Retention / Professional learning

Two ways to plan your professional learning

Last updated: December 1, 2018

Two ways to plan your professional learning

Shared inquiry is a great way for educators to systematically analyze professional dilemmas and problem-solve solutions. Two popular approaches include the collaborative model and the spiral of inquiry. These and other inquiry-based models can help a district or school stay focused over a period of time, place the emphasis on student learning and allow staff to meaningfully analyze the results of their actions.

Collaborative inquiry

Collaborative inquiry is a four-step reflective process of planning, acting, observing and assessing. It can be a powerful tool for organizing thinking, devising an action plan and organizing and analyzing data.

collaborative inquiry diagram

Spiral of inquiry

The spiral of inquiry is a six-step model:

  1. Scan – Gathering a wide perspective of how learners feel about their learning.
  2. Focus –Identifying a common area that a team can work on based on the information from the scan.
  3. Develop a hunch – Checking assumptions about current practices and focusing on something that the team can change.
  4. Learn – Identifying what the team needs to learn and how they will accomplish this.
  5. Take action – Making a meaningful difference and evaluating the impact.
  6. Check – Assessing that the difference is sufficient and substantial for all learners.

spiral of inquiry