#Deepen Teacher Inquiry - Hack No 8

What Makes An Inquiry?

The Cogs That make a New Inquiry continued…

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I find - often - teachers in overwhelm about their Inquiry as it has been framed up as a sizable project that runs across many, many months and they don’t know where to start.
Here is the continuation of the three aspects we started to unpack in Hack No 7.


Evidencing is about how you measure the impact of a strategy in a particular sample of students to Deepen Teacher Inquiry.
The importance of the connectivity between the pre-Inquiry (baseline) data to be collected and the post-Inquiry (impact) data is what makes the Inquiry relevant.  It is essential that evidencing is about making measures on things that are similar and relatable.


John - Evidencing
Here is an example where the fit is not quite right.
John is a science teacher. He is inquiring into the impact of using SOLO taxonomy thinking plans on his student’s ability to write in greater depth about the topic. John is planning to use standardised test marks as a measure of his inquiry. He has test marks from an earlier topic on electricity and plans to compare these test marks to the class test marks from the current topic, Which is plant biology.

There are several issues with this evidence plan.
The test marks from an electricity test are totally different to the test marks from a plant biology test. The question style and content are completely unrelated.
Therefore, the evidence he is planning to collect is not tightly aligned with the inquiry focus and plan of action.

There are several ways John could collect data to provide further relevance to his data/evidence. He could have the students write about the topic without the SOLO thinking plan and then, using a similar question, have the students write with the SOLO thinking plan. No feedback should be given between the two pieces of writing.

Often you will find that the measures that you have planned to collect are not providing you with all of the information you are seeking. If you change your evidencing half way through you are risking making invalid measures.

When you change your evidencing strategy halfway through an Inquiry, it is essential to check that the measures you are making relate to your question or the focus of the Inquiry.

Also, you may find that your initial decisions around your measures are not giving you the information you need to answer your Inquiry question. After all - the questions you use in surveys and interviews need to be carefully crafted before you start to action your Inquiry. If you do make a change to your evidencing halfway through, you need to be mindful of the impact that will have on your ability to draw relevant conclusions. 

In some cases, it is best to make your initially planned final measures - draw what conclusions you can, and then move into a new Inquiry cycle with adjustments to your evidencing.


You make a change to the questions you are asking your students about their learning. For these measures to be relevant, you need to be asking the same questions before and after strategy implementation to get evidence from which you can identify trends.

As a general rule; whenever you change one of the three things - strategising, evidencing or sample - it should be considered a new Inquiry.

Go Well.....


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