The Masters Project: Negotiating Identities as Teacher Researchers.Report as inadecuate

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This paper describes the guided inquiry process by which graduate students in the Master of Science in Education Program at Northwestern University produce a formal "master's project." This project is a piece of individual or group research completed by students in the teacher preparation program. The preparation to do the inquiry runs parallel to the preparation to teach. This description is the beginning of an evaluation of the university's approach to training teacher researchers. Students use four models to develop research questions for their projects: (1) participation in university-generated research; (2) school-site generated research; (3) mentor teacher/student research; and (4) personal, individualized professional development research. The research groups established as part of the research methods course help the students develop communities of practice, as does dialogue among researchers in schools and universities. One of the issues that must be investigated in relation to the master's project is that of identifying and then fostering the skills and attitudes practitioners need. Another issue in need of exploration is that of promoting transfer, increasing the likelihood that graduates will retain their commitment to rigorous inquiry. The self-study efforts so far have helped the university begin to answer questions about its master's project for prospective teachers. (Contains 28 references.) (SLD)

Descriptors: Educational Research, Higher Education, Masters Degrees, Masters Programs, Methods Courses, Research Methodology, Teacher Education, Teacher Researchers

Author: Burnaford, Gail; Hilsabeck, Alison


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