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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Colloquium Archive

K. Sunday Cummins

Name: K. Sunday Cummins, College of Education

Presentation Title: "Examining the Complexities of 'Kidwatching' in a Context for Teacher Inquiry"

Date: April 5, 2007


This study explored how three intermediate grade teachers used an inquiry approach to shift from whole class reading instruction to responsive, assessment-driven types of instruction. This was a qualitative research study with an epistemological framework of constructionism. The data were analyzed using a constant comparative method. During the course of one school year, the teachers shaped a focus for their inquiries and met as a group with the researcher to examine student artifiacts related to each teacher's inquiry. Group members made recommendations for future instruction based on their analysis of the students' work. The researcher took the role of participant-observer and acted as a co-teacher and professional coach in the teachers' classrooms. The results indicate the teachers increased their awareness of the need for differentiated instruction and increased their understanding of explicit strategy instruction. Each teacher's path towards change and each teacher's engagement in critical reflection was different from their peers'. Factors such as cognitive engagement and motivations for participating in the group may have affected their degree of change and their engagement in reflection. Implications for change in classrooms using an inquiry approach and a coaching model are discussed.