Cultural Inquiry Process Steps: Overview
This page introduces you to the Cultural Inquiry Process
(CIP). The page titled, "Cultural
Inquiry Process Steps: Conducting Your Own CIP Study," helps you understand how to use the Guidebook section of this Web site to support conducting your own CIP study.
As you read these pages, you may want to
use the links
provided to read the items they describe. If you do follow a
link, please remember to
return to these introductory pages and finish reading both of
them before starting your own CIP study.
Inquiry Process (CIP) steps
The Cultural Inquiry Process (CIP) has seven basic steps:
Select as your focus one or more
students and identify your puzzlement(s) about the student(s).
In this step you consider possible foci for your study and select
one as the focus of your CIP study. (See the following note
for a discussion of using the
CIP with puzzlements not
related to students.)
Summarize what is already known
about the focus individual(s) and the context.
In this step you collect and summarize easily available
information about your focus student(s) as a first step in increasing
your understanding about your puzzlement.
- Consider alternative cultural
influences and select one or more of them to explore.
In this step you carefully consider possible cultural
influences on your puzzlement by reading all the CIP pages under
Step 3 with your puzzlement in mind. After considering the various cultural
influences presented in Step 3, you decide on one or more cultural influences
to examine in your study. The influence(s) you select become the basis
for your research question(s).
Gather and analyze relevant information
In this step you collect and analyze information to
examine whether and how the cultural influence(s) you selected in
Step 3 are related to your puzzlement. After analyzing the information
you collected, you decide what cultural influences seem to be relevant
to understanding your puzzlement. These influences provide the basis
for your work in Step 5.
Develop and implement intervention(s)
In this step you design and implement intervention(s) based on the
information you collected and analyzed in Step 4 and the decision
you made about cultural influences.
Monitor the process and results
In this step you again collect and analyze information.
This time the focus is on monitoring the process and results of your
intervention(s) to see what effects your intervention(s) are having
in relation to your puzzlement.
Write a report of your CIP study.
In this step you write your report of your CIP study,
describing what you did, what you found, your reflections on what
you found, and what you think are the implications of your study for
educational practice and future research.
As the summary of Step 7 and the CIP logo suggest,
the end of the CIP takes you back to the beginning, with new understandings,
but possibly also with new puzzlements. Thus, the CIP can provide the
structure for an ongoing process of inquiry focused on improving your
teaching (or other educational) practice.
through the CIP steps
In general, you will proceed through the CIP steps one
step at a time. However, you may find that you need to cycle back through
one or more steps as you conduct your study, creating more of a "spiral" process.
For example, if at the end of Step 4 you decide (on the basis of the
information that you have collected and analyzed) that the cultural
influence(s) you selected in Step 3 are not appropriate, you
might reread the pages of Step 3 in light of your data to identify
a more appropriate cultural influence. A
visual diagram of the CIP presents an overview of the process
of moving through the seven CIP steps. (The diagram is in PDF format
and will open in a new window.)
With this basic overview in mind, you
may find it helpful to read some CIP
studies that other educators have conducted. These provide
a wide range of examples showing how educators have used the CIP to
improve the educational experiences of students. If you decide to
read some CIP studies at this point, return here afterward to finish
Complete your introduction to
the Cultural Inquiry Process by reading "Cultural
Inquiry Process Steps: Conducting Your Own CIP Study."