Self-study and Inquiry Into Practice: Learning to Teach for Equity and Social Justice in the Elementary School Classroom

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Routledge, 2012 - Education - 153 pages
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There are new pressures and familiar pressures on teacher educators to prepare teachers who will be able to teach successfully in a changing world, and who will be able to change the world. The question of how to prepare well-qualified teachers has become an international question with global responses and consequences. This book describes a stance and pedagogy for helping young teachers to be successful in the most challenging of circumstances.

Self-study and Inquiry into Practicedescribes how inquiry can contribute to effective teaching in urban settings. The use of inquiry and self-study as a way of thinking about, understanding and developing one’s practice and one’s teaching supports teachers’ continued inspiration and resilience, enabling them to teach all children effectively in the face of very challenging circumstances. Using rich examples and case studies of how pre-service teachers and beginning teachers have used inquiry to learn from demanding urban placements, Kroll shows the importance of using inquiry and self-study in learning to teach and also in continuing to learn as one teaches. Inquiry is a useful way to understand what students understand and what they learn from our teaching, self-study reminds us of the power and responsibility we have to ensure that all our students achieve their highest potential.

This book aims to help teachers and teacher educators:

  • overcome the ‘wash out effect’ of teacher education when teaching in challenging circumstances
  • learn to ask questions and to pose questions to themselves
  • learn to think about difficult theory in a way that will be useful to them in the moment
  • make inquiry stance a 'habit of mind'
  • be empowered as experts in investigating and improving their own practice.

Being a successful teacher in urban schools takes a special kind of person; one who has been thoroughly prepared and one who pays close attention to the learners she or he is teaching. This book will be useful for both practicing teachers and teacher educators as they work together to craft excellent teacher education and teaching for all students, adult and child. It provides theoretical and practical ideas about how inquiry and self-study can promote lifelong learning and resilience in the practice of one of the most challenging, but rewarding professions.


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1 Learning to Teach Well in Urban Environments
2 Inquiry as a Way of Being in the World
3 Using Inquiry and SelfStudy to Address Issues of Equity and Access
Learning about Learning
5 Using Alternative Modes of Representation to Provoke Inquiry into Understanding Student Learning in Literacy
Making Inquiry a Habit of Mind
7 Inquiry and SelfStudy to Promote Lifelong Learning to Teach
Postscript and Afterword
Required Readings and Class Reader
Journal Data the Final Question

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About the author (2012)

Linda R. Kroll is Holland Professor of Early Childhood Education at Mills College, USA.

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