New Study Highlights Importance of Collaborative Inquiry
A study from the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE), published last November, offers school perspectives on the benefits of New York City’s data-informed collaborative inquiry process. Since 2006, policymakers have been refining a citywide collaborative inquiry model in which teams of teachers work together to make better use of newly available data resources to meet the learning needs of struggling students in their classrooms and to make recommendations that strengthen school systems.
The report identified 10 lessons that offer policymakers and school leaders guidance in the configuration, rollout, and support of collaborative inquiry. The lessons speak directly to the conditions, structures, relationships, and leadership practice that support high teacher participation in collaborative inquiry. The lessons also describe the benefits of collaborative inquiry as reported by teachers and administrators.
Lesson topics were:
- The uniqueness of inquiry conversations to teachers
- Principal leadership styles supportive of collaborative inquiry
- Opportunities for teacher leadership through inquiry
- Inquiry and the leadership pipeline within the school
- The use of existing teacher groups to configure the inquiry work
- The importance of dedicated, protected time for inquiry
- Teacher use of data for instructional decision making
- Collaborative inquiry as professional development
- Inquiry and school-improvement goals
- Central office vision and policy supports to deepen inquiry
Data is from visits to 13 elementary and secondary schools, which included 213 interviews with administrators and teachers actively engaged in inquiry and 37 observations of inquiry team meetings.