CLMOOC 2015: Make An Inquiry, Make Cycle 1

CLMOOC 2015’s first Make Cycle has begun!

We’ve changed the name of what was originally “the inquiry group” to Make An Inquiry.  (I worried that the term “group” would imply something that requires membership, application, approval from an authority, and so forth; we hoped that changing the name would lower barriers to entry.)

Another barrier to entry might be the word inquiry itself.  It seems to me that inquiry can have many meanings; it’s possible that the meaning of the word depends on the context and needs of an individual or a community.  I think that inquiry, like the term research, can be intimidating – but I don’t think it needs to be!  At its root, in my mind, inquiry is about asking questions and (to borrow a phrase from Michael Fullan¹) making these questions our friends by embracing them and then doing something about them.

Since the first Make Cycle encourages us to make and unmake introductions, I decided that I would introduce myself by sharing my questions.  I’m also going to share some “how to” ideas about inquiry – what Terry Elliot called “roadmaps.”

I also want to work on an annotated bibliography of resources – if I have time!  🙂

¹ Fullan, Michael. Change Forces: Probing the Depth of Educational Reform. London: Falmer Press, 1993.

Fullan writes (p. 39):  “In short, problems are our friends, but only if you do something about them.”

He elaborates (p. 37):

we cannot develop effective responses to complex situations unless we actively seek and confront the real problems which are in fact difficult to solve. Problems are our friends because it is only through immersing ourselves in problems that we can come up with creative solutions. Problems are the route to deeper change and deeper satisfaction. In this sense effective organizations ’embrace problems’ rather than avoid them.

Questions don't have to be villians.  (Public domain, accessed at https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/37/Batman_villains_The_Penguin_The_Riddler_The_Joker_1967.JPG
Questions don’t have to be villains. (Public domain, accessed at https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/37/Batman_villains_The_Penguin_The_Riddler_The_Joker_1967.JPG)

 

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