PRTs talk about the inquiry process

12 SEPTEMBER 2017

VIT recently surveyed 1,009 provisionally registered teachers who had completed or were about to complete, the process of moving to (full) registration.

We wanted to get their thoughts on the inquiry process – how it impacted their teaching practice and what advice they could give to help other provisionally registered teachers get the most out of the process.

The large majority of those surveyed saw clear benefits in completing the process:

  • 85% indicated the inquiry influenced how they developed their teaching and classroom practice
  • 89% said the inquiry remains relevant to their teaching practice beyond the registration process
  • 96% indicated the inquiry question was linked directly to student learning.
Feedback from PRTs

Consistent themes emerged in the answers. The most common advice was to choose a specific and focused inquiry question that isn't too broad. This was coupled with the need to make the whole inquiry achievable. 

“It is not as stressful as everyone makes it sound - if you're competent then you will be fine.”

“Don't over think the process and make it hard for yourself.”

“You probably do all or most of what you need to do already - you just have to document it. Don't over complicate it.”

One of the ways to make choosing the inquiry question easier is to make it relevant to your teaching and to what the school is currently focusing on.

“Design a question in relation to current professional development or programs that are being introduced in the school. This avoids creating extra work. Working smarter - not harder.”

And many teachers emphasised the need to seek help – not just from your mentor, from other teachers, your school as well as other graduate teachers completing or having completed the process.

“Get to know your colleagues- they have an incredible bank of knowledge available. Always ask questions - you don't look incapable when you ask questions.”

“Encourage your mentor and others to give you as much feedback as possible. Try the things they suggest and report back. This was one of the best things I learned from the process. I now love receiving feedback, and luckily my school has a culture of giving and receiving feedback often.” 

The surveyed teachers also mentioned the importance of not having to achieve perfect results through the process.

“Don't be afraid to make a mistake and change and adapt your question - it's all about learning.”

 “Take the time with the students. Don't rush and don't overthink your results. Sometimes you come out on top, other times you don't see any change.”

And finally, it’s important to make the inquiry process something that helps you as a teacher, something you can continue to benefit from, rather than a one-off ‘assignment’.

“Do the process as well as possible because it will become a learning tool you will use after the process is completed. One year on I am still using the same strategies to improve key motor skills and using the same ways to measure improvement.”