Annotated Bibliography of Resources for Educational Reform, Coherent Teaching Practice, and Improved Student Learning

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  • Lytle, S. L., & Cochran-Smith, M. (1992). Teacher research as a way of knowing. Harvard Educational Review, 62, 447-474.

Some educational researchers have proposed that the knowledge that makes teaching a profession comes from those outside the profession (i.e., university researchers), and what makes teachers professional is using this knowledge base in their practice. Lytle and Cochran-Smith argue for a different theory of knowledge for teaching, one that is drawn from the systematic inquiry into teaching by teachers themselves. Teachers are among those who have the authority to construct knowledge about teaching, learning, and schooling. Research by teachers, the authors contend, is a way of generating knowledge that contributes to both local knowledge (for use by the teachers for themselves) and public knowledge (for use by the larger school and university communities). Six examples show how individual teacher-researchers generated local knowledge through an inquiry process. The authors also describe groups of teachers using collaborative inquiry to design curriculum. These groups built knowledge in community through an inquiry process and then developed curriculum through analysis of data. Teacher research can also contribute significantly to the public knowledge by bringing the unique perspectives of teachers to light. Lytle and Cochran-Smith propose that knowledge for teaching is "inside/outside" rather than "outside-in." This proposal calls attention to teachers as knowers. Lytle and Cochran-Smith posit that when teacher development is reconfigured as inquiry and teacher research is thought of as challenge and critique, these activities become forms of social changeÑof classrooms, schools, and school communities.

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