Deepen Teacher Inquiry - Part 4 - eXPLORING
As educators, we are all aware of the importance and value of reflection. We are encouraged as professionals to reflect, but I would argue that for various reasons reflection is not always done as well as it could be when it comes to the design of teacher inquiry.
Wondering - scanning, developing a hunch, learning - focusing inquiry - are all ways in which models of inquiry encompass the elements of identifying the focus for teacher inquiry. What is missing from many teacher inquiries is an investment of time - time to reflect and dig deeply into what is happening for the students and their learning.
When I talk to teachers and leaders, I hear frustrations regarding lack of time. Often leaders are requesting teachers inquiry focus questions, and there has been a lack of real-time investment to unpack what really matters and therefore is worth spending time on. Over the last couple of weeks - via my blog - I have floated the idea of using design thinking processes to support depth to teachers wondering - scanning, developing a hunch, learning - focusing inquiries.
I truly believe that this part of a teachers inquiry is THE most important part as it sets up the inquiry focus. What is stopping this from happening is a lack of understanding of HOW. How do you connect all of the information we have about our students and their learning to an inquiry focus.
I challenge you to enable exploration of what is happening to students through reflection and try an empathy map to unpack the needs of students and their learning. To identify what a teacher inquiry focus should be.
As I shared last week - I have had the privilege to work alongside some incredibly passionate educators at various schools this year. We have used design thinking - empathy maps - to enable and empower staff to explore deeply the learning of students.
Leaders; your teachers best work comes when they feel enabled to take a look at what is really happening. So let's empower our teachers to explore deeply what is happening with the learning of students and design deep and relevant teacher inquiries.