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Teacher Education Quarterly, v33 n3 p45-60 Sum 2006

The focus of this paper will be one of the authors' transformation from reluctant teacher-researcher to empowered teacher-researcher. The authors will describe Shayla's journey through action research because it was this journey from circumspection to empowerment that strengthened her in ways that she had not foreseen or anticipated. It allowed her to see her classroom in fresh ways, focus in on a problem and systematically attempt to not only change and better it, but also to understand it. This, of course, led to another funhouse of doors to explore and research. Through the interaction of her new-found desire for knowledge and the intricacies of action research, Shayla became a better, more effective and empowered educator. Her students also became empowered because they became more aware as self-starters and thinkers. Noticing a positive change in their children, the parents also became more involved in a responsive manner. Although the focus of this article is Shayla's empowerment, her peers in the action research course as well as her professor, Jennifer--the other author, all became empowered as well. Shayla's peers were informed of her findings and were able to utilize aspects of her research to address their students' needs. Jennifer witnessed Shayla's growth as an action researcher first hand and was able to use this growth along with Shayla's struggles to tailor her instruction so that her students in the future could have a similar worthwhile and empowering experience. In this paper, the authors explain the Action Research course and include excerpts from Shayla's and Jennifer's reflective journals. They describe Shayla's action research project, and discuss what new questions have been raised for Shayla. Finally, they make the argument that Shayla's journey from reluctant teacher-researcher to empowered teacher-researcher has lessons other novice teacher-researchers and their instructors can learn from.

Descriptors: Action Research, Teacher Researchers, Empowerment, Perspective Taking, College School Cooperation, Self Esteem, Reading Improvement, Teacher Attitudes, Reflective Teaching, Grade 3, Student Motivation, Rewards

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Autor: Esposito, Jennifer; Smith, Shayla


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