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Collaborative Inquiry for Educators


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Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgments About the Author 1. Why Collaborative Inquiry? A Four-Stage Model Getting Started 2. Stage 1: Framing the Problem Determining a Meaningful Focus Determining a Shared Vision Developing an Inquiry Question Formulating a Theory of Action Reflection for Facilitators 3. Stage 2: Collecting Evidence Developing Knowledge, Competencies, and Shared Understandings Implementing Changes in Practice Developing the Data Collection Plan Reflection for Facilitators 4. Stage 3: Analyzing Evidence Considering Implementation Data Analysis Examining Assumptions Reflection for Facilitators 5. Stage 4: Documenting, Celebrating and Sharing Documenting and Sharing Celebrating Debriefing the Process Reflection for Facilitators Resources Resource A. Identifying Student Learning Needs Resource B. Sphere of Concern Versus Realm of Control Resource C. Examples of Purpose Statements Resource D. Inquiry Questions--Examples--Strong and Weak Resource E. Theory of Action T-Chart Resource F. Innovation Configuration Map Template Resource G. Data Collection Plan Template Resource H. Levels of Implementation Templates Resource I. Collaborative Inquiry Teams--Small Group Sharing Resource J. Characteristics of Collaborative Inquiry Continuum Resource K. Characteristics of Collaborative Inquiry--Start--Stop--Continue References Index

About the Author

Jenni Donohoo is the director of Praxis-Engaging Ideas, Inc and a project manager for the Council of Ontario Directors of Education (CODE). Jenni has a PhD in Educational Studies and Supervisory Officer Qualifications. Jenni is a former classroom teacher and currently works with system, school leaders, and teachers around the world to support high quality professional learning. She has authored many peer-reviewed publications and three best-selling books, including Collaborative Inquiry for Educators, The Transformative Power of Collaborative Inquiry (with Moses Velasco), and Collective Efficacy: How Educators' Beliefs Impact Student Learning. Jenni's areas of expertise include collective efficacy, metacognition, adolescent literacy, and facilitating collaborative learning structures.


"Jenni Donohoo's immensely thoughtful and deeply practical discussion of collaborative inquiry helps teachers to live up to and also be enlivened by the high standards of evidence-informed judgment that define all true professions. Like the world-class facilitator she is, she moves her readers forward with ideas, activities and examples that do not talk down to them or go over their heads. Her book is essential for all leaders, teachers and staff developers, who want to help all their teachers become successful professionals, and who want to be treated like top-notch professionals themselves as they do so." -- Andy Hargreaves, Thomas More Brennan Chair in Education
"Student learning outcomes increase as educators' professional learning contributes to enhanced teaching quality. The most powerful strategy and structure for this dynamic is the professional learning community (PLC) and in the PLC context, adult learning results from the collaborative inquiry of the participants. The author of this significant guide to facilitating collaborative inquiry has created a compelling vision of such inquiry and the professional learning that develops from it. In clear and unpretentious language, Donohoo guides the user through a challenging but practical four-step learning sequence so that teachers learn and subsequently, students achieve--a goal to which we all subscribe and endorse." -- Shirley M. Hord, Scholar Laureate
"Donohoo provides a practical and powerful four-step process to guide collaborative inquiry teams in identifying, inventing, and investigating solutions to problems of practice that occur in their everyday work. The tools, examples, and detailed guidelines provide teacher leaders, coaches, principals, and others with the resources they need to transform unproductive team meetings into evidence-based interactions and study that result in improved practice and results for students." -- Joellen Killion, Senior Advisor
"Donohoo has provided a rare gift in a book that one can read forwards, backwards, or in the middle. You can pinpoint your need, save time, and make immediate use of this excellent resource. The references are extensive and current. At the back of the book the reader finds eleven enormously practical and immediately applicable resources-analytical frameworks and thought-provoking questions that you can use the first time you read the text. The chapters include compelling evidence and practical advice, but it's too easy for readers to dismiss the last pages of a book. Don't make that mistake with this immensely useful and practical volume." -- Douglas Reeves, Founder
"Collaborative Inquiry for Educators provides a balance of conceptual knowledge and pragmatic next steps. Perfect for a grade level or department chair." -- Thomas Van Soelen, Associate Superintendent
"Jenni Donohoo's book articulates in detail what facilitation needs to look like, along with how to create the conditions to actually make it happen. It is a must read for anyone trying to actively develop and support the link between teacher and leader actions, and positive student outcomes." -- Steven Katz, Director
"Often educational organizations engage in 'hot topic' practices, but not always with knowledge of how to effectively do so. Jenni Donohoo provides very clear and explicit grounding for an individual who might be assigned as a facilitator for a collaborative inquiry within a school system. In the spirit of collaborative inquiry, Donohoo recognizes the need for adaptation to different situations and often provides options for facilitators to consider. Grounding this work in the professional learning literature, she does an excellent job of weaving citations from that literature into a guiding manual for how to proceed. I would certainly recommend this resource to facilitators of or participants in a collaborative inquiry as well as to administrators who set up the opportunities for such collaborations." -- Marian Small, Dean Emerita
"This book provides detailed, practical, and well-grounded ideas for those wanting to make professional learning communities work effectively. It's a fine resource for anyone working with school development or improvement." -- Ben Levin, Professor and Canada Research Chair
"Collaborative Inquiry for Educators is a guide for school leaders who long to move beyond superficial group meetings and into meaningful inquiry that effects actual changes in instruction and student achievement. It provides a timely guide to meeting the expectations of Common Core Standards." -- Judy Beemer, Literacy Coach and AVID Coordinator
"This resource is a must have for collaborative team facilitators." -- Rosetta Riddle, Professional Learning Coordinator
"This book provides a practical, easy-to-follow overview of collaborative inquiry for teams of classroom teachers. No longer do you need to force a match between your school and someone else's research, now your teachers can conduct their own authentic research." -- Charre Todd, Science Teacher
"Oftentimes a reader will pick up a book and think the ideas are fantastic, but where most books fall short is in providing strategies for implementation. Not so with Collaborative Inquiry for Educators. The steps are clearly laid out, and the author has taken much of the guesswork of how to share or implement the ideas. If you are looking for the full package, including research, strategies, and implementation, then this is a book well worth your time." -- Christina M. Smith, Social Studies Chair
"This book is an excellent hands-on manual that will guide administrators, teachers and potential administrators through the process of collaborative inquiry. This is a very practical guide to the process, with numerous vignettes making the process very easy to understand. If you have a desire to begin the process of collaborative inquiry in your school, I would definitely recommend this book." -- Stephen Armstrong, President-Elect

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