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Posts from the ‘Research and Inquiry’ Category

Guest Post: Is reabhloideach mise.

by Meg Clementi

b4ce9c74625bfa28595da719e6f32686.jpg-2.gifIs reabhloideach mise.  I am a revolutionary.

As a math teacher, I am questioned by peers as to why I have my students write.  What is
my purpose in asking students to explain their thinking?  Why have I attended conferences, courses and programs whose attendees are comprised of 99% English teachers and Elementary reading and writing teachers?  I stand at the edges, accepting the shaken heads and wonderings of my peers.


Is reabhloideach mise
.  I am a revolutionary.

I have my students write because their ability to explain their thinking is important to me.   Their ability to justify their processes and answers is critical.  Their depth of knowledge is essential.  My students write because as their teacher, I demand this level of participation, performance and comprehension from them.  I am not satisfied with them simply renting knowledge and discarding what they have learned as they place their hands on the doorknob and walk out of my classroom for the last time.  I want them to own knowledge.

Is reabhloideach mise.  I am a revolutionary. Read more

Obituary of a Teacher-as-Examiner: Notes from the Summer Writing Institute

The Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project (PAWLP) is a regional site of the National Writing Project (NWP), whose goal is to improve writing and learning in the nation’s schools. Each year, PAWLP and Writing Projects across the nation invite experienced, talented educators to study literacy development and the teaching of writing in a relaxed, collegial atmosphere. Institutes support teachers as readers, writers, and as researchers of their own literacy practices. Institute participants have ample opportunity to read and write and to reflect on their experiences as readers and writers. The Institute functions at various times as a seminar, workshop, and laboratory. A reflective inquiry stance allows participants to define, refine, and revise their thinking. Below, 2015 PAWLP Institute Fellow Jason Fritz shares excerpts from his Institute multigenre inquiry project: “Students’ Perceptions of Writing” Fiction Piece: Obituary of the Teacher-As-Examiner Role.

“Even with the changes that have taken place over time, however, the large majority of the writing students do is still to the teacher-as-examiner” (Applebee & Langer 2011).

Obituary of the Teacher-As-Examiner, 37

Teacher-As-Examiner died suddenly on Thursday, July 16, 2015 at the Front of the Classroom due to complications following an intensive three-week PAWLP Summer Institute where he continuously took an inquiry stance. He was 37. Read more

It’s our Blogiversary! Highlights from Our First Year

We are  celebrating the one year anniversary of the PAWLP blog, and what a year it’s been!  To celebrate our one year “blogiversary,” we’ve collected some posts from this past year that may be particularly useful to teachers as a new school year begins.

So in case you missed them, here are a “baker’s dozen” – thirteen blog posts with some practical tips and inspiration. We hope that you enjoy reading our blog and encourage you to comment, ask questions, and share your own experiences. We would love to hear from you! Read more

How to Get Research Started in the Elementary Grades

By Lynne R. Dorfman

           I have always known that research begins with a burning question – one that needs to be answered to satisfy that “Curious George” persona in all of us.  As my students have engaged in content area learning in the past, I now realize that I was perhaps too quick to send them off on a journey (not always a journey of student choice either).  We all know how important the three Cs are to student learning – choice, challenge, and collaboration.  But what if your students don’t have a burning question to ignite their quest? Read more

PAWLP — An Invitation to Inquiry

By Janice Ewing

       “Transforming wonderings into questions is the start of teacher research” (Hubbard & Power, 2003).

      This month on our blog we’ve been exploring the challenges and rewards of research and inquiry. Tricia Ebarvia shared the thoughtful process she has developed with her students  in “Updating the Research Paper” and Rita Sorrentino examined the timely issue of “Why Johnny Can’t Search.” These and numerous other posts have inspired me to reflect on the value of teacher research and inquiry and on PAWLP’s role in creating a culture that invites us into these practices and sustains their growth. Read more

Teaching Johnny to Search

By Rita Sorrentino

      Although today’s students are tech-savvy in many ways, they tend to have less-than-stellar searching skills. In an article, “Why Kids Can’t Search,” Clive Thompson makes a strong case for search engine fluency. I am not surprised by the research results that were conducted by a group of researchers led by College of Charleston business professor Bing Pan. In the study, students relied on Google’s ranking of web pages, and selected information from the top of list even when the order was changed resulting in (falsely) top-ranked pages. From this and other studies cited in the article, we have identified a new quandary in our educational landscape: Why Johnny can’t search? Read more