Our CPD Tuesday afternoons are now into their second year. Our cross-curricular enquiry groups have settled well. Professional dialogue has increased and the atmosphere in the school altered. A climate of sharing, reflecting and experimenting has evolved.
Our Collaborative Enquiry Groups keep their name because the focus of their work has not shifted. Looking at issues from multiple perspectives and enquiring into these issues is still our aim. However the process has become more formalised this year in that our groups are working to complete Action Research projects.
Action Research suits us because it is practice based and demands reflection. It also allows for colleagues to choose their own focus of research which is rooted in their own classroom based practice. Action Research as a methodology also appeals in that there is no searching for truths or replicable solutions to problems. The focus on challenging our beliefs and the benefit of improving our practice are the draws.
The challenge we have is in asking groups to create the project and report together so that the process remains as collaborative as possible.
Publications which have influenced our approach:
‘Action Research for Teachers’, McNiff and Whitehead, David Fulton 2005
‘Action Research in Education’, McAteer, Sage 2013