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Title: Teachers developing understanding of enquiry based learning
Author: Reid, Anna Jane
ISNI:       0000 0004 5353 791X
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2014
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A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project between an English state secondary school and a northern UK university from January 2008 to December 2009 was the first of its kind. It was designed to develop a community of enquiry within Key Stage 3 and a formative assessment framework for enquiry skills. Upon its completion, I moved from being the main researcher on the project to a position of senior leadership in another school. Here, I found that the contrasting experiences of leading a divergent approach to pedagogy in one school and then adhering to dominant discourses of performativity in another school created tensions between my personal beliefs about teaching and learning and the expectations of externally imposed agenda in UK education. My thesis is therefore motivated by a personal desire to explore whether the teachers with whom I worked during the KTP project experienced similar tensions and uncertainties when developing their understanding of enquiry based learning. My conceptual framework comprises an evolving view of curriculum change through teacher professional learning and teacher agency. This complements the theme of underlying social and cultural issues which runs throughout my work. My research strategy is qualitative and my methodology is dialogic. My accounts of the research process and its findings are interpretive and validated in the form of feedback loops. Findings demonstrate teachers’ theoretical understandings of enquiry. They also provide reasons why teachers include or omit enquiry from their teaching practice over time. Indeed, teacher agency is mostly ‘internal’. Where it exists externally, teacher agency is often ‘contractual’. Teachers come to terms with the dominant factors of their social and cultural contexts and reduce their pedagogic practice to ‘pseudo-enquiry’. As further study, the concepts of ‘internal’ and ‘contractual’ agency are useful lenses for exploring curriculum change and understanding teachers’ professional learning.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available