Learning through inquiry | ECE 672 Personnel Management & Staff Development for Early Childhood Administrators | Ashford University

The cycle of inquiry begins by turning a teacher concern, dilemma, or frustration into a teacher question to investigate and is the key for job-embedded professional development. As mentors, you should understand how a teacher’s individual development phase can provide helpful insight in identifying an area for growth and sharing that area in a constructive way. In this discussion, you will explore how you can influence teachers to wonder, question, and share ideas for their own growth. Prior to participating in the discussion please read Chapter 5, focusing on Table 5.4 – Beginning Mini-Cycle of Inquiry, as well as the scenario below:

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Recently, a preschool teacher was assessed using the CLASS tool (Effective child-teacher interactions) which measures child-teacher interactions on several levels. The purpose of this tool is to improve teaching and student outcomes. The teacher requested time to meet with the CLASS coach because her classroom received a low score in the dimension called “Positive Climate.”

Keep in mind the information on positive and negative climate below.

Positive Climate

Classrooms have a high positive climate when teachers and students

  • Have positive relationships with one another and clearly enjoy being together.
  • Are enthusiastic about learning and spending time in the classroom.
  • Are respectful of one another.

Negative Climate

Classrooms have a high negative climate when teachers and students

  • Get frequently irritated and angry with one another.
  • Are not able to diffuse negative situations such that these situations escalate.
  • Make fun of one another in mean-spirited ways.

More information on positive and negative climate is available in the following blog post: How Positive & Negative Climate Among Teachers Affect Children

  • 1. How can you make a teacher feel competent and excited about engaging in learning?
  • 2. What communication skills would you use in the “Observe” phase to create a teacher-generated research question
  • 3. How might you support the teacher in the “Reflect” phase of the cycle? What are some things you may take into consideration?
  • 4. How would you support the teacher in the “Apply” phase of the cycle to support the teacher in engaging more deeply in their own development?
  • 5. How might you approach this teacher if they began to feel overwhelmed and lacked the confidence to meet the challenge during this process?

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