Research is an Active Word

This week's readings were selected by Andaiye. She chose an excerpt from a book, Teacher Research for Better Schools titled, Out of Our Experience:Useful Theory and the other was a piece written by Davida Charney titled, Empiricism Is Not a Four Letter Word. Both pieces dealt with research theories and ways to analyze practices and research methodologies. 

Before I could fully understand and dissect the Charney piece I had to look up the word empiricism. And in my research I discovered that it means, "the theory that all knowledge is derived from sense-experience. " This really put things into perspective for me. Now I was ready to tackle the article-- which was tough to read as it was loaded with jargon. 

The argument that they are making in the text is that, 

"the fallibility of our knowledge--or the thesis that all knowledge is guesswork..." 

 This really stood out to me. Through research you learn. Research allows to you the space to discover whether your questions or theories are proven true or false. You don't know anything for certain therefore everything is by chance and whatever you discover is just that-- a discovery. I felt a sense a of comfort to know that it is okay to say that knowledge comes from guessing. But it is not just the simply guessing without any basis. The "guesswork" is rooted in educated conjectures that are either proven true or false. 

In the National Writing Project article about the way in which teachers research I found several points of connection between what I do in my professional life as a teacher of writing. It deepened my understanding of learning as doing. In order to study and research best writing practices you have to do them both as a write and a researcher/teacher. The quote that stood out to me in this text in some ways connects to the line I pulled from the Charney text, 

"It is through questioning and criticizing, agreeing and disagreeing but with fundamental respect and support for each other, that we interpret and learn from our data."

So this takes it a step further than the "guesswork." You learn from your search only after you have compared and analyzed your findings against other theories and discoveries.  It is in the research that you learn. Through failures and successes from periods of trial and error. This is where important work happens over time. Through research and analysis of data it is where ideas and concepts become a way of reality. 



Research is an Active Word

This week's readings were selected by Andaiye. She chose an excerpt from a book, Teacher Research for Better Schools titled, Out of Our Experience:Useful Theory and the other was a piece written by Davida Charney titled, Empiricism Is Not a Four Letter Word. Both pieces dealt with research theories and ways to analyze practices and research methodologies. 

Before I could fully understand and dissect the Charney piece I had to look up the word empiricism. And in my research I discovered that it means, "the theory that all knowledge is derived from sense-experience. " This really put things into perspective for me. Now I was ready to tackle the article-- which was tough to read as it was loaded with jargon. 

The argument that they are making in the text is that, 

"the fallibility of our knowledge--or the thesis that all knowledge is guesswork..." 

 This really stood out to me. Through research you learn. Research allows to you the space to discover whether your questions or theories are proven true or false. You don't know anything for certain therefore everything is by chance and whatever you discover is just that-- a discovery. I felt a sense a of comfort to know that it is okay to say that knowledge comes from guessing. But it is not just the simply guessing without any basis. The "guesswork" is rooted in educated conjectures that are either proven true or false. 

In the National Writing Project article about the way in which teachers research I found several points of connection between what I do in my professional life as a teacher of writing. It deepened my understanding of learning as doing. In order to study and research best writing practices you have to do them both as a write and a researcher/teacher. The quote that stood out to me in this text in some ways connects to the line I pulled from the Charney text, 

"It is through questioning and criticizing, agreeing and disagreeing but with fundamental respect and support for each other, that we interpret and learn from our data."

So this takes it a step further than the "guesswork." You learn from your search only after you have compared and analyzed your findings against other theories and discoveries.  It is in the research that you learn. Through failures and successes from periods of trial and error. This is where important work happens over time. Through research and analysis of data it is where ideas and concepts become a way of reality.