Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to explore how a district initiative became a process for developing and enhancing teachers’ inquiry knowledge and practices. It captures and examines the process of classroom research and describes it, and the resultant learning, in the context of teachers’ classroom technology implementation and the inquiry process around that implementation. Design/methodology/approach– In this phenomenological case study I engaged teachers in conversations and surveyed them about why they made inquiry decisions. Findings– Being part of a network of peers was an essential aspect of this project and played a central role in individuals’ knowledge construction processes. It was clear while the teacher-grantees had an intellectual understanding about qualitative data, they clearly did not conceptualize qualitative data as data in the same way they understand quantitative data. Practical implications– The current culture around data in schools adds to this misunderstanding and distrust. The current focus on standardized testing and pre-and post-test assessments of students to place them on intervention scales or assess yearly progress leads teachers to believe that data only consist only of numerical evidence that they scale and compare to other numerical evidences. While overall the why of teacher-grantees’ choices during the inquiry cycle are individualized, the results of this study demonstrate the strong influence of school culture on teacher decision making. Originality/value– I anticipate this knowledge about “why” can inform other teachers, administrators, and researchers interested in the experience of engaging in technology innovation programs as well as enhance understanding of what exactly individual teachers learn by doing research, how that learning takes place, and why teachers make particular choices during the action research process.
Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 4, 2016