‘What is the purpose of enquiry and why is it worth doing?’

For me, enquiry is about what we do every day as teachers. We see a need, try to meet it, evaluate how effective our strategy was and then plan where to go next. It is about not settling for a certain standard but always striving to achieve more. Before teaching I trained as a high level athlete and even after a personal best, we would return to training the following week, evaluate our previous training and look at our next goals and how we were going to get there. I see enquiry in the same way, it is a way of working not a one off exercise to fill CPD hours. The more it is thought of in this way, the less daunting and scary it will seem to those using an enquiry approach. I have heard many teachers say “I did an enquiry last year” or “I have too much work to do an enquiry at the moment”. I don’t believe enquiry should be a thing we do, I think it should be a way we think that fits tightly with our ongoing evaluation, assessment and reflective practice.  I loved what Prof. Kate Wall said about the quest to find answers however, you more often then not end up coming out the other side with more questions and the cycle continues again. Questions keep us intrigued and motivated, answers help us to settle. The circle of enquiry keeps learning innovative, it keeps challenging us as teachers to improve ourselves and therefore the outcomes for our learners.

5 Responses to “‘What is the purpose of enquiry and why is it worth doing?’”


  • It’s great that you see enquiry processes as a natural part of your teaching life and a way to strive for continued improvement. I found the SCEL course helped me to develop my understanding and focus on enquiry, much in the same way as your Sustainabiity course has filtered into your way of thinking and teaching. In my view, although answers may settle people temporarily, every answer means a deeper understanding, therefore can lead to a new set of questions!

  • I really like the way you’ve articulated your answer for this task Faye, especially as I identify with what you’ve discussed. As teachers we are constantly reflecting, evaluating, improving and adapting on repeat and I feel that professional enquiry is simply a more formalised approach to this. I also agree that shouldn’t be something that we don’t have time for or see as a one off but instead it should be something that informs and shapes us as part of our professional development.

  • “Questions keep us intrigued and motivated, answers help us to settle” – I love that. I agree, and you have put it so well, that enquiry should be a way of working. For enquiry to be a way of working, everyone has to understand and accept is. What helps us to get to the point where everyone understands and accepts it? Is it something everyone would agree on?

    • I think enquiry can differ for different people dependent on where they are in their journey or what their needs are. However I think those who have experience of enquiry need to share their experiences with others to encourage this way of working for everyone.

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