Supporting Teachers as Researchers: Applications of Educational Research Mentoring

By Polly Ashelman.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper describes the process of mentoring in an advanced seminar graduate course and examines its function in supporting teacher research in public primary schools. It documents the role of teacher research as a means for justification and implementation of Developmentally Appropriate Practice, as defined by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, particularly in districts that adhere to direct instructional methods. It examines the strengths in action research as a mode for educational change, and it focuses on whether research mentoring enables the professional and personal development of teachers. It also applies facets of Educational Research Mentoring that can assist teachers in disseminating professional knowledge. It includes a brief case study of a teacher who was able to achieve significant change in educational practice through action research. Finally, it suggests the need for teachers to engage in collaborative inquiry in partnership with college/university based research mentors to build a capacity within the profession for promoting and sustaining best practices for children.

Keywords: Teacher Research, Mentoring, Professional Development, Teacher Education, Educational Change

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 8, pp.113-120. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 550.974KB).

Dr. Polly Ashelman

Professor, Department of Early Childhood and Family Studies, Kean University, Union, NJ, USA

Polly Ashelman is a professor in the Department of Early Childhood and Family Studies at Kean University. She has a M.S. in Family and Child Development and Ed.D.in Curriculum and Instruction from Virginia Tech. Her early childhood background includes teaching, consulting and supervising. She has been active in professional organizations and is a co-founder and vice chairperson for the New Jersey Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia.

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