Fall 2004     ISSN 1096-1453     Volume 8, Issue 3     Editorial (1)
Teacher Action Research: Studies Informing Practice  
In 1999 I decided to launch a teacher action research pilot study that 
investigated applications of the Theory of Multiple Intelligences (MI) 
to shape and inform teaching practices and instructional strategies. 
The purpose of the study was to identify, document, and promote effective 
real-world applications of MI theory in foreign and second language classrooms. 

I invited participants by posting a notice on an educational listserv.  
Much to my surprise twenty K-12 teachers responded.  Even more surprising 
was the fact that fifteen teachers from six states, were active participants 
throughout the nine weeks of the study.  There was no grant to underwrite 
costs; no stipend that served as an incentive; only dedicated, hard-working 
teachers who wanted to improve their teaching and hopefully, enhance their 
students’ learning.
  
Results of the study indicated that teachers were profoundly affected by 
conducting action research and engaging in reflective practices: They felt 
that their teaching experienced a shift in paradigm to a more learner-centered 
classroom; they were once again energized and enthusiastic about their pedagogy; 
and they felt that they were able to reach more students.

So how then does teacher action research contribute to the overall educational 
process?  The papers presented in this issue portray a very optimistic view of 
classroom research and its role in the construction of new knowledge, i.e., 
an educational process.  Some of the topics included are an educator’s pedagogical 
growth, students as co-researchers, measuring dispositions related to teaching, 
and helping a new teacher manage time more appropriately.  I am heartened when I 
read the breadth and depth of current research being undertaken by both novice 
and experienced educators.  What is particularly encouraging is that we clearly 
see the professional development of reflective practitioners.  Educators examine 
a particular phenomenon that is indigenous to their respective classrooms. In an 
age of accountability and “No Child Left Behind” it is imperative that educators 
realize the value of conducting action research.  Clearly, this line of robust 
inquiry addresses the call for schools to be “connected to instructional practices 
based on scientifically-based research.”

Teachers engaged in classroom research typically become leaders in their schools.  
Often their work is shared within the school district and many go on to present 
their findings at local, state, and in some cases, national conference settings. 
These are sometimes presented as workshops or poster sessions.  The relationship 
that forms between the classroom teacher and the university academician provides 
a very fertile ground for additional work.  Once this takes place, these schools 
are frequently the sites for Professional Development Schools (PDS) and serve as 
excellent resources for field experience for pre-service teachers.  It’s a win-win 
situation all the way around.

Finally, of primary importance in teacher action research is sharing findings, 
i.e., what one learned. This collection of papers further advances efforts to 
highlight the importance and impact of classroom-based teacher action research 
to improve teaching and learning. 
Marjorie Hall Haley, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Graduate School of Education
George Mason University, VA

See CFP for the next Teacher Action Research issue, Fall 2005.