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Collaborative Teacher Inquiry

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Started by Tessa Gray 11 Mar 2019 3:00pm () Replies (1)

In the latest Statement of Intent 2018 - 2023 published by the Ministry of Education, page 10 looks out over four years and acknowledges our education system is influenced by a variety of domestic and global trends, each of which presents risks and opportunities, one of which is;

Collaboration and alignment – There is a lack of collaboration, alignment and coherence making the devolved system limited in its effectiveness. (Statement of Intent 2018 - 2023, p10)

Question markA lack of professional collaboration could be interpreted to mean that we're less able to [collectively] address those things that need changing in our systems.


Enabling e-Learning (TKI) has updated the resource, What is collaborative Inquiry?


Teachers work together to identify common challenges, analyse relevant data, and test out instructional approaches.

Collaborative inquiry as opposed to individual professional inquiry, is more than collective co-operation and involves;

...teachers, or members of a professional learning community (PLC), working together to systematically examine focused aspects of their educational practices by exploring student responses to instruction, leading to new understandings and changes in classroom teaching. Teachers work together to define problems, co-plan, co-teach, co-monitor and interpret outcomes, and then consider together “what’s next.” (Schnellart & Butler, 2014 )

For those starting out, becoming a collaborative team takes time and perseverance, there are protocols for ways of working, and structural supports needed for relational trust to underpin the process of evaluative practice (including data-driven conversations) that can ultimately influence localised shifts in teaching and learning. See, Getting started - Effective collaboration. Enabling e-Learning has also published a number of examples, research and resources to support you with this process.

For those who have already been working in this way, the question might arise, It’s the beginning of a new school year, should we start again? In this CORE blog post, Spiral of Inquiry: It’s a new year, should we start again? Rebbecca Sweeney writes,

An influx of new learners in the new year doesn’t have to mean ‘new inquiry’ for the team. Collaborative inquiries morph and change over time based on the evidence you gather about teacher practice and learner progress.

A better question to ask would be: What progress did we make with our collaborative inquiry last year and where to next?

Do you undertake teacher inquiry as a individual endeavour (with peer review opportunities) or as a collective process facilitated through learning-focused conversations, where collaboration can/does result in improved teaching and learning outcomes? We’d love to hear more.

Feel free to share how professional inquiry has changed for you, in the comments section below.


For more examples of collaborative practice in schools, see Enabling e-Learning’s snapshots of learning:

Also see our previous discussion thread (VLN), What is collaborative Inquiry?

Image by geralt on Pixabay 


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