"A matter of my heart": teachers' experiences with inquiry-based professional learning

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Fitchett, Aaron B.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education
Teacher participation in professional learning and growth activities varies for myriad reasons including, but not limited to, the efforts of educational leaders within schools and school system leaders more broadly. The purpose of this study was to gather insight into what reveals, or is essential to, the role of inquiry in teachers’ experiences of professional learning and growth. Within the study, nine teachers from a mid-sized urban school division in Alberta, Canada were interviewed using a semi-structured interview process. Phenomenological processes were employed to design methodology and data analysis approaches that exposed the essence of participant experiences. Findings showed the relevance of relationships, identity, autonomy, resources, collaboration, and reflection, to the responses participants shared. This research study illuminates the lived experiences of participants for the purpose of generating essential understandings, while simultaneously avoiding judgment, interpretation, or criticism. Deriving that which is the essence of teachers’ experiences was the primary objective of this study; however, recommendations are shared for both the purpose of future research and the professional reflection of educational leaders seeking insight on the role of inquiry in teacher professional learning and growth.
education administration , teacher training , adult and continuing