This is my first entry to my journal. As with a traditional journal, I will be recording snapshots of my learning process, insights gained, changes to my perspective, etc. I will try and focus on what has been meaningful to me as a learner.
This year, my division’s model of professional development has changed to create space for Collaborative Inquiry Teams. These teams are based out of our local schools and should have a literacy focus to match the division’s strategic plan through Literacy for Life. To further understand this changing professional development model, I joined The Reflective Educator’s Guide to Classroom Research by Nancy Fichtman Dana and Diane Yendol-Hoppey. Joining a book club is not new for me. Every year, I participate in book circles with my school division to engage, discuss and debate relevant ideas in education with colleagues. By joining this book club, I was hoping to review and analyze the content from my Introduction to Research Methods course with the professional development model in my division to develop a deeper understanding of research and professional inquiry.
When reading content on knowledge generation, my thoughts surrounded what was most familiar and comfortable to me. Through reflection, I found that each method of knowledge generation felt familiar. There was no single method that seemed strange and unfamiliar although certain methods stood out. Those most attractive to me were qualitative, transformative, and pragmatic because I have always had an affinity to irreverent questions that challenge the status quo and normally accepted ideas. Although I really on quantitative data constantly in my life, I had a reluctance to openly embrace this method as fears of formulas and mathematical boredom took over my thoughts regardless of the presence of this type of data and methodology that is so commonplace to me.
In the first discussion, my post reflected evidence-based inquiry as a means to be transformative focusing on environmental issues and realities which is one of my personal passions. I explored the role of teachers as agents of change that would enable positive outcomes for students, teachers, community members, non-human species, and the planet as whole. Within my thread In the discussion, Gloria Sutherland shared this idea: “Many scholars & scientists ie Suzuki have come to understand and respect tribal philosophy & epistemologies (after years of learning). This is one reason why cultural restoration is important our knowledge is not privy but share, as well help, care for mother earth.” I appreciated Gloria’s emphasis that after having focused on quantitative methods and others to explain the world and represent it into numerical data, there was need to return to a place where ancient knowledge were respected and relevant. I also appreciated the mention of shared knowledge. Since having explored the knowledge-based economy and the infinite patenting of knowledge as a means of privatizing information for-profit, I have struggled with the balance between the individual and the collective needs to ownership of information.
When thinking about the research process it seems simple enough to look in an overview. The largest challenge for myself, as it was expressed in the discussion by other learners, is the necessity to focus on a reality or problem and to remain on task throughout the research process. There are infinite research topics that interest me and picking just one will be difficult. When I apply research methods and evidence-based inquiry in my professional life with my collaborative inquiry team and my masters the task of focusing on one issue at first seemed impossible. Soon, my CIT we focus identified engagement and sense of belonging and success rates of Late French Immersion students through the use of qualitative methods using questionnaires to capture participants’...