The GTCS website clearly states that ‘Practitioner enquiry, as defined by Menter et al (2011), is a ‘finding out’ or an investigation with a rationale and approach that can be explained or defended. The findings can then be shared so it becomes more than reflection or personal enquiry.’. This to me conveys that an enquiring practitioner in terms of teaching is someone who does further research on topics so that it can ultimately impact both their own and children’s learning and development for the better. Following my reading on the GTCS website I feel what follows fits in with my opinion of what an enquiring practitioner is: ‘argued by McLaughlin et al (2004) that teachers who engage in research have ‘better’ understanding of their practice and ways to it.’. This highlights the idea that by doing further research a teacher gets a much better understanding of what they are going on to discuss with their pupils and also how they can build on the way they are teaching the children to maximise their learning.
The idea that teachers can work collaboratively to develop the curriculum is definitely a benefit of practitioner enquiry because together teachers can discuss ideas they have found and think about how they could include this in their practice. Also this gives them the opportunity to listen to each other and develop a deeper understanding of different point of views. GTCS stated ‘Staff are able to work individually and collectively to investigate, question, consider and plan for change and development. This kind of school improvement is evidence-informed and critically justified.’, this demonstrates that teachers have a solid understanding of their research to ensure it will positively impact both them and the children.
However being an enquiring practitioner can have challenges. Due to teachers working collaboratively, this could turn in to a disagreement because they all may have different views which they then have a debate about but in reality they may drift off the real topic resulting in no clear way of how it will positively impact their class. This is why they need to aim to minimise these challenges to avoid a less effective practice.
Being an enquiring practitioner at this stage as a student teacher is something I feel is essential in furthering my learning. After lectures I can go through my notes and find points which I could develop and do further research on. I also need to be more aware that not everything may be a set answer but something I could actually question and find different views on. Not being afraid to speak up and question things is something I feel will positively benefit me both at university and when I go out on placement. This makes it evident that being more aware of being an enquiring practitioner at this early stage will benefit my learning both now as a student teacher and in the future as a qualified teacher.