Dr. Danielle Lillge [Lill-ghee] will be leading graduate course ENG 732 Teacher Research for the Fall of 2017. This class is crafted for instructors, both of secondary and higher education, who are interested in investigating their teaching and student learning in their classrooms. “It’s sort of like a workshop for researchers,” she said when speaking about the course, “you’re going to engage in the process so you can learn the process.”
ENG 732 will help graduate students frame questions bubbling up about teaching in their respective track, be it English education, creative writing, composition, or literature. “[The class is] a facilitated process and the content is about pedagogical research methods and methodology,” Dr. Lillge explained, “but the focus of that inquiry is largely driven by each individual’s questions, interests, and background.” Dr. Lillge will be guiding graduate students with selected reading to help them “position their research within larger conversations” within their own fields, however this class will be largely self-driven. “Students will create a mini reading list of things that they want to read that will help illuminate a question they may have so they are simultaneously reading and researching at the same time.” For students who feel overwhelmed or are unsure of where to start, Dr. Lillge will co-create a reading list of field literature in a student’s area of interest.
As students engage in the research process, they’ll discuss how to develop viable research questions, gain institutional review board (IRB) approval to conduct classroom research, identify data sources, collect and analyze data, and then disseminate what they learn. In the data analysis section of the course, students will explore how, because classrooms are interactional spaces, they can study the discourse of their classrooms. How, they’ll consider together, do we study language–both written text and verbal text–as they’re co-constructed in our classrooms? When it comes to deciding how to disseminate their findings, “Some people may want to write a conference proposal out of their research, some people are working on degree papers and they may need that space to do some work on their degree paper or thesis, others may want to write a draft of an article, so that will largely be contracted individually in terms of what the outcome of that work is.”
After talking about the methods of research that the class will cover, Dr. Lillge concluded with: “It’s one thing to study [pedagogical research] and another thing to do it, and I think we learn by doing it. To have a space of doing [research] and coming back to a group and getting feedback, that kind of a workshop approach is really important. That collaborative piece is really critical to the way I envision the class.” For more information or if you have questions about the class, please email Dr. Lillge at daniellelillge[at]missouristate[dot]edu.