Inquiry Stocktake

How well do you reflect on your inquiry? While it is common practice to reflect upon the outcomes of an inquiry, reflecting on the inquiry process itself is often overlooked. It might be that you struggled at a specific stage - data collection or generating hypotheses, so it is important to identify this as an area to work on for your next inquiry.

This afternoon we met for our first CoL PLG for 2020. Our focus was to reflect on the inquiry process in terms of the things that worked well and the challenges that we faced. 

Image result for teaching as inquiry

What worked well in 2019
One of the strengths of my 2019 inquiry was my ability to monitor and tweak the approaches that I was using. I knew mileage was key for my target group and that I had success with reciprocal reading in the past, so I started by increasing the number of texts I gave my learners and the number of times I met with them for reciprocal teaching. 

I later realised that I was giving them far too many follow up activities and mammoth create tasks (which took away time we could have spent reading), so I changed my format for these activities. I also realised that I wasn't doing justice to wide and deep - often I was simply giving my students a supplementary text. For example, if we read a narrative about a shipwreck we might read an article about ships. While this supported their comprehension, I could have given them a wider range of texts, such as a challenge text at a higher level, or a text that offered an opposing view about the subject. This was also something I altered throughout my inquiry.

My Challenges in 2019
I did not analyse the data as well as I should have last year.  I collected data from summative assessment, my observations of the learners, their activities and I gathered student voice through interviews and a google form. So I thought I had done pretty well at this, due to the number of sources that I used!

However, I first blogged about my data after my students had completed a Probe test with another teacher. Using those results combined with my anecdotal evidence, my inquiry had been a success. My whole class were reading level four journals and I was feeling pretty good. But this simply did not translate to my PAT data. In hindsight I should have compared the two data sources and spent time unpacking my PAT results to identify where my learners struggled. This is something I am dedicating time to as I gather my initial data for my 2020 inquiry.

The Support I need in 2020
I am going to reach out to other teachers and members of the Woolf Fisher research team to discuss the problem I had last year with the PAT data.  As my focus is still in reading and my goal is to see a shift in my students PAT test scores, it is important that I understand more about the tool and how to interpret the data that it collects. Particularly as I will be using it next month to inform my 2020 inquiry!

I think asking for help and advice is a real focus for me this year, as besides reading research literature and asking for feedback from my teammates, I usually adapted my 2019 inquiry in response to my experiences in the classroom. I know seeking support from experienced practitioners would have further enriched my inquiry, so this will be something to remember this year.

What part of the inquiry process do you need support with?


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