Inquiry

Inquiry is big, and it is one of my goals… appraisal goals or PD goals. It is something I’m curious about, and something I want to… inquire into.

So, with an inquiry into inquiry in mind, I left my appraisal goal-setting meeting last week some weeks ago. Since then, I have been reading some interesting articles, and sought out a few texts I really want to read on top of this. But what I find is that… it takes time.
First I thought it was due to the lack of initiative or structure, but I’m wondering if there is also time needed to take it all on.

Inspired (yet again) by Maggie, who posted about Kathy Short and Carolyn Burke’s Curriculum as Inquiry in 4 parts here, let me start with a reflection on previous learning and practice.

As a student at traditional university, most of my work was fact-finding and essay writing. I didn’t do too well with the “traditional” professors, and I loved learning, but not that much.
When I started my degree in Learning, Technology and Research, things were different. A work-based, online degree, with people from so many different backgrounds and in so many different occupations with so many different goals. All enrolled in the same degree. You would think it is difficult, but really, it was not. There were elements that were similar. Readings, for example, on reflection, learning and research. There were skills that we all had to develop, just like those enrolled in English and Science degrees. There was little “knowledge” that was part of it, but a lot of understanding of concepts, such as reflection! And as we moved through this degree, we all inquired into our own practice. 77 different action inquiries running at the same time, and yet we were able to support each other, give peer feedback and discuss the underlying concepts that were still there.

My first action inquiry was “an action inquiry into improving my facilitation of the reflection time through the use of a reflection model”. It came about in a difficult, but natural way. Deep and honest reflection on my work practices revealed areas of improvement, and through identification of tensions, I was able to identify a focus for this module. The literature needed for this, was identified by myself. The data was collected at school. My professors, or learning facilitators, supported me, but didn’t interfere.

Just writing this makes me aware of how I want my classroom to be. And this is where my current tension lies… how can I make my classroom and student learning this way? What is already there and what is missing? Questions upon questions.

I will come back to this another day, in another hopefully as honest reflection. Thinking about my practices with the help of a model maybe?

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One thought on “Inquiry

  1. It helps me to keep in mind the principles of the LTR course – creating a structure that is based on individual (work-based) targets. Perhaps this could be translated to developing school learning based on individual learning targets (individual education plans and various other names for this). One of my areas as a teacher used to be Special Educational Needs, where there has been a lot of attention to analysis of individual learning needs. Perhaps all pupils should have the same attention – or even the opportunity to negotiate their learning plans – then be given the tools to address the identified needs and targets. The targets would be aligned with the expected levels of attainment – just as they were when you were an undergraduate.

    The course is now called BA (Hons) Learning through Technology but continues to be offered at Anglia Ruskin University.

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