Every year, school leaders find themselves in a position of creating an academic plan or, as some may call it, a strategic plan. Academic plans are meant to guide the important work of the leader and teachers within their schools or districts. Often they focus on areas of growth such as literacy or math (or maths for those of you in Australia and the UK), and other times they focus on developing more authentic teacher teams.
Hattie (2023) has often said, that we as educators need to focus on two areas, which are:
Those questions help guide DeWitt’s coaching work.
Unfortunately, many academic plans are created in isolation by the leader without their teachers being involved, and are not always intentional enough when it comes to the why and how of getting the work done. Additionally, there are occasions where the plan is created but sits in a document folder on the computer or is stored somewhere deep in the cloud never to be seen again.
Additionally, what DeWitt has found time and time again is that the plan looks good on paper but often lacks the comprehensive understanding of providing the professional learning necessary to ensure that the plan is successful. This is where collaborative inquiry coaching with Peter comes into the occasion.
In DeWitt’s year-long (monthly hybrid) leadership coaching work, he uses a collaborative inquiry approach. Collaborative inquiry has been around for a long time, and there are varying components.
DeWitt uses four components, which are developing a Problem of Practice, focusing on Implementation, gathering Evidence of Impact, and Reflecting and Defining Next Steps. In the section below, each component is defined, and you will find Google links to documents he uses through the process to collect responses, and plan learning moves for each leader and/or their team.
Problem of Practice
Bernhardt (2018) states that there are 4 types of evidence we should consider collecting to understand impact. Those are:
Reflection and Next Steps
DeWitt always co-constructs success criteria with those he coaches (click here for a YouTube video on the topic), and coaching sessions often focus on social-emotional learning because leadership is a complicated and nuanced job, and academic learning, which is where the collaborative inquiry cycle helps DeWitt and leaders stay focused.
If you're interested in a year-long hybrid coaching relationship with Peter DeWitt, Ed.D. please contact him directly through this website.