Annotated Bibliography of Resources for Educational Reform, Coherent Teaching Practice, and Improved Student Learning
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Duckworth, E. (1986). Teaching as research. Harvard Educational Review, 56, 481-495.
Duckworth wondered about her role as a teacher if knowledge must be constructed by each individual. To answer her question, Duckworth describes two features of her own teaching that are based on constructivist learning ideas. The first aspect of her teaching is to put students into contact with phenomena related to the area to be studied and to help them notice what is interesting about the phenomena. She is teaching about teaching and learning in her work with preservice students, so she engages them in a close look at their own learning, in this case about habits of the moon. They engage with the phenomenon by keeping journals of their observations of the moon, and Duckworth shares excerpts from these journals in this article. The second aspect of her teaching is having the students try to explain the sense they are makingÑof the habits of the moon, of their experiences as learners, and of teaching. Much of their learning is in the explaining to others. Duckworth draws several conclusions from the investigation of these strategies, including that the students determine what they want to understand, they come to depend on themselves, they learn an enormous amount from each other, and they come to recognize knowledge as a human product. In the second part of the article, Duckworth explores the idea that teaching is research. For example, she notes that by attempting to understand how children understand a topic, the teacher learns ways to teach that topic. She concludes that when teaching is practiced as a process of engaging learners in trying to make sense, it becomes research.
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