Collaborative Inquiry in MNPS

collaborationEach month in Core Education’s issue brief, we post a call for commentary. We always enjoy hearing great ideas from our readers! Recently, we had the pleasure of speaking with Margie Johnson of Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) about an innovative approach to collaborative inquiry that the district is implementing.

Through a partnership with REL Appalachia, MNPS is working to build middle school educators’ capacities to engage in data-driven collaborative inquiry to improve instruction and student outcomes. The partnership currently consists of a Collaborative Inquiry Community of Practice involving 5 middle schools. Collaborative work has proceeded for the past two years and has resulted in an Innovation Configuration Map (IC Map) and evaluation plan for collaborative inquiry. The IC Map is a rubric for collaborative inquiry that clearly defines indicators of effective teams along the following components:

  • Clear Focus
  • Collective Responsibility
  • Culture of Trust
  • Data-Informed Decision-Making

MNPS provides technical assistance for implementing collaborative inquiry and is currently soliciting feedback about the Innovation Configuration map (IC Map), evaluation plan, and other collected resources.

Helpfully, MNPS has posted all of its resources and project documents in a public toolkit at:  

This toolkit can be used to create a shared knowledge base among members of your teacher communities, as well as set expectations for collaborative inquiry. It truly is a one-stop shop for resources on teacher collaboration.