“….collective efficacy, or the shared belief that the group will successfully achieve its goal, is a prime resource for sustained improvements in student learning”
(Goddard, Hoy, & Woolfolk Hoy, 2004).
On December 6, 2016, representatives from MNPS had the opportunity to present at the Learning Forward conference. The presentation, Leveraging Collaboration for Supporting Student Achievement, shared the three-year journey of MNPS’ partnership with the Regional Educational Laboratory Appalachia (REL AP) for building middle school educators’ capacities to engage in the collaborative inquiry process for raising student achievement. The presentation provided evidence-based, practical tips for translating collaborative inquiry from theory at the national level to implementation at the district, school, and classroom levels.
While you can access the presentation below, here’s an overview of what was shared:
Whitney Akin, 5th grade literacy teacher at Dupont Hadley, shared how she took the idea of innovation configuration map and the collaborative inquiry process into her classroom. She has her students create an IC Map for data chats, so they know the expectations of them. She also uses the collaborative inquiry process as a literacy strategy for helping students process text. Check out her literacy handout HERE.
Goddard, R. G., Hoy, W.K., & Woolfolk Hoy, A. (2004). Collective efficacy: Theoretical development, empirical evidence, and future directions. Educational Researchers, 33, 2-13.
Johnson, M. (2016). Experience from the field. Excerpt obtained from How to Make Data Work: A Guide for Educational Leaders, pp. 171.
Lipton, L. & Wellman, B. (2012). Got data? Now what? Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.
One focus of MNPS’ Theory of Action is culture. A tool being used with some MNPS’ middle schools to gather culture data is the Culture and Climate Walkthrough Instrument developed by MNPS’ Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) department. According to Kyla Krengel, Director of SEL, the Culture and Climate rubric and walkthrough instrument was developed as a result of MNPS’ partnership with CASEL, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning. The rubric was created with input from MNPS educators and national experts and provides a common language of school culture and climate. You can access the rubric HERE.
At Rose Park Magnet Math and Science Middle, we used the collaborative inquiry process to facilitate a discussion about the culture and climate data gathered at their school. Common planning teams took a deep dive in identifying key observations from the data, then proposing multiple theories of causation. Now, the leadership team is developing a survey for reaching a consensus on a theory to dive deeper into and creating a community of practice around the issue.
To read more about Rose Park Magnet Math and Science Middle collaborative inquiry journey, please go HERE.
If you have a collaborative inquiry story to share or need any support, please feel free to email Margie Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I came across an article this week in Education Week entitled, Why Collaborative Inquiry? Professional Learning That Makes a Difference (DeWitt & Donohoo, 2016). While in MNPS we have been using collaborative inquiry as a data use process, after reading this article it is evident that collaborative inquiry is a process that can be used for much more.
In the article, they highlight how collaborative inquiry is a great strategy for providing high-quality, job-embedded professional learning (DeWitt & Donohoo, 2016). By using the collaborative inquiry process, teachers are put in the driver’s seat of their own learning. They are encouraged to take a deep dive into issues facing their practice and school. Through their ownership of the learning and collective wisdom, they are able to tackle complex issues, which help support student success.
Of course, knowing that collaboration is the key and implementing it is two different things. Luckily, MNPS, in partnership with REL Appalachia, Dr. Laura Lipton, and Bruce Wellman, has been provided with training about the structures, strategies, and principles for facilitating collaborative teams.
To learn more about this training, you can access it HERE.
Also, if you are interested in participating in a collaborative inquiry community of practice to learn more about facilitating collaborative teams, please complete this form.
Here’s to a wonderful December…..
DeWitt, P. & Donohoo, J. (2016, November 30). Why collaborative inquiry? Professional learning that makes a difference. Education Week. Retrieved from http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/finding_common_ground/2016/11/why_collaborative_inquiry_professional_learning_that_makes_a_difference.html?r=1680500941
Click HERE to subscribe to receive emails for the blog posts.