Ngā Matapakinga | Discussion

    Katrina Laurie
    Benefits of a mini Teacher Inquiry?
    12 March
    Public discussion Created by Katrina Laurie

    Recently I have come across many schools referring to their Teaching as Inquiry (TAI) as mini inquiries. When asked about why they are encouraging this process the response is around increasing accountability and to see quicker changes in practice.

    This has led to me thinking about the Spirals of Inquiry (Timperley, Kaser, Halbert) and is the scanning part being quickly dismissed? I ask this because most of the schools have decided on a the key focus e.g. Digital Technologies to support writing. Within this key focus the teachers are looking at what is going on with the learners (mainly target students) and then plunging into trialling something out. I like the risk taking here but is the process becoming superficial because once 1 trial has been shared back the next begins?

    I have been looking around for examples of 'mini inquiry', what the benefits are and is there a robust process in place to still ensure equity and in-depth learning? I found this short blog post on Benefits of a mini Teacher Inquiry. It briefly shared the benefits:

    • -Immediate impact

    • -Effective change that is sustainable, and

    • -By being small there is not a huge amount of data to gather or plans to implement and analyse making the workload manageable

     

    Does anyone have any experiences, stories, readings around this? I would be interested to know your thoughts around is a quicker 'mini' teacher inquiry more beneficial than a larger more in-depth inquiry?

    Kia ora e hoa

    I often refer to these "mini-inquiries" as "prototyping" in order to differentiate them from the longer slower process of inquiry that unsurfaces more complex pedagogical problems to solve. Often "mini-inquiries" or "prototypes" are actions taken immediately to change practice to address obvious challenges found during one or more of the inquiry phases. For example, during scanning, we're not operating in a bubble. Scanning will often show up things that need to be addressed in our practice right away so we should absolutely try some changes immediately for those learners and record the impact of these changed practices. However, we haven't even been through a thorough scan yet, nor a sharpening of the inquiry through Focusing activities, yet alone any hunchwork to expose the real issues beneath the surface, and therefore the actual inquiry. 

    These prototypes, over time, can often contribute to a more indepth change in practice down the track once we're in the Learning and Taking Action phases. 

    Something I'm recommending more lately is a way to capture these "prototypes". Some schools are using a structure for meetings about the learners they're focusing on so that any prototyping is discussed in a focused way. RAPID sessions is one idea worth exploring: 

    https://www.hiirc.org.nz/page/27292/rapid-rounds-in-action-at-auckland-district/?section=9088&tab=4184

     

    "Good teaching and good decisions are based on high-quality information, not on taken-for-granted assumptions about the causes of children’s reading failure or the worth of new curriculum resources. The quality of information improves when everyone is open to the possibility that what they had previously taken for granted may not stand up to scrutiny. Teachers who are skilled in processes of inquiry can detect weaknesses in their own thinking about practice and help others to do the same." Practitioner Research for Educators (Robinson and Lai, 2006)

     

    R -     Review

    A -     Assess

    P -     Plan

            to

    I -     Inform

    D -     Deliberate next steps

     

     

    - By Rebbecca Sweeney
      • Rebbecca Sweeney
        By Rebbecca Sweeney
        Mar 12

        Kia ora e hoa

        I often refer to these "mini-inquiries" as "prototyping" in order to differentiate them from the longer slower process of inquiry that unsurfaces more complex pedagogical problems to solve. Often "mini-inquiries" or "prototypes" are actions taken immediately to change practice to address obvious challenges found during one or more of the inquiry phases. For example, during scanning, we're not operating in a bubble. Scanning will often show up things that need to be addressed in our practice right away so we should absolutely try some changes immediately for those learners and record the impact of these changed practices. However, we haven't even been through a thorough scan yet, nor a sharpening of the inquiry through Focusing activities, yet alone any hunchwork to expose the real issues beneath the surface, and therefore the actual inquiry. 

        These prototypes, over time, can often contribute to a more indepth change in practice down the track once we're in the Learning and Taking Action phases. 

        Something I'm recommending more lately is a way to capture these "prototypes". Some schools are using a structure for meetings about the learners they're focusing on so that any prototyping is discussed in a focused way. RAPID sessions is one idea worth exploring: 

        https://www.hiirc.org.nz/page/27292/rapid-rounds-in-action-at-auckland-district/?section=9088&tab=4184

         

        "Good teaching and good decisions are based on high-quality information, not on taken-for-granted assumptions about the causes of children’s reading failure or the worth of new curriculum resources. The quality of information improves when everyone is open to the possibility that what they had previously taken for granted may not stand up to scrutiny. Teachers who are skilled in processes of inquiry can detect weaknesses in their own thinking about practice and help others to do the same." Practitioner Research for Educators (Robinson and Lai, 2006)

         

        R -     Review

        A -     Assess

        P -     Plan

                to

        I -     Inform

        D -     Deliberate next steps

         

         

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