You are on page 1of 2

Kristen Jackson 2/5/13 Artifact 1 Conversation with inquiry group about inquiry question At the initial inquiry meeting,

, I introduced my question with extreme hesitation. I wrote my paper in the fall thinking my topic would surround the idea of motivation and underperformance of students. I realized that much of my pedagogy this year has developed surrounding the idea of motivation and what that looks like in my classroom. I have noticed over the course of this year that many of my students are extremely capable but for various reasons, are unmotivated to work hard in my class. Many of them lack the skills needed to succeed in a high school world history classroom. However, with a lot of hard work, they could get there. I thought I would focus on this in my inquiry paper, but I soon realized just how difficult that would be. Unfortunately, one does not simply measure motivation and without a strict focus on numbers and test scores, underperformance is equally as difficult to articulate. When bringing the issue to my group, we all began a large discussion of agency, and what that means to each of us in our respective classrooms and how we can study this for the purpose of inquiry. What I have learned in my classroom, I have often been confused by and/or unable to discern. I was finally able to bounce my raw thoughts and ideas off of my group, and we realized we all want to examine a very similar topic: how do we get our kids to see that they have just as much control in the classroom as we do as teachers. We all define agency differently, but thats to be expected given we are all teaching in different environments. For me, I finally realized I want my students to realize their levels of ownership in the classroom, and that they own their own academic progress. This again, was still too abstract to be measured directly, but I can finally describe it concretely.

Through discussion with my group, I revisited the survey I gave my students at the end of November, a few weeks after fully taking over the class from my classroom mentor. I used this survey to gauge their needs, and personal views of their strengths and weaknesses. I did not realize that I would later use these for my inquiry project. In discussing with the group our initial perceptions of agency, I realized the biggest goal in my classroom has always been ownership; over academics, over behavior, accountability and responsibility. Thus, I added the idea of self assessment to my question, to determine how I can infuse self-assessment techniques to begin to encourage students to realize their ownership over their classroom. This classroom is just as much theirs as mine, ergo the way they treated it dictates the outcome. A safe educational space means each student can take what they need and contribute in a productive manner, but an unsafe space can undo much of this progress and prevent many students from gaining what they need from the learning experience. I revised my question several times, but I attribute this initial conversation with my inquiry group to the first time I had a concrete idea of what I would be discussing. Although each of us has defined and perceives agency differently, we all inherently agree that our topics are abstract in nature. This has made it difficult to discuss given the lack of concrete terms available to discuss what is at play in our classrooms. However, I am much more confident in my question after multiple conversations with my group. Not only is my question more defined, but I finally have a solid understand of both my role and my students role in evaluating my question. Additionally, I have incorporated them into the inquiry process: asking them to evaluate themselves inherently asks them to answer my sub-questions: are you self-aware and can you accurately self-assess your behavior and performance for the purpose of determining your own contributions to your academic trajectory?