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What Works?

A Practical Guide for Teacher Research

By Elizabeth Chiseri-Strater, Bonnie S Sunstein

What Works? looks at what goes into teacher research and what you'll get out of it. Whether you're answering some persistent classroom question, thinking about curriculum, or researching for a grant, it describes the process in easy-to-understand terms.

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Full Description

With teacher research you can make practice-changing discoveries inside your own classroom. But first you must understand the process itself:
How do you do it? How do you make the time for it? What can you learn from it? How do you tell the world about your findings?

In What Works? Elizabeth Chiseri-Strater and Bonnie Sunstein have answers to these questions and many more.

What Works? is a comprehensive look at what goes into teacher research and what you'll get out of it. Whether you're answering some persistent question about your classroom, thinking about your curriculum, taking a course, researching for a grant application or National Board Certification®, Chiseri-Strater and Sunstein have laid out action research as an easy-to-understand process. They've organized What Works? as a teacher-friendly instruction manual, introducing each of the tasks of teacher research one by one—from shaping a question, to designing a study, to conducting it, to disseminating your results. Each step of the way you'll read supportive advice, see illustrations from projects around the U.S., find exercises that hone the skills necessary to do research, encounter numerous creative suggestions for expanding the range and scope of traditional action research, and learn what a vital and important influence it can be on your instruction.

Whether you're a veteran teacher or a novice, What Works? will answer your toughest questions about teacher research so that you can get down to the business of improving your teaching by using research to answer your toughest classroom questions.

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Contents

Introduction: Taking the Time to Ask What Works
1. Prepwork: An Overview of the Research Process
2. Scratchwork: Shaping a Question
3. Bridgework: Researching the Idea
4. Headwork: Assuming Self and Other
5. Legwork: Pursuing Multiple Sources of Data
6. Eyework: Methods and Methodologies
7. Homework: Preparing the Working Proposal
8. Footwork: Covering Your Tracks
9. Deskwork: Interpretation and Analysis
10. Handwork: The Craft of Dissemination

Appendix A: Frequently Asked Questions About Writing Research
Appendix B: Partial List of Books on Teacher Inquiry
Appendix C: "Chasing Friendship: Acceptance, Rejection, and Recess Play" by Karen E. Wohlwend

Samples