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Feedback on Teacher Inquiry please? Am I on the right track?

Started by Pam Dacey 28 May 2017 10:40pm () Replies (10)


I've never used this format before and not sure I have done this correctly. If anyone has feedback I'd really appreciate it. Thanks :)


  • Allanah King (View all users posts) 28 May 2017 10:48pm ()

    Hi there Pam

    You have written in a Google Doc which is a really good way of sharing things but you need to go to the sharing icon and share it with people as view only so we can see it- at the moment we have to ask permission. :-)

  • Frances McCarthy (View all users posts) 29 May 2017 11:06am ()

    Hi Pam

    this looks like it will be very useful to yourself and your tamariki. I am unsure of the age you are working with and what technology you are using, in many of our classes we use Seesaw for children to share their learning with their teacher and whānau. This means they can read their stories aloud independently before you conference. 

    I also wonder about something like "Your fantastic elastic brain' by JoAnn Deak to start reflecting on their mindset and how they can grow as learners if they have a poor attitude towards themselves as learners.

  • Pam Dacey (View all users posts) 30 May 2017 12:16am ()

    Hi Frances


    Thank you very much for your feedback :) 

    I am working with Year 5/6. We are a Mac school and I was thinking of using Google docs and Movenote for sharing feedback video with parents. We are just beginning our trial of Seesaw so I'm not sure if I can use that in this Inquiry? Mainly because I have never used it before. However I think taht this will defnitely be the way we will go in the future.

    I will look at the resourceyou have quoted also as shifting mindset is also something I need to do.

    Brilliant! Thank you so much :) 

  • Heather Houston (View all users posts) 29 May 2017 9:58pm ()


    You have put a lot of thought into this.  

    As it is a inquiry into your own practice, perhaps list the 21 century skills you are looking at up front, so you can focus on these.  

    I am interested in how you will engage the parents i.e. new letters, blog?.  You don't say if your class is  BYOD, will you use google doc's to keep in touch with students.

    Just remember it is your Inquiry and we are all at different places on the same path.  Keep positive, thanks for posting this. 

  • Pam Dacey (View all users posts) 30 May 2017 9:04pm ()

    Hi Heather

    Thanks very much for your feedback and questions. 

    We are a BYOD school and I have about 7 children who have taken this up. We are tech rich though so have 1 to 1 devices almost. 

    We would engage with the parents firstly through movenote then via email. The students will use Google Docs and Edmodo to communicate.

    Thanks for the positive vibes :)

  • Rebbecca Sweeney (View all users posts) 30 May 2017 4:06pm ()

    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




  • Pam Dacey (View all users posts) 30 May 2017 9:12pm ()

    Kia Ora Rebbecca

    Thank you so much for your feedback. I will have to check the form and fix the hunch missing.

    Thank you so much for all your reflections and for the resources. They will be so helpful in focusing my inquiry. I am very grateful :)

  • Kamrul Jalil (View all users posts) 30 May 2017 11:18pm ()

    Kia ora Rebbecca,

    Enjoyed reading and refreshing my knowledge on aspects of Spiral of Inquiry.


  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 16 Jun 2017 2:07pm ()

    Pam, can I firstly say acknowledge how brave you are to share your planning and thinking with us all. It's incredibly generous and helpful, as most of us are undertaking inquiry for the first time ourselves. smiley Equally, I've enjoyed reading the responses from Heather, Francis and Rebbecca about alternative literacy processes, theories of learning and clarification of the spirals of inquiry phases. Thank you.

    I am enjoying how you have bought in the student and whanau voice from the onset. We've done this recently in a school and found some interesting additional data. ie; One child said he had loads of ideas and loved writing, but couldn’t get them down on paper. While not wanting to ‘solutionise’ too quickly, the mismatch between his attitude and his fine motor skills/handwriting ability was showing us that this was getting in the way of his ideas; so in addition to developing some goals to gain physical strength and fine motor skills, the teacher has brainstormed the use of different technologies (in this case speech to text tools) to support this learner with his writing development.

    tunnelDeveloping hunches and testing ideas can draw you into different research pathways, some of which can serve to ‘prove our ideas’. One challenge is to find alternative views/ways that might take us out of an 'echo chamber' - to help us to trial deliberate acts of teaching/new ways of learning that best meet the differing needs of our students. Sometimes the way we have always done things just doesn't work for some of our students…like the current debate in Handwriting, that old chestnut.

    Having critical and reflective dialogue with colleagues would help in this regard. My question is, in addition to talking to other experts, are there opportunities for professional learning conversations to happen frequently; where you and your colleagues can analyse the evidence, discuss hunches, debunk assumptions, debate alternative views? After all, you are not alone in this process.

    On another note, I like the word 'trial'. It means we can try new things over and over, even though some things may not work. Does that sound scary, when we feel so responsible that our students find successes in their learning?

    Image source: Creative commons

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