Deepen Teacher Inquiry Series - Part 8

Every bit of evidence one can acquire, in any area, leads one that much closer to what is true.
— Carl Rogers

Firstly - happy holidays to you all.

Over the last few weeks, we have been exploring the components of teacher inquiry. - with the lens of deepening teacher inquiry. So last week we got to evidence - what is evidence and how can it be used to identify what is going on.

In summary, we identified the following:

  • Data is just data and has no intrinsic meaning on its own.
  • Evidence has to be evidence for or of something.

In the case of teacher inquiry, it is evidence of a hypothesis. In the design of teachers’ inquiries teachers identify an action that they believe will have elevated impacts on student learning. That's right, remember the whole purpose of teacher inquiry centred around elevating student learning.

Now the challenge lies in what evidence will be collected to gain visibility of the impact. It is worth mentioning at this point that inquiry evidence is empowered when teachers gather a mixture of different kinds of measures. Where there is both qualitative and quantitative data collected. Research terms this kind of methodology as a mixed methods approach.

In this post, I will be taking a look at what qualitative data and evidence may be.

Fitchman (2013) Identified in her book - Digging Deeper into Teacher Research - that Teacher questions and the resulting summative data analysis tend to be more qualitative in nature since teacher questions seek to understand the process or the nature of a classroom phenomenon.
This means that most data collection is done by a survey - open-ended questions or by interview. This form of evidence is very good for giving data context. It is a form of qualitative data and consists of open-ended questions or structured interviews as the most commonly used forms of qualitative data used to assess the impact of an action. However, qualitative data can include any of the following formats.

  • Field notes
  • Documents - texts, school information etc
  • Interview
  • Digital pictures
  • Reflective journals
  • Weblogs
  • Surveys
  • Feedback from colleagues
  • Learning Logs

So WHAT kind of evidence might you collect for your next teacher inquiry?
 
The teachers I have had the privilege to work alongside with their inquiries have found this kind of evidence really powerful in terms of identifying the impact the inquiry teaching action is having on students learning

 
 

Reference

Fichtman Dana, N. (2013). Digging Deeper into Action Research. California: Corwin


If you are looking to give your Teacher Inquiry Practices an injection of fresh  energy - to elevate teacher inquiry impacts to a whole new level -  Give me a call to discuss how we can do just that.

I know it is only April . However, I am aware that there are only a finite number of days on which schools run their start of year Teacher Only Days.

The earlier you book, the greater the chance you will get the date you require.

 

Tabitha Leonard