Creating Spaces and Finding Voices

Teachers Collaborating for Empowerment

By Janet L. Miller

Subjects: Teacher Education
Series: SUNY series, Teacher Preparation and Development
Paperback : 9780791402825, 220 pages, July 1990
Hardcover : 9780791402818, 220 pages, July 1990

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Table of contents



Chapter One: The Invitation


The Nature of Our Narratives

The Background of the Invitation

Forming the Questions

Chapter Two: Creating Spaces

Approaches to Our Studies

Separate Spaces: Individual Assumptions and Expectations

The School Psychologist

The First-Grade Teacher

The Department Chairperson

The Special Educator

The Science Teacher and Mentor

The Professor

Chapter Three: Emerging Constraints and Possibilities

Themes and Variations


Multiple Layers


Chapter Four: Points of Dissonance

The Carton of Knowledge

Stored Files

Setting Aside the Carton

Balancing Points

Chapter Five: Becoming Challengers

Persistent Interruptions

Becoming Vocal

Extended Spaces and Voices

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Epilogue: "We're Not Done Yet": Problems and Possibilities in Creating Spaces and Finding Voices

Multiple Collaborations

Multiple Researchers

Multiple Voices





This book follows the shared journey of five classroom teachers and a university professor as they together examine the possibilities and dilemmas of collaborative inquiry and teacher empowerment. Teachers' voices, in spite of their similarities and differences, still are not heard in the clamor for educational reform, nor are they recognized on the national agendas for research on teacher education. Miller and her colleagues articulate and question the contexts and assumptions that influence and frame teaching practice as they explore the contraints and the possibilities of defining and thus empowering teachers as teacher-researchers.

Here the multiple and changing voices of teachers are clearly heard, and Miller shares their experiences, their frustrations, their hopes, and their issues. By grounding these concerns within the particularities of their teaching, Miller and her colleagues explore concrete situations in which they challenge and support one another. Through these stories of collaborative efforts, others are invited to join together in the continuous process of creating those spaces in which all teachers' voices may be acknowledged and valued.

Janet L. Miller is an Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Hofstra University.


"This is an engaging, compelling, account of something that is much discussed though rarely tried, namely, teachers as researchers and teachers collaborating on a project of empowerment. Beautifully written and fully documented. " — William Ayers, University of Illinois at Chicago