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The Focus on Inquiry Foundation: Frameworks and Rubrics

   Galileo Educational Network    April 7, 2016    Focus On Inquiry Research Series

During the Focus on Inquiry study, participants were engaged in design-based professional learning, creating the change and studying the impact of the change as it was being enacted.

Design-based research can serve as a way to enact and study change within our education system. It’s also the methodology used during the Focus on Inquiry study.

Today, we will discuss two key resources used during the Focus on Inquiry study, which took place in Alberta classrooms in 2014/15. Both the Teaching Effectiveness Framework and the Discipline-Based Inquiry Rubric served as guideposts, as teachers planned, executed and evaluated classroom tasks and activities.

The Teaching Effectiveness Framework (Friesen, 2009)

  • Effective teaching practice begins with the thoughtful and intentional design of learning that engages students intellectually and academically.
  • The work students are asked to undertake is worthy of their time and attention, is personally relevant, and deeply connected to the world in which they live.
  • Assessment practices are clearly focused on improving student learning and guiding teaching decisions and actions.
  • Teachers foster a variety of interdependent relationships in classrooms that promote learning and create a strong culture around learning.
  • Teachers improve their practice in the company of peers.

Surrounding these five core principles, and infused into each of them, is the effective use of the technologies of our time for both teaching and learning.

The Discipline-Based Inquiry Rubric (Galileo Educational Network, 2013)

A rubric can be used to communicate expectations of quality around a task. It articulates the expectations and criteria of success. Rubrics allow teachers and students to evaluate where they are, and what they need to do to meet the required outcomes. It’s an important assessment tool – remember, the intent of high quality assessment is to improve, not just audit student performances of learning and understanding. That’s why structures need to be in place to draw students into the question of what high standards, engaged learning and quality performance entail.

Check out the Galileo’s Discipline-Based Inquiry Rubric here. It includes signposts for task authenticity, academic rigor, assessment, and the use of technology, among others.