#Deepen Teacher Inquiry - Hack No 4
The Challenges faced in certain phases of a
Deepen Teacher Inquiry
No matter how many times you have learnt something, or have engaged with a process, there are always parts of what you do that you find more challenging than others.
These challenges, when you are under pressure of time constraints, can lead to you not doing as good a job as you could otherwise.
I know - for myself - that I tend to leave the things I find a grapple till the last moment. When you think about it, we should be tackling that stuff in the first instance.
So after working with over three hundred teachers across many schools in 2018 in support of their Deepen Teacher Inquiry - I asked - What component of the Inquiry process do you find the most challenging and therefore requires more support?
No surprise really - the two areas were - Evidencing and Analysing.
Evidencing is about seeking understanding about the learning of students as a result of a teaching strategy. Evidencing in an innovative way impacts the teaching strategy and curates the evidence of that impact. Evidencing involves making measures and needs to be approached with some innovation to know the impact of the teaching strategy. Be innovative, see impacts, do curation.
Analysing is about making meaning of the evidence you have collected during your Inquiry.
Analysing involves evidence processing, sequencing and sorting your evidence so that it tells a story of the impact of your strategy on student learning.
Analysing also involves collaborating with others about what you have found as a result of your Inquiry. Collaboration leads to learning for all as it leads to incredibly powerful dialogue for all those participating. In these situations, the most significant learning occurs.
During the analysing phase of an Inquiry, it is essential that teachers collaborate with others to gain a deeper understanding of what has happened in their Inquiry.
I find it really interesting that a national priority is
"Supporting teachers and leaders capability to analyse, interpret and respond to a wide range of data"
What I love about Deepen Teacher Inquiry, is that it is addressing that exact aspect, but clearly, there is further work to be done in this area.
I believe there are two reasons for this.
Teachers are not used to designing and making measures of the learning process and are unsure of how to design good qualitative evidence questions about learning.
After all, we are used to measuring learning outcomes with tests, not learning the process with words. For many teachers I worked with, this was the first time they had been specific with the way they question students about their thinking process as they learn. Up until now, many teachers had only ever given surveys about course structures and enjoyment of courses.
Teachers struggled with how to analyse qualitative evidence.
Many found the wordy, trendy nature of qualitative evidence discomforting as they usually measure and report against quantitative evidence. As I have made a point of many times - The curation of evidence for an Inquiry allows teachers to know what works and what doesn't. The evidence that teachers curate through the process of an Inquiry should not be just the run of the mill assessment information. Plentiful evidence exists in the zone of innovative evidence curation. Evidence that illustrates the context and the content of the learning that the students have experienced as a result of the teaching strategy.