Deepen Teacher Inquiry Series - Part 21

To be surprised, to wonder, is to begin to understand.
— Jose Ortega y Gasset

I know we started unpacking the WHAT of a teacher inquiry a couple of weeks ago. However, in the last week, I have unpacked the process I work through with teachers to a deeper level, so I am backing the bus up so I can share my new thoughts with you.

The name of the game is - Deepen teacher Inquiry.

The outcome of the game is - Empowered teacher learning - which all going well will lead to improved impacts on student learning. After all - as an education institute - we are all in the learning business. Learning for Teachers and learning for students.

Teachers! - to inquire deeply into the impacts on student learning, we need to be engaged at three levels. The process of an inquiry requires teachers to - be, look for and do - across three phases. The first phase of an inquiry is the explore phase. The phase in which teachers explore what they know - be courageous with the data they have, identify the learning gaps of their students, ideate what's sticking to get deep into what's happening with the learning for the students, look for clarity and come up with a specific inquiry question that is sharp.

Stage one: WONDERING

When exploring for teacher inquiry, at basic level teachers can focus their inquiry on a gut feeling. A gut feeling is not supported by any evidence and is superficial. It is essential during the wondering phase of a teacher inquiry that teachers look further than just a gut feeling. Interestingly, when teachers are courageous when exploring what to make their teacher inquiries on, they seek information and are connected to the evidence. Evidence that helps inform teachers on what to focus their inquiries. In some cases, it's important to seek further evidence to get a broader picture of what is happening for the learning of the students.

Courageous exploitation at the beginning of an inquiry cycle will allow teachers to look deeply into what is going on concerning the learning of the students. Courageous exploration at the beginning of a teacher Inquiry is evidence connected.


An inquiry is a noun or action point for seeking information -  from which learning can occur.


The purpose of courageous exploration is to look for the learning gaps of the students and have their wonderings focused on the students' needs. Teachers can wonder about the learning needs of these students on a deeper level when they go through a process of ideation. Ideation takes a teacher's wondering during the explore phase from surface level to a deep level. The process of ideation involves the brainstorming of current ideas about the learning of the students in the class. Ideation allows teachers to think big and then ideate down to one Focus point that resonates strongly with them.

The ideation process enables teachers to connect in a more intricate way to the learning needs of the students. All of the ideation during the wondering phase should be about the learning of the students.

So, ideate and be courageous when you are exploring the learning needs of the students in your classes.

Your inquiry is  - The most powerful learning tool…...For teachers!

Until next week - go well.

Tabitha Leonard