Collaborative Inquiry

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Outcomes for Program:

    • Develop an inquiry stance within ones teaching practices (pursuing passions, wonderings, questions and insights)
    • Acquire tools and processes that support an inquiry stance
    • Build a knowledge base of teacher research as a pursuit of understanding teaching and learning
    • Develop an understanding of collaborative inquiry as professional learning
    • Be prepared to continue teacher leadership development through the Leading from the Classroom Program with Learning Forward Michigan


$299 (Learning Forward Michigan members)

$349 (non-members; includes one year membership)

- 50% reimbursement for cancellation, 45 days prior to the first session. No refund 30 days prior to the first session


Saturday Seminars

10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

November 7, 2015

December 12, 2015

January 8 or 22, 2016 (online)

April 23, 2016

May 14, 2016


Additional Coaching

Between each session, Edmodo/Google Hangout will be used to support and reinforce session material

28 SCECHs or Central Michigan University graduate credit


South Lyon Library

9800 Pontiac Trail

South Lyon, MI 48178


A Journey To Cultural Proficiency

by Dave Swierpel, Carman-Ainsworth Community Schools

A journey involves moving from one place to another over a long period of time. Carman-Ainsworth Community Schools (west of Flint, MI) began their journey to become more culturally proficient in January of 2014.  A team of seven educators participated in a four-day workshop hosted by Learning Forward Michigan and the Great Lakes Equity Center. During the four days we explored district  policies, practices, and programs that contribute to inequities  for students and families.  

Like many districts across the state, Carman-Ainsworth’s community demographics changed dramatically over the past 20 years. With a loss of jobs from General Motors plants in the Flint area, the community became poorer and students of color became the majority. Programs and practices that used to be effective, no longer were. Examining data revealed a disproportionate of black students receiving discipline. District teachers and administrators were ready to do something - but what?

We realized that we needed help. However, there are no silver bullets or magic programs that will suddenly change attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and practices. Working with Learning Forward Michigan, the district committed to a multi-year journey towards becoming more culturally proficient. Along with Carman-Ainsworth staff, Dr. Amy Colton, Executive Director of Learning Forward Michigan, and Virginia Winters, School Improvement and Organizational Development Consultant for Wayne RESA, designed a multi tiered approach to supporting the district on its journey.

We began the journey with a two-day workshop called A Journey to Cultural Proficiency in August 2014. We repeated this experience with two additional groups this summer.  This August we will add Culturally Proficient Instruction and follow up with Collaborative Inquiry for Cultural Proficiency as well as learn how to work more effectively with parents.  90 Carman Ainsworth educators (including all administrators) have completed the two-day “Journey” experience. We have 30 teachers committed to the Culturally Proficient Instruction training.  

Is your system ready to begin the journey? It begins by looking at data and asking yourself some tough questions and being honest with the answers. We are all working hard, but are we using the right tools? What lens are we looking through when we confront problems for which we don't have answers?

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

We have taken our first step and the journey has begun.

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