Fresh Beginnings: Promoting a Culture of Teacher Inquiry through Passion in the Profession


Student author:

Jonathan Hart '04

Document Type


Publication Date


Department 1



Teachers are required to participate in professional development and seek meaningful opportunities to truly grow in the profession. Teacher inquiry, or teacher research, is one way to accomplish professional development goals. Teacher inquiry is thought of as individualized, personalized, and meaningful professional development (Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 1999). Teacher inquiry must go beyond a teacher wondering (Dana & Yendol-Hoppey, 2020) where teachers develop a project from their own practice, collect data, and draw conclusions to continue their professional development. In this study a cohort of certificated professionals engaged in a year-long project that included asking research questions and developing an independent study to examine their practice. Nine certificated professionals participated in the year-long project representing various grade levels and experiences. The results have implications for educational administrators, indicating that a trusting, supportive environment among teachers, in collaboration with administrators, is paramount in developing a culture of inquiry. Further results demonstrated that peer collaboration by way of periodic workshops promoted professional discourse, camaraderie, and collaboration when exploring individual projects. This research project furnishes further evidence of the importance of teaching inquiry in schools and provides a sample structure for school leaders wishing to develop a culture of inquiry.