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Caryl G. Crowell (M.Ed. University of Arizona) and her coauthor, Kathryn F. Whitmore (Ph.D. University of Arizona) have many characteristics in common. They are both working mothers and whole language teacher-researchers who work to challenge the status quo in educational institutions.
Kathy teaches in the Division of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Iowa. Caryl teaches third grade at the Borton Primary Magnet School in Tucson, where this story takes place. Exploring issues related to cultural and linguistic diversity, advocating for their own children as students, writing in a variety of genres, and an appreciation for desert dwelling are a few of the interests Kathy and Caryl share. Together they invented themselves as collaborative researchers in this study.