Teachers seek and require meaningful professional development opportunities to truly grow in the profession. Teacher inquiry, or teacher research, is one way to accomplish professional development goals. Teacher inquiry is thought of as individualized, personalized, and meaningful professional development (Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 1999). In this paper we articulate the learning of a cohort of certificated professionals engaged in a year-long project that included asking research questions, designing data collection tools, and developing an independent study to examine their questions. Nine certificated professionals participated in the year-long project representing various grade levels and experiences. Data was collected through teacher reflections and professional development evaluations. The findings indicated that a trusting, supportive environment is paramount in developing a culture of inquiry. Further learning shows us that peer collaboration promotes professional growth when exploring individual projects. This paper furnishes further evidence of the importance of teaching inquiry in schools and provides a sample structure for schools wishing to develop a practice of teacher inquiry.
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Stebick, Divonna; Hart, Jonathan; Glick, Lauren; Kindervatter, Jaime; Nagel, Jenna; and Patrick, Cathy
"Teacher Inquiry: A Catalyst for Professional Development,"
Networks: An Online Journal for Teacher Research:
Curriculum and Instruction Commons, Elementary Education and Teaching Commons, Other Teacher Education and Professional Development Commons, Pre-Elementary, Early Childhood, Kindergarten Teacher Education Commons, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Commons, Special Education and Teaching Commons