After work today, I spent some time reviewing research in social studies education. I found research on field trips, questioning in the classroom, and museums. I spent time reviewing this literature to prepare my work as a presenter, writer, and professional development coach. I now find myself using writing as a way to think about my professional practice.
I find myself needing to outline my dissertation in a free writing style. Reading social studies, rural education and mentoring research is written in an organized, methodical fashion. Yet my thinking is circular. One of the goals of writing is to help the writer organize their thoughts in a rational, coherent pattern.
Recently, I was honored when asked by the Journal of Research in Rural Education to review the book Self Studies In Rural Teacher Education. This book opened my eyes to the world of self-studies. It also reinforced some of the work I had experienced at University at Buffalo in the areas of action research. It further reminded me of SUNY Fredonia’s goal of producing a RARE teacher. The Responsive and Reflective Educator (RARE) program highlighted the need to journal, reflect and reconsider your actions as a practitioner. These efforts- self-studies, action research, and reflective practice help to make educators more proficient at their careers, their callings, and their avocation.
As I reflect as a writer this past year, I hope that my growth, through reading, writing, and teaching, will help the next 20 years of my career.