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What is your understanding / belief about Teaching as Inquiry

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Started by Lynne Thomas 13 Mar 2013 4:22pm () Replies (3)

I was working in a school today and there was confision over this term, Teaching as Inquiry, which is being used a lot in PLD. 

It is part of effective peadgogy - teacher actions promoting student outcomes. 

'.....effective pedagogy requires that teachers inquire into the impact of their teaching on their students." NZC p35

I think there is confusion over the different uses of the word inquiry in schools. 

It is always helpful to have a common understanding of the terms we use, sometimes so freely. This follows on from the previous discussion on appraisal and elearning goals. 

Are teachers using the Teaching as Inquiry model to develop their elearning goals?


  • Anne Sturgess (View all users posts) 13 Mar 2013 4:41pm ()

    Hi Lynne, you're right about the confusion surrounding the application of the terminology. I'm working with teachers who are inquiring into the impact of their teaching on students and we needed to engage in some in-depth discussion to clarify what was meant by 'Teaching as Inquiry' and how the Inquiry Model might guide their own learning and development. They have based their inquiries on real information about their students' needs and each teacher has selected a specific goal related to improving outcomes for a target group of students within their class, in this case related to the application of a blended e-learning approach. They are applying ideas in the classroom and sharing new learning with colleagues and engaging in robust discussion about what's working, what's not and the reasons why (time is scheduled during every staff meeting). Teachers are recording student engagement and progress as well as evidence of their own shifts in thinking and practise and use this information as part of their presentations to colleagues - all useful portfolio evidence for appraisal as well of course.

  • Roxy Hickman (View all users posts) 02 Apr 2013 4:39pm ()

    Lynne, I agree that clarification is necessary when talking 'Teaching as Inquiry', simply to ensure everyone is singing the same tune from the start of the song.

    One of the key points that Anne makes is the process of "engaging in robust discussion". This part is the most crucial for inquiring staff to dig deep in their thinking about what they truly believe and value.

    The process of robust discussion requires a shift in thinking in itself. A reflective partner or mentor who listens first, questions next and avoids giving advice encourages the inquirer to go through a process of thinking beyond their initial beliefs and making their own shifts in thinking. The reflective partner needs to learn and practice these active listening skills as it comes too naturally to fill that ‘awkward silence’.  

    How are teachers recording their progress and evidence? Does online reflection encourage questioning from a reflective partner(s) or mentor?

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