Monthly Archives: October 2015

Practitioner Enquiry

What is Practitioner Enquiry? Practitioner Enquiry is a system of stepping back and analyzing practice that can not only improve teaching and learning, but also instigate systemic and cultural changes according to Daniel Lambie. Practitioner Enquiry was highlighted in Teaching Scotland’s Future by Margret Donaldson in 2011 to support pupils learning and mainly teachers to become more engaged with research to support their own practice. Below is a diagram showing how and why the General Teaching Council of Scotland (GTCS) want teachers engage in Practitioner Enquiry.

The GTCS diagram on how teachers engage in Practitioner Enquiry

The main benefit to Practitioner Enquiry is professional development where you are able to improve your practice and knowledge by sharing ideas with fellow educators and giving and receiving feedback. It is really important that you know how to research properly so as to continue adding to this body of knowledge you will slowly be retaining.   By doing this you will also be able to find out new teaching strategies and initiatives and share them with fellow educators and know how to deliver them in practice. This works the other way round too. Here is Practitioner Enquiry in action.

A challenge is, depending on how seriously you engage in Practitioner Enquiry, it does take a lot of valuable time to research everything and feedback to fellow educators when you could be doing other important things such as preparing for classes. You may also be working with fellow educators who “can’t be bothered” or just are not interested in becoming a practitioner who enquires.

As a student teacher I need to look become a practitioner who enquires into her practice to positively evolve my knowledge, teaching styles and practice. Without it I might fail to spot problems with students learning from my teaching skills, stop working well in a team situation and ultimately my own teaching. I will have to question your own practice sometimes to benefit from any of this and to positively expand my learning.