Inside Out and Outside In: Rethinking Spelling in Inclusive Elementary Classrooms

  • Derek L. Anderson Northern Michigan University
  • N. Suzanne Standerford Northern Michigan University


This case study traces the process surrounding changes three second-grade teachers made in their teaching of spelling over the course of one school year. The single-case design draws on sociocultural theory to examine school-university partnerships and their role in teacher change. Data were collected from multiple sources, including interviews, formal and informal classroom observations, documents, questionnaires, and email exchanges. The teachers in this study made substantial changes to their teaching of spelling though the changes were transactional rather than transformational. Changing practice entails various complexities, including lack of time and resources, in addition to static paradigms; yet, perceived changes can result in self-efficacy growth and momentum for future changes.

Author Biographies

Derek L. Anderson, Northern Michigan University
Derek Anderson, Ed.D. is an associate professor of education at Northern Michigan University. Previously, he taught middle school social studies, language arts, and math for 10 years, where he was a lead teacher, coach, and outdoor camp director.
N. Suzanne Standerford, Northern Michigan University
N. Suzanne Standerford, Ph.D., is a Professor of literacy education at Northern Michigan University. Previously, she taught PK-5 and was a reading/math specialist for 17 years. She also founded the Upper Peninsula Writing Project, a site of the National Writing Project.