This is the presentation that myself and two colleagues from my school shared today at a workshop at the ACTS Winter Conference on Teacher Leadership.
We shared our own collaborative enquiry as a case study to consider the process of collaborative enquiry in general. We then held a short discussion around the process of collaborative enquiry. Some of the outcomes from this discussion were…
- There’s a reliance on staff in your school being open to this approach and willing to become involved. In our case, it helped that the intervention was an aspect of a whole-school policy which meant that as teachers were to be implementing this change anyway it was possible to present this enquiry as an opportunity for support.
- Time is an issue, as always. Even with the explicit and full permission of our school, all of the meetings were twilight and most of the observations and interviews were carried out in participants’ own time. The lack of time in our case resulted in a decrease in a collaborative approach. For example, some of the approaches to evidence gathering were designed by myself and not by the group as a whole. The enquiry could always be better with more time, but what can be done in the time available is surely better than not doing anything.
- Continuity and commitment from staff is key to the success of this sort of approach. It requires a lot on behalf of the members of the group, but hopefully the outcomes for staff make this worthwhile. These outcomes include improved relationships between staff across the school