Author Biography

Margery Staman Miller is past director of the Language and Literacy Division. A leader in the field of language and literacy, Margery's books include the best-selling "Literacy and Learning in the Content Areas: Strategies for Middle and Secondary School Teachers." At Lesley, she had a variety of roles, with much of her work focused on literacy and preparing students to be reading specialists. She has had the opportunity to work closely with students as a faculty advisor, mentor, and teacher.

Valerie Harlow Shinas is an Associate Dean in the Graduate School of Education and a faculty member in the graduate literacy programs. As a teacher educator, I use my teaching experiences to make visible the connections between theory and practice for my students. Much of my work at Lesley University has centered on preparing teachers and teacher candidates to develop and deliver effective literacy and disciplinary literacy instruction. With expertise in the areas of technology-integrated literacy instruction and the TPACK theoretical framework, my research interests include integration of digital tools to support literacy and learning in K-12 classrooms. Recent scholarly work has focused on teacher development and assessment of teacher practice.


It is the responsibility of teacher educators to ensure that novice teachers are reflective practitioners who can critically examine their own practice. One promising practice that supports the development of this reflective stance is teacher inquiry. In this descriptive case study, the authors present data collected from three teacher candidates who engaged in classroom inquiry during a required, semester-long practicum seminar. Data included teacher candidate’s inquiry questions and written summaries of their inquiry projects. Data were analyzed using a priori codes gleaned from the competencies identified in the state-mandated teacher candidate assessment system implemented in the northeast state where the research was conducted. In addition, inductive codes that emerged from the data and informed by the literature were analyzed to identify themes across inquiry questions and projects. Implications for teacher preparation are presented.

Key Words: teacher inquiry; teacher competencies; teacher candidates; reflective practice