What it means to be an enquiring practitioner

Student teachers should reflect all the time and being an enquiring practitioner will help to do this. So what is an enquiring practitioner?

It is about investigating a rational approach that can be explained or defended. This is normally done within the practitioners own practice or in a group with others. Being an enquiring practitioner’s means that you are constantly evaluating and reflecting on your teaching, which is fundamental for teachers. This should become an integral aspect of our day-to-day practise. Enquiring is about knowing deeply. We should be questioning ourselves all the time. Doing all of this means that teachers should have a better understanding of their practise and ways in which to improve it.

There are numerous benefits to being and enquiring practitioner. For example it helps to empower teachers and it encourages them to challenge and transform education. It is a good way to provide teachers to monitor and develop their own practise. It allows people to investigate new strategies and initiatives. Overall it increases teacher’s knowledge of learning, which enables them to be more professional and to have higher confidence in their self and their professional identity.

However it does come with some challenges. For example it can be uncomfortable to challenge people. So we need to be sensitive and supportive. It does challenge the traditional way of being a teacher which means people might need to learn a new set of skills. It can sometime be lonely sometimes. For some people this whole process can be a little overwhelming.

For me as a student teacher I feel this all means that I should be constantly questioning myself. I should listen to others and constructively criticise them. I should be learning all the time and to not be afraid to challenge myself and others.


2 thoughts on “What it means to be an enquiring practitioner

  1. Mandy Everett

    You have given an evenly balanced account of the benefits and challenges we will face when we engage with other professionals, Kathleen.

    I agree that challenging the perceived expert knowledge of others may well present uncomfortable situations for us but do you think that we will always have to challenge and change all areas? If something is proven to work and there is evidence to support that, should we strive to alter it, for the sake of doing so?

    Without a doubt, on occasions, we will feel lonely and possibly out of our depths. For this reason, I think it is important to establish ourselves firmly as strong, reliable members of any team we work in and be sensitive in our questioning of others’ opinions. This in turn will hopefully give us the courage to question the unknown and approach others for help when we need it. The second-to-last sentence, in the paragraph in which you have highlighted the challenges we may encounter, needs you attention. You will have, no doubt, read and re-read your work before posting it, as I do, but we still miss things – I have had to edit my blog, twice, after finding mistakes once I had posted it.

  2. Danielle MackayDanielle Mackay

    Kathleen, I like that you have started by asking what an enquiring practitioner is and it immediately had me thinking about it before I moved on.
    I agree that practitioner enquiry should become part of our everyday routine as teachers but I wonder if it would be useful to mention why within your post? Why do we need to see practitioner enquiry as an important aspect of what we do?
    I can see that you clearly believe the benefits outweigh the challenges which is good and I agree that integrating practitioner enquiry into your profession would transform education and certainly enhance the way in which you provide that learning experience for children. I think it would be good to also see your personal view of practitioner enquiry as in how it can benefit you and your career.
    Overall, I think that your post really looked into what it means to be an enquiring practitioner which is good and let me agree with much of what you said.


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