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Collaborative Inquiry for Educators

Collaborative Inquiry for Educators
A Facilitator's Guide to School Improvement

May 2013 | 144 pages | Corwin
This book offers a concise, step-by-step guide to the collaborative inquiry process. It supports facilitators in ensuring that the work of their teams is purposeful, productive, and impactful. By following the systematic approach outlined in the book, facilitators will gain a better understanding of the stages of collaborative inquiry and how to implement it as a powerful design for professional learning and a high-leverage strategy for school improvement.

About the Author
1. Why Collaborative Inquiry?
A Four-Stage Model

Getting Started

2. Stage 1: Framing the Problem
Determining a Meaningful Focus

Determining a Shared Vision

Developing an Inquiry Question

Formulating a Theory of Action

Reflection for Facilitators

3. Stage 2: Collecting Evidence
Developing Knowledge, Competencies, and Shared Understandings

Implementing Changes in Practice

Developing the Data Collection Plan

Reflection for Facilitators

4. Stage 3: Analyzing Evidence
Considering Implementation

Data Analysis

Examining Assumptions

Reflection for Facilitators

5. Stage 4: Documenting, Celebrating and Sharing
Documenting and Sharing


Debriefing the Process

Reflection for Facilitators

Resource A. Identifying Student Learning Needs

Resource B. Sphere of Concern Versus Realm of Control

Resource C. Examples of Purpose Statements

Resource D. Inquiry Questions--Examples--Strong and Weak

Resource E. Theory of Action T-Chart

Resource F. Innovation Configuration Map Template

Resource G. Data Collection Plan Template

Resource H. Levels of Implementation Templates

Resource I. Collaborative Inquiry Teams--Small Group Sharing

Resource J. Characteristics of Collaborative Inquiry Continuum

Resource K. Characteristics of Collaborative Inquiry--Start--Stop--Continue


"This book provides a practical, easy-to-follow overview of collaborative inquiry for teams of classroom teachers. No longer do you need to force a match between your school and someone else's research, now your teachers can conduct their own authentic research."

Charre Todd, Science Teacher
Crossett Middle School, AR

"Oftentimes a reader will pick up a book and think the ideas are fantastic, but where most books fall short is in providing strategies for implementation. Not so with Collaborative Inquiry for Educators. The steps are clearly laid out, and the author has taken much of the guesswork of how to share or implement the ideas. If you are looking for the full package, including research, strategies, and implementation, then this is a book well worth your time."

Christina M. Smith, Social Studies Chair
Algonquin Regional High School, Northborough, MA

"This book is an excellent hands-on manual that will guide administrators, teachers and potential administrators through the process of collaborative inquiry. This is a very practical guide to the process, with numerous vignettes making the process very easy to understand. If you have a desire to begin the process of collaborative inquiry in your school, I would definitely recommend this book."

Stephen Armstrong, President-Elect
National Council for the Social Studies
Key features
(1) A clear and concise, step-by-step guide to facilitating collaborative inquiry teams aimed at instructional improvement and increased student achievement.

(2) Chapters covering each step of the collaborative inquiry process include scaffolded activities that facilitators can choose from as they engage school teams in framing a problem, gathering evidence, examining evidence, reflecting, and determining next steps.

(3) Provides real-world examples and sample artifacts from actual teams for modeling various components of each step.

(4) Grounded in the latest research on professional development and school improvement.

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1: Why Collaborative Inquiry?

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ISBN: 9781452274416

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