Teachers College Press

Teaching as Inquiry:
Asking Hard Questions to Improve Practice and Student Achievement

Alexandra Weinbaum, David Allen, Tina Blythe, Katherine Simon, Steve Seidel, and Catherine Rubin
Foreword by Ann Lieberman and Jacqueline Ancess
Practitioner Inquiry
Pub Date: March 2004, 192 pages

Paperback: $27.95, ISBN: 0807744573
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"Offers a refreshing optimism along with the powerful reminder that the possibilities for student learning will mirror the possibilities for teacher learning....This book captures the dignity of teaching at a time when that dignity needs rescuing."
—From the Foreword by Ann Lieberman and Jacqueline Ancess

"The authors address collaborative inquiry in a way that is both scholarly and practical, an approach that makes this book useful in both the university classroom and the schoolhouse."
Dennis Sparks, Executive Director, National Staff Development Council

"This book is a must-read for school leaders interested in collaboration and reflective practice."
Sherry P. King, Superintendent of Schools, Mamaroneck, New York

This book offers an engaging and effective approach to improving teacher and student learning. Based on the experiences of three leading educational organizations, the authors provide invaluable, research-based guidelines for incorporating inquiry into teacher's instructional practices and student work as part of the ongoing work of schools. In addition to discussing the lessons learned and questions raised by inquiry work, this volume includes specific considerations for determining who should be involved, what work should be under review, how it should be reviewed, and how such inquiry should be supported by the school.

  • Detailed case studies from urban elementary and secondary schools that illustrate how teachers and administrators have initiated and sustained processes of inquiry that contributed to changes in instruction, improved student outcomes, and their own professional learning.
  • Benchmarks for teachers and administrators to gauge their progress in initiating and deepening inquiry in their own schools.
  • Chapters: Introduction: Turning Classroom Experience into Teaching Expertise; Foundations for Inquiry: Reviewing the Research; Critical Considerations for Starting Inquiry; Beginning with One Teacher: Inquiry at ASCEND; A District Initiates: Inquiry at Maxson Middle School; Tracing a Whole-School Evolution: Inquiry at The Harbor School; Engaging Equity and District Mandates: Inquiry at Melrose Elementary School; Milestones and Discoveries: A Cross-Case Commentary; Toward a Culture of Inquiry: Reflections and Policy Implications

Alexandra T. Weinbaum co-directs the Academy for Educational Development's (AED's) Center for School and Community Services. David Allen is a researcher at the National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools, and Teaching (NCREST) at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Tina Blythe teaches courses for faculty at the Boston Architectural Center and has been a researcher with Project Zero since 1988.
Katherine G. Simon is co-Executive Director of the Coalition of Essential Schools.
Steve Seidel is a lecturer on education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and director of Harvard Project Zero.
Catherine S. Rubin is the president of EduChange, Inc. in New York City, which offers a variety of consultation services to schools and other educational organizations.

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