I am a big devotee of Stephen Krashen, the provocative language and education expert here in Southern California. He is a defender of Whole Language and likes to debunk a lot of the current celebrations over direct grammar instruction as misreadings of the data.
I also have been impacted by Robert Marzano and Diane Heacox.
To make a long post longer, I should also mention my fascination with, but so far inept adoption of, Understanding by Design (UbD) by Grant and Wiggins.
I find that very few of my colleagues do very deep reading on pedagogy, though the professional development at my school is excellent.
I am looking to bat around ideas, debate assumptions, and share real-world applications of some of the theories and curriculum designed and suggested by these folks.
If you or someone you know would like to exchange ideas here and share articles, links, and passages for discussion, please jump in or let someone else know where they can jump, with safety!
I like to question what I'm doing all the time in an effort to keep my practice a process rather than a primitive memorial of cliches.
My current obsession: teasing out the implications of this contradiction: I believe vocabulary development is authentic and lasting when it is a result of deep, wide, independent reading. But I also know that my students need vocabulary, especially academic vocabulary, to tackle a lot of the assignments we have. I don't like wasting time for short-term gains. Words remembered just long enough to pass a test, etc. I am looking for ways to create authentic experiences that will have students connect to the words personally.