The term “research-based practices” is often used to refer to the practice of teaching based on theories and philosophies rooted in a scientific understanding of development. But as theory becomes more abstract, so, too, do the researchers developing them. Educational research becomes farther removed from the practical classroom applications of the theory. In order for there to be research-based practices there needs to be practical research.
One form of practical research is that which comes from practicing teachers. Teachers who reflect on their practices with consideration of the implications not only for their own classroom, but for others as well, can make unique contributions to the field of education. By collaborating with other reflective teachers, teacher researchers can gain insights into the minds of their children and methods of improving classroom practices.
It is in this vein that the Reflective Early Childhood Educators’ Social Seminar (RECESS) was created. We are a collective of reflective teachers of young children in the Chicagoland area dedicated to improving the quality of education in our classrooms. Through site visits and regular meetings, RECESS members share teaching experiences with each other in order to gain a greater understanding of our students and how they learn.