We are very proud to be one of the nominees for the BR&P Award. In our project a Dutch partnership of primary schools, a university of applied sciences, a partnership of secondary schools and a cluster of schools for special education have collaborated to develop a sustainable and evidence-informed way of school development. Several tools have been developed: the scan Culture of Inquiry, intervention cards, a webtool for better use of literature and a tool to stimulate professional dialogue. With these tools, school leaders carried out action plans to enhance the culture of inquiry in their schools. In reflection meetings they reflected on their actions with a researcher.
Quantitative and qualitative data were gathered at three moments to measure the culture of inquiry in schools and the teachers’ inquiring attitude and literature use. In some schools, teachers’ research groups meetings were audiotaped and analysed and teacher behaviour in the classroom was observed. Results show significant positive changes regarding the culture of inquiry, teachers’ inquiring attitude and literature use. Frequent small interventions that fit the routines and needs of the team contributed to this success. The role of the school leader seemed to be very important. The scan and the reflection meetings were helpful for the school leaders to reflect on their leadership, their ambitions and actions.
Anje Ros (left) is associate professor on Learning and Innovation. She conducts research on practitioners’ research, together with the Partnership schools for ten years now.
Ankie de Laat (right) is a School Board member and represents the Partnership of 400 primary schools, that enhances (student) teachers’ and school leaders’ professionalisation.