This week I spoke to a student in module two about the size of the project you are being asked to plan. I used a dance class metaphor that might be helpful for others: The topic area of your inquiry is like a dance class. You decide what field / area/ genre you are going to be exploring. This is like you deciding if you are going to be in a ballet class, a tango class, a hip-hop class that tells you the context of what you are doing, (ie an inquiry in the field of curriculum development for stage schools, or funding cuts in dance or marketing a small business). So now you know the topic the class type in terms of the metaphor. But your inquiry is not the whole class. The inquiry is to find one exercise in the class to focus on and really look into.
So in my area of a ballet class my inquiry is to look really carefully at how I do my tendues. I look at this really closely and carefully within the context of the whole class but I do not try to take on looking really closely at all the exercises in the whole class its too much at one time. It is important to do one thing really well and with real care and that will inform, support and connect to a bigger picture. So you are looking at your field of inquiry and finding something you really want to know more about. Not looking at the whole field as a site for proving things you already know. In terms of the metaphor you are deciding the type of environment / type of dance class you but then you are focusing down to look at a particular thing / one exercise to really work at.
Does that metaphor work for you?
Well, I hope everyone is having a good Easter Break