The work collected in this book is intended to recognize the place of professional practice itself in the realm of research on teaching. Practice, we believe, precedes research just as practice is the realm in which we think efforts to improve research are most likely to be successful. As with other types of professional practice, teaching has not been accorded the status some believe it deserves, yet the status cannot be raised simply by assertion. The contributors to this book respect and take seriously the work of teachers and the challenges of teaching. The chapters in this volume speak clearly to the fact that teaching can be taken seriously, in schools and in programs of teacher education. To take teaching seriously is, at least in part, to seek new ways of bringing together the practice of teaching and research on teaching.