Learning Through Inquiry :Fountain Essays

 Learning Through Inquiry

The cycle of inquiry begins by turning a teacher concern, dilemma, or frustration into a teacher question to investigate and is the key for job-embedded professional development. As mentors, you should understand how a teacher’s individual development phase can provide helpful insight in identifying an area for growth and sharing that area in a constructive way. In this discussion, you will explore how you can influence teachers to wonder, question, and share ideas for their own growth. Prior to participating in the discussion please read Chapter 5, focusing on Table 5.4 – Beginning Mini-Cycle of Inquiry, as well as the scenario below:

Recently, a preschool teacher was assessed using the CLASS tool (Effective child-teacher interactions (Links to an external site.)) which measures child-teacher interactions on several levels. The purpose of this tool is to improve teaching and student outcomes. The teacher requested time to meet with the CLASS coach because her classroom received a low score in the dimension called “Positive Climate.”

Keep in mind the information on positive and negative climate below.

Positive Climate

Classrooms have a high positive climate when teachers and students

  • Have positive relationships with one another and clearly enjoy being together.
  • Are enthusiastic about learning and spending time in the classroom.
  • Are respectful of one another.

Negative Climate

Classrooms have a high negative climate when teachers and students

  • Get frequently irritated and angry with one another.
  • Are not able to diffuse negative situations such that these situations escalate.
  • Make fun of one another in mean-spirited ways.

More information on positive and negative climate is available in the following blog post: How Positive & Negative Climate Among Teachers Affect Children (Links to an external site.)

In your discussion thread discuss the questions below as a group, sharing thoughts and options for answering the questions. Each group member must provide potential answers to at least two of the questions and must contribute to deciding on answers for all five questions. One member of each group should submit the groups responses to each of the following questions (be sure to include the name of the person who submitted the response):

  • How can you make a teacher feel competent and excited about engaging in learning?
  • What communication skills would you use in the “Observe” phase to create a teacher-generated research question?
  • How might you support the teacher in the “Reflect” phase of the cycle? What are some things you may take into consideration?
  • How would you support the teacher in the “Apply” phase of the cycle to support the teacher in engaging more deeply in their own development?
  • How might you approach this teacher if they began to feel overwhelmed and lacked the confidence to meet the challenge during this process?

Example group submission:

Q1: How can you make a teacher feel competent and excited about engaging in learning?

      John Doe: You can help teachers feel competent and excited about engaging in learning by…

      Jane Doe: You can help teachers feel competent and excited about engaging in learning by…

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