Spring 2023 - EDUC 807 G011

Inquiry into Practice (5)

Class Number: 5942

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Location: TBA

  • Prerequisites:

    Acceptance into the MEd in Educational Practice program.



Supports learners in engaging in ethical inquiry practices within their specific professional contexts.


This course builds on the philosophical and methodological foundations of teacher inquiry in EDUC 718 by taking a critical creative look at our inquiry and related data collection methods, analysis and interpretation and the intimate connection between them. The focus of this course is to help you to develop as an attentive teacher researcher, to become ‘wide awake’ and ‘critically reflective’ as a person, learner and practitioner (Brookfield, 1995; Greene, 1978). You will engage in activities, readings, discussions, and dialogues related to teacher inquiry as lived inquiry. Thus, this course is designed to enable us to become better at “noticing” and interpreting meaningful moments and patterns within and across our individual inquiry activities.

As a community of inquirers, we will support each other in making meaning of teaching and learning within our specific contexts through diverse methods that will be explored over this coursework.

Data analysis and interpretation has been described as the ‘black hole’ of qualitative research (Lather, 1991).  It varies in style and form (Saldana, 2011) and ranges from analytic (Miles & Huberman,1994) to arts based, narrative, poetic, phenomelogial and interpretive (Springgay, Irwin & Kind, 2005).

As such it is important to know ourselves and to take into consideration our research questions, purpose, and epistemological/ontological framework to align our beliefs and wonder to the modes and methods that guide our journey and knowledge creating practices. If we stay true to ourselves this so called ‘black hole’ of qualitative practice can be a place of beauty, continued exploration and meaning making.

By embracing this stage of our research practice in all its messiness and uncertainty we are conquering the unknown and arriving in a new place of understanding.

Making sense of ourselves/our practice will be approached through our research questions and dialogue, analytic techniques, holistic ways through narrative writing and analysis, as well as creative and forms of (re) representation. Together we will seek to better understand methods of collecting, refining, defining, connecting, and organizing ‘data’ in meaningful ways that lead to interpretation, voice, and empowerment. Your research stance will be deepened as you work through recursive cycles of action and reflection (both individually and in partners or small groups).

Overall these approaches allow you (and others) to see your inquiry in new and interesting light(s) and allows deep examination of your practice and yourself. The course is designed to assist us in developing the tools and the disposition(s) to live inquiry—to critically and creatively investigate, reflect upon, and (re) consider our practice as teachers, imagine relations that go beyond normative categories, and reconfigure lives in schools.

*original course outlines developed by Hill, MacDonald and Fels

The MEd EP program aims to develop teachers-learners’ capacity to:

·      Deepen and extend a disposition of inquiry, ethical practice, critical and creative reflection and responsiveness to learners as well as communities

·      Develop their own inquiry practice through the investigation of multiple educational theories, philosophies, paradigms, and methodologies

·      Inform and articulate their scholarly understanding of various world views and orientations in relation to their educational perspectives

·      Develop a relational dispositon, a humility, and an ability to listen deeply to others

·      Critically and creatively engage in learning communities to situate, further develop, and align their inquiry practice within personally relevant and related paradigms

·      Develop the disposition of a teacher-leader and enable an active voice and presence within and beyond the classroom

·      Theorize their practice and contribute to professional conversations both written and oral


Ungraded and Ongoing throughout the EDUC 807:

Inquiry Journal (Ongoing)

Actively keep an inquiry journal over the duration of the coursework, documenting your inquiry. Include thoughts on your readings and experiences that relate to and inform your inquiry.

Artifacts of Your Inquiry (What’s in your backpack?): Artifacts of your learning will be collected throughout the course of the term. The E-postcards are described below, In addition, you will be encouraged to also collect items such as (but not limited to): poetry, written journal entries, and physical objects that may help to present and distill their learning and discoveries in their inquiries. Class time will be given to help organize and plan a scheduled collection of artifacts. You will also be encouraged to share one oral story of a tug on the sleeve from your inquiry, what happened, why it matters, what you learned (to be shared in class). These artifacts make up the majority of your evidence of learning in the course.

Noticing Statements (to be developed in class)

You will select journal entries, along with data, artifacts, and readings collected during your research, and use them to illustrate and reflect on possible themes and patterns you see.

Graded Assignments


Over the course of the term, you will write 5 reflective commentaries or e-postcards incorporating quotes, concepts from articles and/or activities in class and/or in your research. Each e-postcard will have a narrative and analysis of a “stop” moment, that calls you to attention, and how this stop impacts or influences your understanding of your practice, inquiry, and/or life. These postcards are scholarly writings that incorporate the key ideas of the readings and how they inform your inquiry, practice, and understandings of yourself as a learner and teacher researcher. Postcards will be posted between classes to all members of the course on Canvas.

Postcards include: a) a visual image; b) a quote from one of your readings, c) a narrative of a “stop moment” (Applebaum, 1995) and why that “tug on your sleeve” (Fels, 2004) matters in terms of your life, inquiry and/or relationship with others.  Ongoing due dates throughout the coursework will be posted to Canvas for the e-postcards.

50% of grade.

 Emergent Learnings (written)

Based on the noticing statements you have generated over the course of the term, you will theorize the learning resulting from your ongoing inquiry including supportive evidence and connections to scholarship. Include your e-postcards for themes, patterns, and key moments in your analysis. Your narrative of emergent learning along with your artifacts of your learning will be shared in class on the last day with collegial feedback given to help support your ongoing inquiry.

Elevator Pitch

A fast-paced synopsis of where you have landed in your inquiry; meant to help your next instructor in the MEd EP walk with you to help wrap up your inquiry, analysis, and representation of what you have learned on your journey. This will be turned in on CANVAS in the last week of classes.

Both Emergent Learnings and Elevator Pitch together are 50% of grade.



Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html