What does it mean to be a teacher-researcher?

Well, it certainly has been a while since my last post. The last six months have been busy – settling into a new role in a new school and commencing my Masters degree. Yet finally, as the semester’s marking and reporting is almost done, and my first uni subject is complete, I thought of my severely neglected blog!

My return to uni has been a reminder for me of all the things that I loved and those that frustrated me about tertiary education. That being said, I did learn some important concepts and develop some useful skills, and I guess that’s the main point. This semester saw me take on one of the compulsory subjects focusing on research in education. This isn’t an area I’ve been particularly interested in pursuing in terms of conducting formal, extended academic research, but as the course progressed and concepts gradually pieced together, I began to see how an understanding of and engagement with the principles and approaches of research are helpful even to classroom teachers such as myself.

To conclude the course, our lecturer posted three questions for reflection. The first was:

Do you consider yourself to be a teacher-researcher? Why/why not?


My response to this is a yes and no…

Under the National Professional Standards for Teachers, primary and secondary school teachers at proficient level are expected to engage with current research and implement sound pedagogical practices based on these studies. In this respect we are not so much doing the research as making use of it. However, there are times as classroom teachers that we are called to be researchers. We collect and engage with a wide range of information and data about our students on a very regular basis (probably more regularly than we’d think), analysing and assessing its meaning in order to make decisions about our practice. We do not always formalise by way of a published report, but we are gathering information to solve problems and questions. So, in that sense of the term, teacher-researcher, I think we could consider ourselves as such.

What do you think? Do you see yourself as a teacher-researcher? What makes you say that?

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