Nurturing Effective Teacher Research in Culturally Rich Schools and Communities: Forming a Community of Practice for Reading Specialists

By:
Dr. Nicola Williams,
Allison DeBruin,
Lee Calamis,
Nancy Poole
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The purpose of this paper is to describe the processes and the products, as well as the frustrations and challenges that represent the learning of graduate students and practicing teachers in a reading specialist's program which prepares them to be leaders in their schools and in their culturally diverse school communities. Specifically, teacher research studies completed by these teachers that focus on developing literacy skills in culturally diverse elementary and secondary classrooms will be examined for what can be learned as teachers engage in trying to better understand how context plays a role in literacy learning. The role of culture and its depiction in teacher research will be examined in these teachers' studies in order to understand how literacy instruction, culturally relevant teaching and teacher research are related. Cochran-Smith and Lytle's (1993) notions of teacher research, and Bean, Swan & Knaub's (2003) notions of the leadership role of reading specialists, as well as Geneva Gay's (2000)and Gloria Ladson-Billings '(1992; 1995) notions of culturally responsive pedagogy will be used as a tri-part lens to examine the development of these teacher researchers and future reading specialists. Teacher researchers who acknowledge, contextualize and analyze the cultural diversity in their school as it relates to literacy development tended to be in congruence with theoretical underpinnings of culturally responsive frameworks (e.g. Gay, 2000; Ladson-Billings, 1992, 1995).


Keywords: Teacher Research, Action Research, Culturally Responsive Pedagogy
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy
Presentation Type: Workshop Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Nicola Williams

Assistant Professor of Literacy, Graduate School of Education, George Mason University
USA


Allison DeBruin

Fairfax County Public Schools
USA


Lee Calamis

Fairfax County Public Schools


Nancy Poole

Fairfax County Public Schools


Ref: L05P0706