Early Childhood Teacher Research: From Questions to Results, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Early Childhood Teacher Research

From Questions to Results, 1st Edition

By Kathryn Castle


194 pages

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pub: 2011-08-16
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What is early childhood teacher research and why is it important? How does a teacher researcher formulate a research question and a plan for doing research? How do teachers apply research results to effect change? Early Childhood Teacher Research is an exciting new resource that will address the sorts of questions and concerns that pre- and in-service teachers of young children frequently have when engaging in teacher research.

Accessible and interactive, this book touches upon the important issues every early childhood teacher should know—the uniqueness of early childhood teacher research, reasons for doing it, and how to do it. In this comprehensive guide, Kathryn Castle explores each stage of teacher research, from conceptualization, generating research questions, identifying data sources, gathering and analyzing data, interpreting results, sharing results, to taking action based on results.

Special features included in each chapter:

  • Teacher Researcher Journal prompts for the reader to record ideas for research questions and to develop a plan for doing research.
  • From the Field provides rich examples of real life early childhood teacher researchers and their perspectives on doing teacher research.
  • Reflections ask readers to pause and think deeply about relating content to their own situations.
  • Exploration of additional content, websites, resources, and activities are located in each chapter to help the reader go further in constructing their knowledge of teacher research.


"Castle has given the early childhood field a much needed resource on the practice and the value of teacher research. Her clear guidelines and engaging examples bring early childhood teacher research to life for new and continuing educators working with children from birth though age eight. Drawing on her deep knowledge of early childhood practice, Castle shows us how to do exemplary teacher research from start to finish, and tells us why it is so essential to high quality teaching and learning."

—Susan L. Recchia, Associate Professor and Coordinator, Integrated Early Childhood Program, Teachers College, Columbia University

"Castle heralds the message that context is crucial in the realm of teacher research—and that early childhood education provides a compelling and significant landscape for doing this type of work. This richly grounded and comprehensive guide is a much needed contribution to the field. It will be welcomed by aspiring and seasoned teacher researchers alike."

—Patricia A. Crawford, Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education, University of Pittsburgh

"In clear language, Castle leads students and educators through familiar but unique territory of practice in early childhood education into solidly based teacher research. By using a wide variety of authentic examples, she carefully scaffolds steps to assist even research-intimidated individuals to become researchers. This book has the potential to improve our field and educational practice in every early childhood setting."

—Elaine Surbeck, Professor of Early Childhood and Teacher Education, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University

Table of Contents

1. What Is Early Childhood Teacher Research?

2. What is the Purpose of Early Childhood Teacher Research?

3. Where Will Puzzlement and Wondering Lead?

4. Why Plan?

5. Data, Data, Who Has the Data?

6. What Do Data Reveal?

7. Who Might Be Interested?

8. What Comes After Research Is Completed?

Appendix A: Ethnographic Description of a First Grade Classroom

Appendix B: Reflection on National Board Video of Class Discussion

Appendix C: Teacher Interview Transcript

Appendix D: The Wonder of Learning Newsletter Article


About the Author

Kathryn Castle is Professor and Chuck & Kim Watson Endowed Chair in Education in the School of Teaching and Curriculum Leadership at Oklahoma State University.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Elementary
EDUCATION / Preschool & Kindergarten
EDUCATION / Research