chapter  10
22 Pages

Researching and representing teacher voice(s): A reader response approach


The development of the field of teacher knowledge research was inspired and guided by a respect for teacher voice. Freema Elbaz (1991), an early scholar of teacher voice, commented, ‘The notion of voice has been central to the development of research on teachers’ knowledge and thinking’ (p. 10). In the 1980s a consensus emerged in the field of teacher education that the exclusively positivist, process-product approach to research on teaching failed to take into account many important aspects of teaching practice. In the interest of finding teaching techniques whose effectiveness could be demonstrated across large populations of students and teachers, process-product research, also known as effective teaching research, had bracketed out the influences of individual classroom contexts in its inquiries (Gage, 1972; Good & Brophy, 1986; Rowe, 1974). Consequently, its prescriptions ignored the influence of those local contexts and the importance of teachers’ reflection and adjustment to that context. Teachers’ thinking about how to adjust and take advantage of the peculiar intersections of their subject matter content, students’ lives and cultures, and their own individual talents and interests was devalued if not entirely erased.