#Deepen Teacher Inquiry - Hack No 15

Cultures of Inquiry

There are four cultures that exist around Inquiry.

  • Inquiry for Judgement

  • Inquiry for Strategy

  • Inquiry for Compliance

  • Inquiry for Learning

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Where does Inquiry sit in your school?

Inquiry for Judgement

Used to judge performance, Inquiry for Judgement is an energy drain. The process is mandated and connects to performance management. In this quadrant you will get compliance, teachers oblige and go through the process, but that's where it ends. There is minimal learning as a result of the Inquiry and the status quo around practice, teaching and learning will prevail.

Inquiry for Strategy

In some cases, where an Inquiry is mandated, teachers will participate in an Inquiry for Strategy. An Inquiry for Strategy is where the leadership team mandates the focus. Teacher Inquiry needs to be focused on a strategic goal, but in these instances, the Inquiry becomes driven by data or by curriculum and is not - in a true way - centred around learning processes as it ought to be.

Inquiry for Compliance

When an Inquiry is uplifted out of the judgement or performance management zone and placed into the learning zone, one outcome is an Inquiry for Compliance. This happens when teachers don't yet own the learning possibility that sits within the process. It is done because it must be done, although teachers do have control of the decisions around the Inquiry focus. Inquiry for compliance is also an energy drain for teachers.

Inquiry for Learning

This is repurposing of Inquiry in a way that enables and encourages teachers to seek to learn and develop their practice continually. This allows teachers to reconnect with the process of learning and the experience of being a learner, and it is at this point that Inquiry for Learning really begins to happen. This is Deepen Teacher Inquiry in action! The ideal scenario where teachers are encouraged to co-create their Inquiry, make decisions on the focus of their Inquiry, and the drive of the Inquiry is the exploration of the learning needs and learning process of your students.

If you need to switch Inquiry quadrants at your school, please get in touch to have a chat about how I can help you.

Nga mihi.


From the Archives


What Makes An Inquiry?

Long-running inquiries - What are they?

There are some teachers out there who have a strategy that they want to run across a long period of time. When you are running a long term inquiry, there are a couple of things that need to happen to keep the energetics of the inquiry in a positive balance and tracking in an impactful way.


It’s Inquiry - But Not As You Know It

I have a little secret to share with you…..

I was hesitant to use the word Inquiry in the title of my book Deepen Teacher Inquiry because the book is not about "Inquiry" as we know it. It's different. However, it needed a title which would resonate with and be understood by teachers.

Deepen Teacher Inquiry was written to transform the way we approach and carry out reflective practise in schools. In effect, it was written in response to the ineffectiveness of traditional appraisal and the overwhelm teachers are experiencing due to the systems and structures that schools have in place around Teaching as Inquiry.