Innovation in Action

Working with a Researcher to Support Collaborative Professional Inquiry

Halton Catholic District School Board

  Working with a Researcher to Support Collaborative Professional Inquiry  

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       Innovations in Mid-level Leadership

Viewer's Guide

Part 1: Working with a Researcher to Support Collaborative Professional Inquiry

This video captures a district’s technology-enabled collaborative professional inquiry
process, and makes visible mid-level leadership practices that support deeper learning.
We see how the Superintendent, Consultant and Vice-Principal each play unique roles in
connecting educators, encouraging risk-taking, and creating the conditions for collaborative
inquiry to become a vehicle for system change. We also see how a Researcher can help
focus collaborative inquiries and support the system as it learns to monitor and measure
the impact of innovation on students, and identify next steps for system change.

Themes and IdeasThemes and ideas:


  • Mid-level leadership
  • Collaborative professionalism
  • Collaborative inquiry
  • The role of a researcher
  • Monitoring and measuring impact
  • Sustaining, scaling and systematizing innovation
  • Transparency
  • Educator engagement
  • Leveraging digital tools to support professional learning

Viewer's ListThis video is for:
  • Educators
  • School and System Leaders
  • Superintendents and Directors
  • Policy

Discussion QuestionDiscussion questions:
  • The decision to hire an external researcher emerged from the district’s need to better understand how innovative practice is becoming part of the district’s culture. How did the researcher influence and support collaborative inquiry? What role did technology play in this process?
  • What cultural norms need to be fostered in a/your district, to enable a collaborative approach to inquiry, supported by digital technology? What conditions are needed for such a culture to flourish? How might these conditions be created?
  • This district uses a digital platform to support collaborative inquiries, gather impact evidence and foster connections between educators with similar objectives who would otherwise remain unconnected. How does this connect to systematizing and scaling innovation in your district?
  • The Research Officer speaks to the importance of co-constructing processes for gathering and analyzing meaningful impact evidence with educators, and sharing that learning across the district. How might this add value (if at all) to your context? What kind of culture shift (if any) needs to be fostered to enable this to happen in a/your district? What are some possible challenges/barriers to this approach? How might these be overcome?
  • “Radical transparency” has been identified as a potential way to sustain innovation through leadership changes. What design features of this district’s collaborative inquiry might allow innovation to be sustained? How might their model be adapted to a similar or dissimilar context in your district?
  • At what stage would you consider this district to be on the Innovation Journey Rubric?
    What do you imagine might be their next step?
Click <here> to download Viewer's Guide

Additional Resources

HCDSB Presentation Slides from the 2017 Technology and Learning Fund Roundtable

Highlights Include:
  • Global Competencies
  • Deeper Learning
  • Sample Collaborative Inquiry questions and projects
  • Virtual Learning Environment used to support Professional Collaborative Inquiry
  • District tools and processes for monitoring and measuring impact

To learn more about how Halton Catholic DSB monitors and measures impact, Ontario
educators are invited to visit the archived Virtual Learning Sessions (January 26) in e-community.

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