If you have been part of the collaborative inquiry work long, REL Appalachia is a name that has been mentioned. REL (Regional Educational Laboratory) Appalachia has been MNPS’ partner supporting the collaborative inquiry work for fostering effective data use practices. REL Appalachia is one of 10 federally funded RELs and provides research-based support to KY, TN, VA, and WV. MNPS is fortunate to be the only district throughout the US with a partnership with a REL.
During the first year of our partnership, time was spent bringing together diverse stakeholders representing middle school teachers, coaches, assistant principals, principals, and central office departments. Time was spent with Dr. Laura Lipton and Bruce Wellman building our capacity around collaborative data use practices and then taking deeper dive in discussion of two critical implementation questions:
The top three barriers identified were lack of a common language, lack of trust, and lack of leadership modeling. The logic models created to address these three barriers helped provide a roadmap for year 2’s work.
In year two, work began to address two of the barriers—lack of common language and lack of leadership modeling. To address the lack of a common language barrier, a committee worked with national experts to develop the MNPS Innovation Configuration Map (IC Map) for Collaborative Inquiry. This map provides a common language about observable behaviors when collaborative inquiry is occurring. It has a progression, so teams can use the IC Map in a variety of ways. The Institute of Education Sciences created two videos highlighting MNPS’ IC Map work:
To address the lack of leadership modeling barrier, a committee of MNPS stakeholders worked with REL Appalachia to develop an evaluation plan, which was then used during the community of practice implementation in Spring 2016 to collect data and monitor the progress of implementation. This final report is still being reviewed by IES, but will be available soon.
If you want to learn more about this work and/or would like support implementing collaborative inquiry data use practices, please contact Margie Johnson at email@example.com.
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