What Does It Mean When High School Teachers Participate in Collaborative Research with Students on Literacy Motivations
by Penny Oldfather & Sally Thomas - 1998
This case study is an inquiry-within-an inquiry: As high school students conducted a year-long participatory research project on motivation for literacy learning with their teachers, two university researchers studied the processes and outcomes of their project. The research was part of a six-year longitudinal study of student motivation in which students participated as coresearchers. The original study examined students?perceptions of their own reasons and purposes for literacy learning across elementary, middle level, and senior high school contexts in Southern California. As an outgrowth of that study, several of the students initiated collaborative research with teachers. Data were analyzed through constant comparison. Here, cases of six teacher participants are presented, with cross-case analyses that portray their views on the nature of knowledge, purposes of schooling, their approaches to teaching, their perspectives on the nature of motivation, and their roles and relationships within the culture of the school and with the research team. In collaborating with students in systematic ways about the purposes of literacy learning, the roots of their own intrinsic motivations, and the qualities of classrooms that support their learn ing, teachers were able to open up possibilities for personal growth and for small beginnings of transformation of school culture.
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