This study examines cases of teacher leaders in a professional development program that employed teacher inquiry to promote student inquiry. Program documents, observations, and interviews were examined to create three cases of high school science and math teachers learning to inquire in tandem. Guided by Cochran-Smith and Lytle’s (2009) “inquiry stance,” the study shows how commitment to student inquiry comes through learning gained through teacher inquiry. While conceptual understandings of teacher and student inquiry reinforced the learning of both, the parallel development of practical skills for both inquiry processes was not observed. Such conceptual growth was neither steady nor linear and characterized by some backward movement followed by significant shifts in thinking. Growth was grounded in increased experience with the process over time that deepened the teachers’ trust in their students’ ability to create their own knowledge – an understanding of the learning process that was made more visible by the program’s requirements for teachers to evaluate student inquiry as a focus of their teacher inquiry. The study confirms the need for ongoing professional development in the more complex forms of student learning embedded in newer national standards while suggesting that approaches towards professional learning must holds similar high expectations for teachers and attention to the equally complex learning required of teachers if we truly aim to create such possibilities for student learning at higher levels.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.