Reclaiming the Ontological Over the Epistemological: A Case Study Into a New Zealand Primary School Disclosing an Embodied Culture of Teacher Inquiry
This article presents case study research into a New Zealand primary school enacting a very sophisticated whole school inquiry approach to enhance teacher classroom professionalism and practice. A culture of inquiry manifests as an ontological ‘way of being’ in this school community, in the daily professional interactions between the teachers and leaders. This ‘way of being’ is evident in the way teachers and leaders work together in espousing professional expertise, trust, care and support to enable teacher inquiry for improved classroom practice to flourish. In this article we present evidence in relation to three questions: (1) What does inquiry look like within this school community? (2) How was collaboration and support implicated in teacher inquiry? (3) How was teacher and leader engagement in inquiry related to meaningful shifts in teachers’ practice and learning? The research contributes to new understandings about the ontological nature of teacher inquiry by uncovering important links between school culture, teacher and leader inquiry, and embodied professional learning and practice.
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