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Rebbecca Sweeney's discussion posts

  • Rebbecca Sweeney 30 May 2017 4:06pm () in Feedback on Teacher Inquiry please? Am I on the right track?

    Kia ora Pam

    I am a Consultant for CORE Education and I support people in schools and services to engage with the Spirals of Inquiry framework. It was good to read your thinking and to see your enthusiasm in solving complex challenges for your learners. I hope the following questions and thoughts are of use to you as you deepen your evaluative capability (your ability to inquire into your practice and to change):

    - I noticed your inquiry template appears to be missing the Developing a Hunch phase. This is a key aspect of the Spiral of Inquiry where you ask: What's Leading to this Situation? This is where you look carefully at your own practice over a period of time to understand what you're doing and why in relation to the challenges you've identified in learning and teaching. In my view it is the most important phase of Spirals - how might you include your reflections on your own practice in order to identify what you need to change? Could observations and feedback on your practice inform your Hunchwork?

    - Your focused inquiry emerges from a thorough scanning and focusing process. In that way, you're not influencing what comes from Scanning and Focusing through creating a question or focus or topic based on your interests and perceived needs. Has your focus on 21st C skills emerged from Scanning and Focusing?

    - I often work with people to do a "quality check" on their Scanning. This involves checking how well you've scanned and gathered a range of "data" about your learners. Things to consider are: learner voice, whānau voice, any other relevant perspectives on learners you are scanning; do you have a balance of both learner strengths and needs from scanning? Have you made any assumptions during Scanning?

    - as you move to Focusing, you look across the scanning information to find themes. What themes are there? what further questions do you have?

    This reading has great advice about each phase: http://noii.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Nov.-2014-Guide-to-the-Phases-of-the-Spiral-of-Inquiry.pdf

    This blogpost has some advice about moving from Scanning to Focusing:  http://rebbeccasweeney.blogspot.co.nz/2017/04/spirals-of-inquiry-stuck-in-scanning.html

    Hope this is helpful as you move forward with your inquiry. Keep looking for ways to add more quality and depth to your inquiry and reflections. All the best!

    Mauri ora




  • Rebbecca Sweeney 13 Feb 2017 11:18am () in What is collaborative inquiry?

    Kia ora Gretchen for sharing your journey last year! I hope that as we work together this year, you can further share your experiences here for others. In the meantime, if anyone else wants to jump in on this thread and ask questions of Gretchen or myself or others, I'll be here!  It is really important that we all focus on "target students" in strengths-based ways and that as a whole system of teachers and leaders in education, we continue to ensure we are helping these learners to succeed on their terms and on their whānau terms. How are people genuinely involving learners and their whānau in collaborative inquiries as partners? How are you doing this in positive ways that invite involvement and partnership? I've been working with schools and ECEs for a few years now, helping them to engage with Spirals of Inquiry and I've seen teachers showing their vulnerability with whānau and learners - asking for their help to improve teaching practice - after all, inquiry is all about teaching practice changing! :)

  • Rebbecca Sweeney 22 Jun 2016 6:07pm () in FORUM: The power of networked organisations, June 17 - July 17

    Kia ora!

    Can't help but engage with this kaupapa so here are a few thoughts from me:

    How can we develop a strong network throughout our communities to support the education and wellbeing of our students?

    A strong network needs a strong purpose or Vision (their WHY) and that requires all participants to engage in conversations to identify their common beliefs and values about the education and wellbeing of our learners. This takes time and must be participatory - not just created by leaders. 

    How are you already extending into your community to increase the opportunities for your community?

    This might include going the extra mile to connect with parents and whānau and also with iwi to co-construct your community vision. It takes time but it is worth it. Julia Atkin talks about the fact that if we aren't involved in the development of a vision, we will just do what we're told to "get the monkey off our back" - do we want that, or do we want genuine involvement and participation in our networks?

    In what way are digital technologies helping (or could they help) to support the network?

    It's not easy to collaborate across schools. We need to make room for it and I think that digital technologies can help us to create asynchronous spaces for collaboration when it is hard to coordinate everyone on some things. I bet others will have a whole lot of more specific ideas to add in response to this question!! Looking at clusters who've been doing this for a long time, such as Manaiakalani is a great idea!!


  • Rebbecca Sweeney 01 Aug 2014 11:17am () in The real reason children fidget

    1. what's wrong with fidgeting? (don't use the "it distracts others" excuse)

    2. hour long assemblies - who is still torturing kids with these?! 

    I do agree that fidgeting can be an indicator that kids aren't getting enough movement/action in their days. However, I also think some people fidget when they are just plain bored, or when they have a great idea they want to work on but can't or just because that's what they do, or because they have a very high metabolism - nothing wrong with it and you can set up spaces to cater for it.  I'm a fidgeter and I'm proud of it!

  • Rebbecca Sweeney 01 Aug 2014 10:50am () in Manaiakalani research explained: site launched

    Kia ora koutou

    This site provides summaries and resources related to Manaiakalani research and evaluation conducted by the Woolf Fisher Research Centre in partnership with the Manaiakalani Education Trust and the cluster schools. We have created this site for Learning & Change Networks (LCN) across New Zealand and we think that the resources will be particularly useful to LCN Leaders, Teachers and Facilitators.
  • Rebbecca Sweeney 05 Nov 2013 3:55pm () in Devils Advocate... Beyond BYOD

    Far out!! What a discussion! I am nervous to add more information to the plethora here but I definitely saw themes in the discussion related to:

    - future-focussed learning

    - SAMR

    - Adaptive expertise (which would help you sort through where to start to answer the intial question!)

    - UDL (Universal Design for Learning relates strongly to the personalised learning stuff and the feedback stuff)

    So as others have covered most of these things, I will just add a couple more links you might want to tap into for UDL and Adaptive Expertise:

    UDL: /pages/view/809171/udl-links

    Future-focus/hyper-change is coming your way! 10 min vid well worth a watch: http://www.teachingandelearning.com/2013/11/video-presentation-futures-thinking-and.html?spref=tw

    Adaptive Expertise (the expertise teachers and leaders and kids need to navigate through and select the right information in an information rich world) - see pages 7-9 of this paper about teachers learning to be adaptive experts: http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0014/120146/Learning-To-Practise.pdf

    Don't hit me!


    Becc :)