University

Lois Christensen

  • Action research
  • Teacher research
  • Teacher inquiry
  • Professional development

(30 min Conference Paper, English)