Learning about Teacher Inquiry

Welcome to Camtree’s Learning Area! Central to Camtree’s mission is the provision of high-quality resources, examples and learning modules which can be used to support teachers – individually and working in groups – to carry out close-to-practice research in their particular educational settings.

Close-to-Practice Research and Inquiry Cycles

Many of the close-to-practice research approaches that have been used by teachers to explore and improve teaching and learning in their classrooms feature some kind of inquiry cycle. Such cycles are important elements of action research, reflective teaching, lesson study, learning study and other forms of teacher inquiry, and involve teachers in not just one sequence of activities but, instead, repeated cycles: these may become parts of their everyday working practice. They often involve groups of teachers working collaboratively.

While there are variations between these approaches, and they may be described in different ways, most have stages which broadly correspond to those shown here.

Camtree and Inquiry Cycles

Camtree is currently focussing on providing support, training and resources for two established research approaches, both of which employ a reflective cycle of inquiry. These are Research Lesson Study, and the model of professional inquiry embodied in the Teacher-SEDA approach, which has a focus on classroom dialogue.

Research Lesson Study

A model of collaborative inquiry involving groups of teachers planning classroom innovation together.

Teachers maintain a constant focus on student learning goals in part through close working with a small number of selected ‘case pupils’.

Outcomes and findings of lesson studies may be shared through demonstration lessons, presentations or publication.

Professional Inquiry with T-SEDA

Supports teachers to plan and conduct their own inquiries into classroom dialogue.

Provides tested tools and techniques to enable teachers to observe and develop the quality of dialogue between students and teachers.

Highlights features of whole-class dialogue that are strongly associated both with student learning and positive attitudinal outcomes.

Camtree Learning Resources

Camtree is working with researchers and teachers involved in Research Lesson Study and T-SEDA to develop brand new self-study modules to support teachers to plan, implement and share the outcomes of their inquiries. These will build on existing resources which are based in high quality research, have been extensively used in educational settings around the world, and have bee demonstrated to generate positive learning outcomes; contribute to teachers’ professional development; and have benefits across whole schools and networks.

We will be trialling our new resources during 2022, during which time the original materials on which they are based remain available at the following locations:

T-SEDA

The Teacher Scheme for Educational Dialogue Analysis (T-SEDA) is part of the work of CEDiR: Cambridge Educational Dialogue Research Group at the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education. It provides resources including handbooks and coding schemes in English, Spanish and Chinese. The handbooks are available as PDF downloads here:

Handbooks in other formats, support materials and coding schemes are available at the T-SEDA website.

There is also a collection of resources from the CEDiR research group. These clips show teacher and student dialogue in the classroom from a number of research projects, analysed using different coding schemes.

Research Lesson Study

Camtree is building on work led by Dr. Pete Dudley and currently online at the lessonstudy.co.uk website. This site has examples of research lesson studies from around the United Kingdom, and you can also download the current version of the Lesson Study Handbook. There are also links to translations of the handbook and versions for Early Years practitioners, together with related resources about research lesson study and its role in school improvement.