Action Research for English Language Arts Teachers : Invitation to Inquiry book cover
1st Edition

Action Research for English Language Arts Teachers
Invitation to Inquiry

ISBN 9781138609112
Published March 22, 2019 by Routledge
212 Pages

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Book Description

Offering preservice and inservice teachers a guide to navigate the rapidly changing landscape of English Language Arts education, this book provides a fresh perspective on what it means to be a teacher researcher in ELA contexts. Inviting teachers to view inquiry and reflection as intrinsic to their identity and mission, Buckelew and Ewing walk readers through the inquiry process from developing an actionable focus, to data collection and analysis to publication and the exploration of ongoing questions. Providing thoughtful and relevant protocols and models for teacher inquiry, this book establishes a theoretical foundation and offers practical, ready-to-use tools and strategies for engaging in the inquiry process in the context of teachers’ communities. Action Research for English Language Arts Teachers: Invitation to Inquiry includes a variety of examples and scenarios of ELA teachers in diverse contexts, ensuring that this volume is relevant and accessible to all educators.

Table of Contents



Section I – Cultivating Your Inquiry Identity
Chapter 1: What is Teacher Inquiry?
Chapter 2: Finding Your Entry Point to Inquiry
Chapter 3: Developing a Question within a Community: Digging Deeper

Section II – Using Inquiry Protocols and Strategies: Making a Plan
Chapter 4: Data Collection
Chapter 5: Data Analysis

Section III – Exploring the Landscape of Publication
Chapter 6: Invitation to Publication: Inquiry as a Reciprocal and Ongoing Process

Appendix A.1 Double Entry Notebook
Appendix A.2 Cornell Note Taking
Appendix A.3 Field Notes Template
Appendix B.1 Classroom Research Organizer
Appendix B.2 Protocol: Finding Your Entry Point to Inquiry through Student Artifacts
Appendix C1: Action Research Report Guidelines
Appendix C2: Action Research Design Guidelines
Appendix D1: Pre-Reading Survey
Appendix D2: Interview Protocol
Appendix E: Initial Data Collection and Analysis Organizer
Appendix F: Opportunities for Publication
About the Authors

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Mary Buckelew is a Professor of English at West Chester University and the retired Director of the Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project.

Janice Ewing is an Adjunct Professor of Graduate Education at Cabrini University and a Co-Director of the Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project.


"Invitation to Inquiry is an absolutely essential text for teachers, teacher educators, and soon-to-be teachers. The chapters deliver both theory and practice in how to conduct teacher inquiry through reflection, connection, and application in a user-friendly, straight-forward way. Case studies walk the reader through the process of teacher inquiry and remind us that collaboration is essential for growth. As the authors state, grab your backpack and notebook and join them in this life-changing journey!" — Katherine Batchelor, Miami University, USA.

"Teachers can feel enmeshed in a network of curricular demands, rubrics, and the established routines of schooling. But the best (maybe the only) way to claim agency is to ask questions and pursue them, to seek alternatives, and to follow a thread of inquiry. In this book, Mary Buckelew and Janice Ewing will take you on several pathways—from involving ELL students, to writing argumentative essays, to creating literature circles –showing how initial teacher questions and difficulties can develop into rich lines of inquiry, causing productive disruptions of the status quo." — Thomas Newkirk, University of New Hampshire, USA

"Don’t be daunted by teacher research, action research, inquiry into your own teaching practice that keeps students at the center. Buckelew and Ewing show you how to be reflective practitioners and enact strategies and attitudes that lead you to understand and promote your students’ growth and development in English Language Arts." — Tom Romano, Miami University, USA

"This book offers up-to-date classroom and school vignettes, practical tools, and scholarly depth for preservice educators and seasoned practitioners hoping to go deeper into their questions. The authors invite readers to ‘reflect,’ ‘connect,’ and ‘apply,’ posing tailored questions that spark dialogue and discussion. The vignettes themselves are wonderful mini-cases drawn from urban, rural, and suburban contexts that are highly instructive and provocative for educators working on their craft through classroom-based research." — Laura Roop, Director, Western Pennsylvania Writing Project, USA

"Mary Buckelew and Janice Ewing have produced an inspiring, yet deeply practical book that aims to lead a new generation of Language Arts teachers and their colleagues into the rich tradition of action research by and for teachers. They succeed beautifully." — Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, National Writing Project, USA