The more I read and contemplate about inspiring teachers to teach through inquiry, the more I see the forest instead of just the trees…
If teachers are to become genuine facilitators of inquiry, they must be inquirers themselves! Research has shown that teachers will teach the way they are taught – and this includes professional development and staff meetings.
So, how to get genuine inquiry going among staff? I think instructional rounds may be one great way to do it.
Ask teachers to generate a question (as a staff or team) about instruction in your school. For example, “what percentage of class time do teachers in our school spend talking?”, or, “what levels of questions do teachers usually ask of students?” The key here is that the question authentically comes from the teaching staff, not administrators, coaches, etc.
Next, determine as a staff (or group) how to answer the question. Observation in actual classrooms should be a part of the data gathering, but you need a plan for that observation.
After enough observations have occurred, reflect, analyze the data and make a conclusion.
The next step would be to discuss a solution and test the results of that solution with another set of instructional rounds!
I am so pleased to have seen the link to your blog today on twitter. I’m fairly new to blogging and tweeting but not at all new to inquiry. I like what I read here and it adds to my passion to keep inquiring in and out of the classroom. I am lucky to be co-teaching this year with a fabulous teacher who has the same beliefs and she knows how to keep driving the inquiry deeper. Have a look at our blog – you’ll see that inquiry is the biggest tag in the tag cloud. http://blogs.swa-jkt.com/swa/5mj/
My colleague and I would love to contribute or just link to our class blog.
Your comment about PD opportunities and Staff Meetings modeling “best practice” really resonates with me. As an educational leader, that is one thing I hope I never forget; thanks for the reminder!
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