Teachers as Researchers K-12

21 May 2018

Les Perelman makes the case for teachers to do their own research into teaching writing.

If you think about most professions, such as medicine, they don’t have outside social scientists come in and do their research for them… It is absolutely essential that we do the research for our discipline because we know what the research is supposed to do and we know the questions we want to ask.

…We need to ensure that the things being measured are actually the things we want to measure… this is also about giving teachers language to critique studies which might be reliable but not valid…

The single most important thing to consider when looking at someone else’s research is scepticism. You should start with a null hypothesis and they should have to convince you. You should also always ask: ‘who is funding this research?’

When doing research, the most important thing is to think about the questions you have about your own teaching… All teacher research should be collaborative and teachers should see themselves as both professionals and intellectuals.

Les Perelman

Note for listeners: This episode was originally recorded for the JPL Podcast, hence the references to the JPL Podcast throughout.