The first textbook to offer novice and experienced teachers guidelines for the “how” and “why” of self-study teacher research Designed to help pre- and in-service teachers plan, implement, and assess a manageable self-study research project, this unique textbook covers the foundation, history, theoretical underpinnings, and methods of self-study research. Author Anastasia Samaras encourages readers to think deeply about both the “how” and the “why” of this essential professional development tool as they pose questions and formulate personal theories to improve professional practice. Written in a reader-friendly style and filled with interactive activities and examples, the book helps teachers every step of the way as they learn and refine research skills; conduct a literature review; design a research study; work in validation groups; collect and analyze data; interpret findings; develop skills in peer critique and review; and write, present, and publish their studies. Key Features A Self-Study Project Planner assists teachers in understanding both the details and process of conducting self-study research. A Critical Friends Portfolio includes innovative critical collaborative inquiries to support the completion of a high quality final research project. Advice from the most senior self-study academics working in the U.S. and internationally is included, along with descriptions of the self-study methodology that has been refined over time. Examples demonstrate the connections between self-study research, teachers’ professional growth, and their students’ learning. Tables, charts, and visuals help readers see the big picture and stay organized.



Self-study could be seen as a way of “keeping it real.” The “it” is the relationship between theory and practice. It keeps this relationship real by recognizing and formalizing the way we influence our practice. Doing so enables us to change because knowing our intents and beliefs opens us to others' perspectives and actions.

—Mary Jane McIlwain (2007), Reading Specialist, Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia

In this chapter, you will find a space for building a strong research design for your research project. A discussion is provided on the importance of having a design before you begin conducting your research while also appreciating the hermeneutic quality of self-study research. There are opportunities for thinking about your research question, guidelines for creating a critical friend team, ideas ...

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