:::: MENU ::::

An Enquiring Matrix

Click to download An Enquiring Matrix

Here’s something else which has been on my mind of late regarding practitioner enquiry that I would like to put out there. I know not everyone will be keen on this idea, but the more practitioners I speak to about it, the more I think it is worth exploring.

To me, there is a continuum to practitioner enquiry. I am still developing as an enquiring practitioner, however through the course of my MEd, my use, and understanding, of enquiry became more sophisticated. I would suggest that I am still learning when it comes to enquiry, and in the years since I graduated I have varied in the extent to which I have used the enquiring skills I have developed thus far, largely due to time.

To me therefore, some sort of progression of enquiry would be useful for teachers to support them to know how to progress as enquiring practitioners. However,  I also feel that it would be of value to teachers who are experienced in enquiry to make pragmatic choices when taking an enquiring approach to understanding an aspect of their practice.

I’ve therefore made an attempt at a first draft of just such a matrix. At any one time, a teacher could be making different progress, or choices, in the different components of enquiry.

What do you think? Would something like this be helpful? If yes, is this the right way of going about it? Can you improve upon this first draft?


There have been a few suggestions for improving on this idea on twitter since I posted this. I thought it might be easier to make an editable version of the matrix which anyone can contribute to. Click here to open the editable version and add your ideas.


  • Reply Stuart Farmer |

    I think this sort of matrix is useful in describing the continuum. Enquiry can and does take place at different levels and it is good to promote ways of people recognising this. I would hope that all teachers were at least operating in your first column and consider that this is sensible practice for anyone involved in teaching and learning and looking to improve their own practice and the performance of their pupils. It would be good if more people could progress up to the “higher” levels. To do this there will have to be good opportunities to learn and to practise enquiry and this will probably mean there will need to be some incentives to do this. Not just Masters level qualifications but other opportunities where enquiry is valued and seen to be of value. This all needs time and space for teachers and as always they are at a premium or not sufficiently prioritised.

So, what do you think ?