Journeys Through Teaching

Journeys Through Teaching

5 Steps to Build a Community of Researchers

This weekend we shared our presentation on Building a Community of Researchers with the IB Global Conference. We shared our work to develop a continuum of research skills and the steps we’re taking to use this to build a community of researchers.

You can view the presentation here:

Here are the steps we’ve identified:

Step 1: Share the research skills with students

We asked teachers to share the research skills for their phase (across grades) with students and ask them to complete a ‘See, Think, Wonder’ routine to explore the skills they were working towards. ​ Download them here;

Step 2: Identify and put into practice Visible Thinking Routines

We chose to identify 3 routines to support the development of different research skills – this helps teachers bridge the gap from documentation and planning into practice.  ​

​Here are the routines we’ve chosen to focus on while working on research skills:​

See-Think-Wonder ​

G-S-C-E (generate, sort, connect, elaborate)​

I Used to Think, Now I Think​

And you can read more about each one here

Step 3: Be intentional with our language

We address students as researchers to help frame and shape their thinking and to create a community atmosphere (8 Cultural Forces – Ron Ritchart) 

“…the words and structures that make up language not only convey an explicit surface meaning, but also impart a set of deeper associations and connections that implicitly shape thought and influence behavior. This is the hidden power of language: Its ability to subtly convey messages that shape our thinking, sense of self, and group affinity.” (Ron Ritchart)

You can pick up Ron Ritchart’s book to inspire your language around research by clicking the link below:

Creating Cultures of Thinking: The 8 Forces We Must Master to Truly Transform Our Schools

(As an amazon associate I may earn from qualifying purchases)

Step 4: Develop our planning for the ATL Skills

By focusing on Research for this year; this prompts us to consider how we model, teach and support – we wanted teachers to be intentional and thorough but not overwhelmed:

Guiding questions:

•Which skill(s) are you focusing on during this unit?

•Which Visible Thinking Routine have you chosen to support this?

•How will you and/or students know they’ve been successful in developing this skill? 

•Which skills will cross over between subjects?

•Facilitated collaborative transdisciplinary meetings

Step 5: Supporting Student Reflection

Using the continuum to track skills and growth helps our students see the path to continuing to progress.

Planned and shared prompts for students and teachers to help them think about which of the Research Skills they’d seen the most growth in.

How was this helping them to become a more effective researcher?

Read more about supporting reflection here.

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Emma Wheatley
Emma Wheatley


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