Professional inquiry for inclusive education: learning amidst institutional and professional boundaries.
journal contributionposted on 2017-07-05, 00:00 authored by FR Waitoller, EB Kozleski, T Gonzalez
We examined how an inquiry group composed of a university professor, 3 doctoral students, and a grade-level team of 7th- and 8th-grade teachers negotiated their collaborative work. This effort resulted in the development of a 2-week unit that tapped into students' out-of-school knowledge. Our research question asked how learning occurs within a boundary practice formed by university and middle school participants. We used analytical tools from Grounded Theory to analyze videos of meetings between university and school personnel, field notes, and meeting artifacts. Participants engaged in a dance in which boundaries among institutions and professions were sustained and challenged. The inquiry project became an open-ended learning zone in which all participants sought and gave support in joint action, expanding the mutual understandings of the object of their work. We recommend developing relational agency (Edwards, 2007) to engage in inquiry projects for inclusive education.