National Writing Project

About Teacher Inquiry Communities Network

The Teacher Inquiry Communities (TIC) Network was a national network that linked sites interested in developing leadership and resources for teacher inquiry. It provided sites that already had a teacher inquiry community in place a means for sharing information and disseminating their practices with other sites and interested parties.

For sites without an existing teacher inquiry community, TIC provided the opportunity to tap into the knowledge that already existed at other sites.


  • To develop a more national and encompassing vision of teacher research for the NWP and the teaching profession as a whole
  • To create a structure for the pooling of geographically and culturally informed knowledge that has national implications
  • To increase the capacity of NWP sites to address issues of equity, access, and accountability, and serve as a mechanism to gather data that address those issues.


In February 1999, the TIC initiative, an outgrowth of Project Outreach, challenged six selected NWP sites to integrate their teacher inquiry initiatives with the goals of Project Outreach. These six national writing projects sites were awarded a grant to initiate a study of the teacher research communities at their sites. The TIC initiative was intended to provide support to local writing project sites with existing teacher inquiry programs as they deepened and expanded their teacher research work.

The journeys taken and the subsequent discoveries by the six sites provided a foundation for further site studies.

All the sites found that their collaboration in this initial study was an important factor in developing stronger teacher research at their sites. The involved teachers found that it was the support offered and, in particular, the collaborative nature of this community of teacher-researchers that proved to be critical factors in building, sustaining, and enhancing the teacher research groups at their writing project sites.

At the conclusion of the initiative the six sites agreed that their collaboration had increased their learning about the issues in sustaining teacher research communities and that an ongoing network would be useful for other sites. Subsequently, the TIC Network was established to further knowledge about teacher research, provide support for teacher research communities, and develop leadership at the various writing project sites.

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