Teacher Researcher Sketch to Sketch: Reflection

This post is a reflection of a Sketch to Sketch activity about teacher research I completed with the help of a friend of mine, and these are the sketches I collected and will be discussing.

The first thing I noticed about the sketches is that my and my friend’s ideas of what a “teacher” is and what a “researcher” is are very similar. They are both pretty generalized, maybe even a little old school; the teacher is standing in front of the class by a chalkboard and the researcher is pictured solo in a lab.

They match up with the cultural expectation of a “teacher” is: they are the authority in the room, appear to be lecturing while students listen, etc. Even as a preservice teacher learning about dialogical pedagogy and modern, progressive teaching, this is still the first thing that comes to mind when someone says “teacher.”

Something else that was interesting was my friend wrote in her notes that “teachers teach what researchers observe” and “teachers give lessons based on what observers discover.” It’s interesting that they thought of “teacher” and “researcher” as two distinct and totally separate things, and also of teachers teaching based off others’ — not their own — observations.

When I combined teacher and researcher in my final sketch, it looked much more like what I would want my classroom to look like: students in group discussion while the teacher observes. In a previous blog post I talk about the article Teacher as Researcher, in which Marian Mohr talks about viewing her students as “data points” in her research, and this is what my last sketch conveys: a teacher observing her students learning in order to better understand how all students learn, and how we can make lessons that are conducive to that learning — based on research.

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