Saturday, February 05, 2011

A Beginning Research Statement

The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” ~ Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

Broadly defined, my research interests focus on how adolescent students make meaning from text and how teachers can help foster both skillful reading and an interest in becoming a life-long reader. I am particularly – though not exclusively - interested in the reading response writing students are often assigned to guide their reading and prepare for small group discussions of the literature. Part of my research involves helping teachers articulate the purpose of implementing small group discussions of literature and aligning their pedagogical choices to their purpose and philosophy.

Having spent over a decade in the classroom, and loving every moment of it, I have high respect for practitioners, which figures into my research agenda and methodology. I want to be a partner with teachers in researching the issues they find imperative and listen closely to their voices. Formative design research is a central part of my research philosophy which focuses on collaboratively investigating pedagogical designs and goals in the context of real classrooms. My dissertation topic is the refinement of implementing peer-led small group literature discussions at the middle school level. At the same time, I am conducting a case study of the professional development of teachers in a suburban middle school who have chosen to implement literature circles in their classrooms. In addition, using a classical grounded theory approach, I investigated the characteristics of expatriate teachers who successfully adapt to living and teaching internationally.