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  • Teaching as Inquiry. It's mentioned in The New Zealand Curriculum (pages 34–35) and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa (pages 13–16), where research has shown a, “consistently positive impact on student learning.” http://nzcurriculum.tki.org.nz/Curriculum-stories/Case-studies/Teachers-as-learners-Inquiry/Teaching-as-inquiry

    The Teaching as Inquiry cycle was initially developed by the writers of Effective Pedagogy in Social Sciences/Tikanga ā Iwi: Best Evidence Synthesis Iteration [BES]. (The cycle is discussed in section 2.2 of the synthesis) but it’s important to note there are no hard and fast rules about Teaching as Inquiry, except that teachers can ask, What is important (and therefore worth spending time on), given where my students are at?

    Enabling e-Learning has created some guidance around this further with an e-learning lens in, Teacher inquiry into e-learning

    But what does it look like?

    What are educators already doing to raise student achievement through cycles of inquiry?

    Enabling e-Learning have created two snapshots; One from Breens Intermediate on raising student achievement in literacy by the use of digital technologies in, Using Spirals of Inquiry to transform practice and increase student agency: A future focused inquiry and another from Lyttleton School about sharing their learning through digital stories in, Utilising Spirals of Inquiry to develop students' emotional intelligence through digital story telling.

    Mark MaddrenMark Maddren (LwDT facilitator, Te Toi Tupu) has created a VLN group, Teaching as Inquiry - dedicated to teachers sharing their Teaching as Inquiry foci with models, templates, inquiry starter questions and examples. Please feel free to join.

    There are also several more videos sharing Teaching as Inquiry in Enabling e-Learning’s Media Gallery including examples from secondary schools.

    We’d love to know how Teaching as Inquiry as a process, is developing for you. Please feel free to share some of your discoveries so far.

  • connect

    This is cross-posted from teaching at the end of the earth.

    One of the most exciting things that has happened over the past couple of years in New Zealand education, in my opinion, is the uprising of professional learning that is occurring online.

    The Virtual Learning Network (VLN) is an online community of practice space which was launched in 2011. Since then the VLN has grown to a community of over 15000 teachers. Many teachers have benefited from the conversations, sharing, questioning, learning and professionalism that has gone on since it’s inception. Many students will have also benefited from the sharings on the VLN as well—they just won’t know it!

    Even more exciting in my mind is the growth of Twitter amongst New Zealand educators. The amount of quality professional discussion that goes on in this forum is unquantifiable as it occurs at all hours of the day and night! Teachers are wanting to do much more for their students and as a result they are using their time (if there is such a thing for teachers) to learn more; to grow professionally; and to share what they are doing.

    In October 2012, Danielle Myburgh launched #edchatNZ to get teachers talking regularly on specific topics. #edchatNZ occurs on Thursday at 8:30pm every fortnight and has been a huge, growing success. As more NZ teachers take to Twitter, #edchatNZ gets bigger and bigger. While it can be a challenge to keep up with the incredible conversation at times, the sharing and learning that goes on is both inspiring and exciting.

    Following on from the success of #edchatNZ, two new chats were instigated and kicked off only last night (the other Thursday in the fortnight)—#engchatNZ (kicked off I believe by Alex Le Long) and #scichatNZ (Matt Nicoll). The first of both of these chats were a success with I believe over 400 tweets made in both of them! These are our educators—committed to lifelong learning and the best for the children of New Zealand!

    While a lot of this professional learning is happening online, there has also been an increase of teacher-led/organised face-to-face PD going on as a result! Danielle Myburgh and her awesome crew are about to host the first #edchatNZ conference almost 2 years since the launch of the first Twitter #edchatNZ discussion evening. Just last weekend I was following the Educamp Auckland hashtag trying to keep up with the goings on at the face-to-face meetup of awesome educators (who were certainly not all from Auckland)! Following the discussion kept me quite busy on a Saturday morning and I had to remind myself that my wife wasn’t home and I needed to check on the kids!

    It’s exciting to see teachers wanting to keep learning during their time. It’s certainly not exclusive either. Recently Ngatea Primary School decided to try to get whanau involved in Twitter chats by launching #ptchatNZ. This chat is to encourage the wider school community to get involved and is certainly not exclusive to Ngatea Primary School. Principal Neil Fraser and DP Karla Hull are keen to get this discussion going throughout the country!

    If you haven’t gotten involved in the great professional learning that is going on constantly in New Zealand, then jump in and give it a go! Join the VLN and/or get involved in the amazing #edchatNZ Twitter community. If you’re not sure about how to get started on Twitter go to the #edchatNZ site for info.