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

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  • Cole, A. L., & Knowles, J. G. (1993). Teacher development partnership research: A focus on methods and issues. American Educational Research Journal, 30, 473-495.

This article focuses on the researcher-teacher relationship in partnership research on teaching. Cole and Knowles conduct partnership research within the interpretive framework, going out into classrooms to observe, participate, and talk with teachers about teaching and learning. In this article, they use a matrix to compare the roles and responsibilities of researchers and teachers in traditional research with those in partnership research. They then consider issues arising from their work with teachers. For example, one story tells of a teacher who withdrew from their study. Issues of intrusion, roles, and relationships in collaborative research were raised. The roles and responsibilities had not been clearly articulated at the onset of the study leading to confusion for the teacher. The research activity proved to be a intrusive burden for her, especially when her classroom situation became particularly difficult. The authors point out that collaboration requires a fundamentally different stance toward research, a stance that the researcher had not completely understood or adopted at the time of the study in the example. Collaboration goes beyond cooperation, requiring more extensive and ongoing negotiation. Other examples from their work provide evidence that successful collaboration does not require equal involvement on the part of teachers and researcher, but that the involvement of each be mutually agreed upon, again accentuating the role of negotiation. Cole and Knowles describe the issuesÑtechnical, personnel, procedural, ethical, political, and educationalÑinvolved in partnership research and propose questions to help research partners address each of the issues.

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