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Ten Strategies for Initiating Teacher Education Research
at Your School
- Start small. Create a small team to collaborate on one already-identified issue.
- Do not assign specific areas of research for TAR projects. Teacher-researches will be more committed if they're working on a problem with which they identify strongly.
- Be prepared to offer support for change. If you ultimately do not plan to change your institution or classroom, don't engage in or request that others engage in TAR.
- Include a student in every research group if possible. They have unique insights you may not think to consider.
- Incorporate a mixed-methodology. Try to find two or three ways of collecting data on your issue or problem (focus groups, surveys, observations, individual interviews, etc.).
- Plan long-term. Be sure there's a process in place to continue the evaluation-recommendation-practice-reflection-reevaluation cycle. Remember that TAR is formative, not summative in nature.
- Diversify TAR teams. This will provide individual teacher-researchers an opportunity to grow and model cross-cultural collaboration for the rest of the school community.
- Allocate time to TAR. If diversity and equity are a priority, you must give teacher-researchers time to plan and conduct their research and share their findings. This may mean temporarily relieving them of other duties.
- Focus TAR projects tightly. Instead of assessing the curriculum, a team might assess the advanced history curriculum. Instead of assessing school culture, they might assess the spiritual dimension of school culture.
- It is crucial to start TAR with an honest contextual understanding regarding diversity and equity at your school. This context guides both the Evaluation and the Recommendations phases of TAR.
More on Teacher Action Research for Equity and Multicultural Education:
Stages of TAR for Equity and Multicultural Education
TAR in Practice: An Illustration