Towards the end of the school year in June, I posted on Twitter asking for suggestions on a good summer read with a particular focus on project design, inquiry, or student agency. One suggestion that stood out to me in particular was a book titled Dive Into Inquiry by Trevor McKenzie. I asked a colleague I trusted about the book and he said he hadn’t read it but he’s heard good things. He also suggested I follow Trevor on Twitter as he is a good follow and posts a lot of interesting things about education, inquiry, and teaching in general. So I asked my principle for the $20 for the book, got approved, and put in my order.
In the meantime I came across this graphic on Trevor’s twitter about inquiry:
I also engaged with various educators on Twitter about the different levels of inquiry, when they are best used, and the scaffolding that goes between the different levels. With these early insights into inquiry, I eagerly awaited my new book.
Before I get into the content of the book I want to share a little about my approach to intrapreneurial thinking that led me to this book. It started by posting to Twitter for ideas. There is a rich community of educators on Twitter who are very supportive. By posing questions, making requests, or throwing out an idea, I often receive insightful and well thought out responses. So one strategy to increasing your capacity within your organization is to get active on Twitter as a platform and engage with other educators.
Next, I shared with a colleague about the book. It is important to develop relationships within your organization with people who have similar interests and are open to new ideas. This opens up opportunities for conversation about different things you are trying. Don’t try new things all alone.
If you do not have anyone that you engage with, bring a book that you are reading to your next faculty meeting. Ask a couple people if they have read it before. Discuss with your principal if you can make an announcement if anyone would like to read the book along with you. Anything to get the conversation started internally can be beneficial. You never know who within your organization might have those similar interests as you.
And finally, after getting the book I reached out to the author on Twitter. I commented on some of their posts. I made my own posts mentioning that I ordered the book and I tagged them. I engaged in conversations with others who had mentioned the author.
Quality creators tend to be very engaged on Twitter. They rely on their audience to build and maintain their presence. Since reaching out on Twitter I have had many correspondences with the author in both direct messages or via his posts. I have been able to build a relationship with him. Through these communications, I have learned about professional development that he is leading in my area. He has also connected me with other educators who are looking into similar topics.
So before I had even gotten the book, I had already begun to engage with the topic, build my network, and start the process of creating new ideas and relationships that I can use to leverage my capacity as an educator and support student learning.
The rest of this multi-part blog series will cover my journey on Dive Into Inquiry. I will discuss the ideas and concepts in the book, how I prototyped using inquiry via my music technology class, some ideas about how I am looking to use inquiry in my math classroom, as well as how inquiry fits into some broader institutional initiatives at my school.