Documenting Critical Literacy Development in Classrooms
My research involves observing, analyzing, and working with teachers to document children’s interactions with each other, the teacher and the written language in their classroom. These settings provide many opportunities to document the influence of printed texts on children’s literacy learning especially with teachers who are effective at observing and analyzing what their children do with print. I call this process of teacher researchers’ documentations and reflections kidwatching (an observational and analytical stance of children’s learning) (Y. Goodman, 1985; Owocki & Goodman, 2002). Kidwatching is integral to teacher research; teachers use their learning from kidwatching to understand how their practice influences children’s development and as a result to rethink their pedagogy and the environments they organize. As I participate with these teachers, I discover their expertise and document their learning as well as the learning of enthusiastic and engaged young children who often become co-researchers in the process. As teachers evaluate or assess the growth of their students and reflect on the impact of their teaching, they provide data that is an important aspect of interpretive research (Erickson, 1986) to be used as evidence for the educational community.