Core Module Information
Module title: Professional Enquiry

SCQF level: 11:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: TED11101
Module leader: Jamie Thom
School School of Applied Sciences
Subject area group: Teacher Education


Description of module content:

This module is focussed on building your skills in practitioner based enquiry. The module will help you develop this skill through the systematic study of practice. You will learn about teachers’ work and teachers themselves as a basis of research. The skills you will learn will help you develop through reflective practice and, have ownership of your research. Successful enquiry is not just about finding the answer to a question but will deepen understanding by surfacing new questions and ultimately improve learning and teaching.

Practitioner enquiry is one of the key elements in the new GTCS Professional Standards and in Scottish Education policy

2.3.2 Have knowledge and understanding of the importance of research and engagement in professional enquiry, 3.4.1 Read and critically engage with professional literature, educational research and policy.

After completing this module you will have an understanding of how practitioner enquiry can be an integral aspect of the day-to-day practice of teachers. You will gain an appreciation that successful teaching requires regular engagement in practitioner enquiry to support professional growth by challenging or 'disrupting thinking' and 'ingrained habits of mind'. The module will explore practitioner enquiry and its role in helping create a space to stop and look again at existing ways of working. It is argued by McLaughlin et al (2004) that teachers who engage in research have 'better understanding of their practice and ways to improve it'. For some teachers, enquiry may promote levels of critical reflection that are transformative.

This module will help develop the attributes required to successfully build these professional skills by introducing the action – research practitioner research cycle and other methodological approaches so that you can use a range of techniques to inform your own professional practice.

McLaughlin, C. Black-Hawkins, K. and McIntyre, D. (2004) Researching Teachers Researching Schools, Researching Networks: Review of the Literature. University of Cambridge: Routledge Menter, I Elliott, D Hulme, M. Lewin, J Lowden K. (2011) A Guide to Practitioner research in Education. SAGE publishing

Indicative Content
The module content will progressively allow you to explore all the features of professional enquiry and provide a useful toolkit for you to undertake action research.

These will include introduction to professional enquiry and how it can support teachers’ professional development throughout their careers

3.4.2 Engage in reflective practice to develop and advance career-long professional learning and expertise.

We will then introduce models of enquiry to allow you to move from a hunch to developing enquiry questions before studying, and very importantly using, different methods of collecting both quantitative and qualitative evidence. All of these activities will be grounded in the British Education Research Association ethical guidelines relating to educational research. Finally, you will be supported at each stage as you develop your own enquiry based around interdisciplinary learning.

Learning Outcomes for module:

The Learning Outcomes of this module are aligned with the General Teaching Council for Scotland’s Standard for Provisional Registration (, and will also develop your values of social justice, integrity, and trust & respect, as well as your professional commitment.

Upon completion of this module you will be able to:

LO1. Apply a range of skills, appropriate tools, frameworks and methodologies to explore and evaluate a relevant aspect of professional practice.

LO2. Interpret, use and evaluate data to create informed research outcomes, conclusions and recommendations.

LO3. Critically reflect on your own development and improve your professional practice through observation, reflection, evaluation and enquiry.

LO4. Analyse and evaluate methodologies and areas of enquiry and identify their strengths and limitations.

LO5. Demonstrate a critical awareness of ethical and professional codes of practice in the implementation of methodologies, interpretation and dissemination of findings and insights.

LO6. Communicate effectively using a range of appropriate strategies and technologies.

Full Details of Teaching and Assessment
2022/3, Trimester 2, FACE-TO-FACE, Edinburgh Napier University
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: FACE-TO-FACE
Location of delivery: SIGHTHILL
Partner: Edinburgh Napier University
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Jamie Thom
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
Through a series of lectures and related tutorials you will employ a wide range of effective learning and teaching methods that are modelled on the professional skills of a teacher. You will also have opportunities to develop pedagogic skills in practical workshops using appropriate apparatus and materials of the type found in schools and use this experience to begin the enquiry cycle. [LOs 1, 3].

In order to support understanding of the pupil experience you will also model group working and problem solving, and the associated enquiry skills through the use of the interdisciplinary STEM equipment. These practical activities will provide useful experiences to practice with all intended aims of the course including data collection in a busy working classroom. [LOs 1- 5].

Seminars that encourage collaborative engagement with peers and tutor to discuss Professional Enquiry and reflect on its impact on your professional development. The course encourages a significant element of peer discussion. It is taught in groups that rely on the idea of communities of practice between subject groupings. Links will also be made to your curriculum studies and your school experience and these links are integral to the course work [LOs 2-5].

You will also be undertaking 5 serial day visits to Secondary schools to discuss a suitable Interdisciplinary project that will be undertaken in placement 2A. This short-duration professional enquiry project will form the basis of the assessment. [LOs 1-5].

You will present an oral presentation in week 38 detailing your professional enquiry and its findings. This should be fifteen minutes long. [L01 and LO6].

Formative Assessment:
Throughout this module, students will complete planned formative tasks for which they will receive feedback both from tutors and peers. These tasks will focus on developing the key skills outlined in practitioner enquiry and as required for the Standards for Provisional Registration (SPR).

These tasks will also be useful in preparing students for school experience, focused on the serial day visits and the six week placement that immediately follows this module. Students from the different subject specialisms are mixed between the tutorial groups to ensure difference of opinion and a true sharing of skills to foster the interdisciplinary nature required.
2.1.4 Have knowledge and understanding of contexts for learning to fulfil their responsibilities in literacy, numeracy, health and wellbeing and interdisciplinary learning).

By regularly revisiting the problem solving activities, you will have a better understanding of the complexities of pupils when faced with similar tasks in a school environment. As your skill levels and competencies increase you will also look at recording your progress using video technology. This evidence will be used to promote the group solutions as well as allow you to reflect upon methods of data capture and analysis within the classroom environment. Your group will regularly feed back to the wider tutorial group so as to discuss progress made and share insights, as well as methods of best practice. Detailed feedback from your peers will be sought so as to improve learning and processes in an iterative fashion.
As part of the iterative process towards the development of the project (Week 20) you will submit an outline project plan explaining the purpose and aims of your proposal. This will be informed by work within the course, targets and development needs from School Experience 1, consultation on school visit serial days and feedback from peers and university tutors.

Summative Assessment:
Summative assessment of this module will involve two tasks that are designed to further improve your professional skills as well as the practical skills associated with effective use of classroom technology, presentation and design. After undertaking the practical interdisciplinary learning project you will submit
a report in week 33, where you will evaluate your project in terms of the professional enquiry cycle. The weighting for this assessment is 50%. You
will then present an oral presentation in week 38, detailing your professional enquiry and its
findings. The weighting for this assessment is 50%.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 11
Face To Face Seminar 20
Online Groupwork (Independent Study) 30
Independent Learning Groupwork (Independent Study) 90
Independent Learning External visits 40
Independent Learning Groupwork (Independent Study) 9
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Report 50 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 33 , WORDS= 1500
Oral Presentation 50 1,6 38 HOURS= 00.15
Component 1 subtotal: 50
Component 2 subtotal: 50
Module subtotal: 100

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
Professional Enquiry TED11101