Teachers’ perspectives on collaboration with didacticians to create an inquiry community

2011-09-15T10:48:53Z (GMT) by Raymond Bjuland Barbara Jaworski
A research and development project, Learning Communities in Mathematics (LCM) was designed to create opportunities for ‘co-learning inquiry’ between mathematics teachers in eight schools and didacticians in a university in Norway (UiA). The focus has been on improving mathematics teaching and learning at school levels from lower primary to upper secondary and on the developmental processes and partnerships involved. A central aim was to create a community of inquiry through which aspects of mathematics teaching and learning could be explored, and through which both teachers and didacticians could learn in practice. Theoretically, ‘Community of Inquiry’ derives from ‘Community of Practice’ as expounded by Lave andWenger, and particularlyWenger’s concept of ‘belonging’. The project included three, one-year phases of joint activity. At the end of Phase II, didacticians led focus group interviews with teacher teams to gain insights into schools’ and teachers’ perceptions of the project and its activity. We report on insights into how teachers thought about the activities of the project and what an inquiry community looks like in terms of the learning of those involved. We relate this back to the theoretical perspectives of communities of practice and inquiry.