Collaborative inquiry to support teacher and student learning: A university-school system partnership

Year: 2006

Author: Deppeler, Joanne

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Inclusive education reform has challenged educators to develop policies and practices in schools that provide an effective education for all students. This paper explores how collaborative inquiry (CI) was important for teachers’ professional learning about improving inclusive practices in their schools. It draws on my work in a university–school professional development partnership, the Learning Improves in Networking Communities (LINC) project from 2001-2005. The origins of the LINC project lie in a professional relationship built over ten years, with the director responsible for student support services for Catholic schools in Melbourne, Australia. Our experiences in previous professional development (PD) initiatives had highlighted the importance of contextual issues in attempting to transform practices in schools (Deppeler & Harvey, 2004). This project therefore represented a conceptual and practical opportunity to design a professional learning program that was both responsive to inclusive reform and generative of new practices.