As we learnt today, in Nikki’s input, being an enquiring practitioner is highly regarded within the teaching profession. This is something that I think we should acknowledge as new student teachers.
On the GTCS website it states that “Practitioner enquiry is an area of professional learning which was highlighted in Teaching Scotland’s Future (Donaldson, 2011) as a way forward to support teachers to become more engaged with research to support their own learning and ultimately pupil experiences.”
To enquire means to ask for information from someone, to investigate and look into a situation further. So, to be an enquiring practitioner, we must investigate. Whilst investigating, we must be able to explain or defend our actions by using a rationale approach. Practitioner enquiry is usually undertake within a practitioner’s own practice however, can be completed in collaboration with others. For practitioner enquiry it is fundamental that it is based on evaluative and reflective teaching. Also, for effective enquiry undertaken by practitioners in the future; it should become and integral aspect of the day to day practice. This I believe interlinks with ‘The Standards 1.4.2 – “I am committed to lifelong enquiry, learning, professional development and leadership as core aspects of professionalism and collaborative practice.”
Like most concepts of education, practitioner enquiry brings both benefits and challenges to the table. Advantages include;
- Through using practitioner enquiry, teachers can become empowered and encouraged to transform and challenge education.
- It provides a resource that teachers can use to monitor and develop their own practice.
- It allows teachers to explore and investigate strategies and initiatives they can adapt in their classroom.
- It can increase their knowledge of teaching and learning. This helps to build their self esteem as a professional and can aid them in making a professional&autonomous judgements which goes onto enhance their professional identity and self esteem further.
However, engaging in practitioner enquiry can also rise challenges for teachers;
- Before engaging with practitioner enquiry, a teacher must consider that it can be somewhat overwhelming and needs to be carefully managed. With the model, it is very easy to take on too much.
- Practitioner enquiry can also be a disengaging and a disempowering process if there is no planning, understanding, management or support offered at all levels. Also, if it is imposed it can lead to the disenfranchisement of those involved.
- It can also be a very slow process, there is not always a specific end point or direction for teachers carrying out practitioner enquiry.
- To transform professional learning there must be radical and rigorous change. This is difficult and individuals and schools need to be open to and ready for potential changes.
Therefore, I believe that we, as teachers, must be adaptive and open to change. We must also engage critically with our practice and always be questionable, never accept.
We must adopt a professional, critical and questionable approach to learning.
We, as student teachers, should grasp education with both hands and transform it for our students by following the ‘Model of career log professional learning’.
The GTCS website was used in support of this TDT.