Dr Linda Bendikson, the Director of the University of Auckland Centre for Educational Research, wrote a very good post about inquiry: Inquiry – a much abused word.
As someone who is continually learning about inquiry (or perhaps inquiring into inquiry), I found it interesting that inquiries should be about making a difference in the short-term as a part of the iterative inquiry cycle/spiral. They are most effective when you look back on your practice and the outcomes of it every 5-10 weeks rather than trying something out for a year or two.
Dr Bendikson says that inquiry “should be the day to day work of teams – not a project or special event, and definitely not an ‘add-on’.”
I think it’s easy for us to say “this year my inquiry is…” and then semi-forget about it and go about our day-to-day teaching life and at the end of the year look back at what’s gone on, but we need to turn this around and remind ourselves that the focus, as Dr Bendikson says, is still on the “effectiveness of the teaching that is occurring”. It’s a bit difficult to improve outcomes for students at the end of the year if we haven’t focused on the effectiveness of our teaching