Overview of the Inquiry Cycle
I kicked off teacher team meetings this school year by presenting an overview of the inquiry cycle to each team. Although an understanding of the inquiry cycle is undoubtedly essential to participating in inquiry work, my method of presentation worked well for some teams, but did not seem effective with my target teacher team. I devoted one of our meetings to an explanation and discussion of the cycle using the Inquiry Team Quick Reference Guide, compiled as a resource by another coordinator at my school, Marie Desforges. Knowing that all of my site’s teachers had participated in inquiry work before, I presented it as a review.
However, feedback I received later made me realize that despite previous experiences with inquiry work, the expectations for each teacher’s role in the work and what the cycle should actually look like were unclear. Teachers expressed that they wanted more practical explanations and examples. In order to meet this need, one of my school’s successful teacher teams modeled a meeting for other teachers at a professional development session late in the school year. This demonstration was met with positive feedback; teachers found it clear and concrete. One teacher also suggested videos as a possible teaching tools for educators participating in inquiry work.