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

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  • Cochran-Smith, M. (1994). The power of teacher research in teacher education. In S. Hollingsworth & H. Sockett (Eds.), Teacher research and educational reform: Ninety-third yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education (pp. 142-165). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

In this book chapter, Cochran-Smith discusses teacher research, action research, and other inquiry-based practices, especially as they relate to preservice education. She then introduces the notion of stance as a way of positioning oneself, in this case, as prospective teachers in relation to knowledge (i.e., their positions as generators as well as users of knowledge for and about teaching), agency (i.e., their positions as activists and agents for school and social change), and in terms of collaboration (i.e., their positions as professional colleagues). Cochran-Smith reviews three school-university relationships that include some level of inquiry as part of their preservice programs. Programs may be characterized by (1) consonance, where university and school-based preparation are consistent with each other; (2) critical dissonance, where the goal is for students to question and assess the realities they find in the schools; or (3) collaborative resonance, where students are taught to continue learning within diverse school contexts through teacher research and collaborative inquiry. In collaborative resonance, Cochran-Smith says that the power of teacher research is as a vehicle to help student teachers develop a stance. She describes a preservice program that helps students develop the stance of teaching against the grain. Prospective teachers use teacher research to analyze the learning opportunities that are or are not available to children in various classroom situations. This is a stance toward teaching that places the learner at the center and goes against the grain of common practices in schools.

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