The Trust-supported Book and Symposium Project on Classroom Research, led by Dr Baljit Kaur of the University of Canterbury held its first meeting of contributing authors on 8 December Twenty researchers from New Zealand and other countries gathered in the Virtual Europe Room at the University of Canterbury in person or via video link. Dr. Jane McChesney, the Deputy Chair of the Graham Nuthall Classroom Trust, welcomed the participants. In the morning session, the participants debated questions such as what constitutes classroom research, how knowledge about classrooms is constructed and what touchstones or criteria do they use for deciding what is “good” classroom research. In the afternoon, they used group action methods to identify the influential researchers in their own work and place themselves as researchers on the map of classroom research.
Technical and administrative assistance was provided by Kirsty Fraser (GNCRT), Nathan Gardiner (AVCC), Guy Cottrell and Andrew Fletcher (AV Services at UC). DVDs of the day’s proceedings are available for the contributing authors’ further discussions and deliberations. A website to create a forum for ongoing interaction is being set up with help from Kathleen Ell (UC). More than 20 researchers from New Zealand, Australia, Finland, USA, and International classroom research group convenes Canada, representing a wide range of approaches to classroom research are contributing sixteen chapters. The authors include those who have been heavily influenced by Professor Nuthall’s research, for instance four recipients of the Graham Nuthall Trust Research Award, as well as those who take different theoretical and methodological approaches to classroom inquiry.
The book will also include two of Professor Nuthall’s unpublished manuscripts, an introduction and a concluding section comprising of comments on future research directions by leading classroom researchers. Some who have accepted our invitation to contribute a comment include Professor Judith Green (University of California, Santa Barbara, USA), Professor Neil Mercer (University of Cambridge, UK), Professor Greta Morine-Dershimer (Formerly at University of Virginia, USA), Professor Kristiina Kumpulainen (University of Helsinki, Finland) and Associate Professor Alison Gilmore (University of Canterbury, NZ). Professor Annemarie Palincsar from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA, an eminent classroom researcher, has agreed to write the foreword. The first drafts of the chapters, due at the end of February, will be peer reviewed before the second one-day meeting of the authors Classroom Research Symposium University of Canterbury 16 -18 August 2010 Keynote Speakers, Research presentations in Round Table Workshops 17 August Teachers’ Day, Annual Graham Nuthall Lecture See www.nuthalltrust.org.nz for further information slated for May . An appropriate international publisher is currently being sought for the book.
As a part of the project, an International Symposium on Classroom Research to be held at the University of Canterbury from 16th to 18th August is being planned under the leadership of Trustee Peter Allen. The contributing authors will be invited to present their research in Round Table Workshops along with researchers from anywhere else in the world whose papers are accepted through a peer review process. August 17 will specifically focus on pedagogical implications and issues in classroom research and will be oriented to serve as a Teachers’ Day with a keynote speaker and two round table workshop sessions, followed by the Graham Nuthall Annual Lecture in the evening. The concluding session on August 18 will feature a panel discussion based on the comments of the leading researchers on future research directions, mentioned above. This project is bringing researchers together around a common broad vision of classroom research. The Trust anticipates the resulting edited volume will serve as an effective resource for researchers, educators and practitioners.