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Professional Learning Model

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Last updated by Mark Maddren

Teaching and learning inquiry

Source: http://ero.govt.nz/National-Reports/Teaching-as-Inquiry-Responding-to-Learners-July-2012/Background-Inquiry-frameworks/Teaching-and-learning-inquiry

The primary purpose of teaching and learning inquiry, as described in The New Zealand Curriculum, is to bring about improved outcomes for students through a cyclical process that is guided by the following questions:

  1. What should students achieve? Where are our students in relation to these goals and priorities? What do students need to learn next? (focusing inquiry)
  2. Which strategies, interventions or programmes will support students to achieve these outcomes? (teaching inquiry)
  3. What learning happened for students as a result of these strategies, interventions or programmes, and what will teachers do next to ensure that students continue to progress? (learning inquiry).

As Figure 1 [6] indicates, depending on the impact on student outcomes, some phases are given less emphasis and others are revisited on several occasions.

Figure 1: The teaching as inquiry cycle

Figure 1: The teaching as inquiry cycle

A second and similar inquiry approach framework, which is closely aligned to the previous inquiry model, relates to building teachers’ capacities to respond appropriately to learners’ needs. [7] Leaders and teachers can use the framework to make astute assessments about the gaps in teachers’ practices and to identify future development areas for staff. Professional learning inquiry intentionally focuses teachers on the learning that will bring about improved outcomes for students. Any gaps and future development areas for teachers should be closely referenced to learners’ needs.

While this framework is not that different conceptually from the previous model, its inclusion in this report draws attention to the significant role which leaders can play in using inquiry for self review and school improvement.

Figure 2: Professional learning inquiry

Figure 2: Professional learning inquiry



This figure is sourced from page 35 of Ministry of Education (2007) The New Zealand Curriculum for English-medium teaching and learning. Wellington: Learning Media Ltd. The figure is based on work initially carried out by Drs Graeme Aitken and Claire Sinemma.


Timperley, Wilson & Barrar (2007) Teacher Professional Learning and Development: Best Evidence Synthesis Iteration [BES]. Inside cover and p. xliii Wellington: Ministry of Education.