'How to do it' Guides

How to … create a community of inquiry

Practitioner researchers are empowered when they collaborate in their investigations. Vivienne Baumfield explains how communities of inquiry can be developed.
Two women talking

Sharing practice knowledge

Building up knowledge about teaching is difficult if teachers feel isolated within the confines of their individual classrooms or within the structures of schools.  Teaching is a complex activity and teachers have to deal with messy and ill-structured problems as part of their daily practice as educators and in such conditions establishing routines based on tacit, practice knowledge can be a desirable option but one that limits the potential for innovation and improvement.  The argument for the importance of creating opportunities for the explicit sharing of the knowledge of practice amongst staff has been strengthened by the identification in the school improvement literature of internal variations within a school as the most significant factor impacting on pupil achievement. The Director of the largest public funded research programme in education in the UK, Andrew Pollard, adds weight to the case for teachers learning together in professional communities by advocating collaboration in the spirit of inclusiveness as the best way to meet conceptual, methodological and transformational challenges in education (Pollard, 2014). 

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