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Teacher Action Inquiry at Hikutaia

Context Three Rivers Cluster, Hikutaia School.  Development of a school wide approach to improving teaching and learning through teacher action inquiry.

Background  While school Learning Walks and Teaching Inquiries had links to school targets they were not promoting teacher reflection and responsibility for learning.  There was little change in practice and teachers were reliant on others such as facilitator to solve problems. 

Aims and purpose. Three Rivers Cluster Goal 3; Teachers to integrate e- learning effectively into their practice creating an innovative and exciting learning environment for all students.

Through the development of;

  • Professional leadership
  • Change for improved teaching and learning
  • Reflective practitioners
  • Leaders as problem solvers
  • Responsibility for own learning
  • Linking of theory and practice 

Method, interventions and actions;

  • Using already established learning walks’ guidelines, staff added to and modified, to include coaching.
  • Teachers chose a partner for coaching and a focus for  personal inquiry.
  • With facilitator support and other schools examples the teaching inquiry cycle was modified to allow for increased reflection and double loop learning.
  • Teachers used observation and coaching reflective sessions twice a term to improve a specific aspect of teaching and learning in their classes. 

Summary of key results;

  • Focus for inquiries were broken into smaller more manageable steps making change small but on-going.
  • Teachers felt supported in their development and are taking responsibility for their own continual learning.
  • Time is allowed for reflection and development of next steps.
  • Teachers feel the process enables them to reflect on concerns in a supportive non-judgemental environment.
  • Student voice 

Conclusions and/or next steps;

  • Teachers choosing their partners, making it connected to what happens in the class.  Specifically targeted staff learning to develop and support coaching in relation to the teacher action inquiries.
  • Junior/Senior areas of the school worked well.
  • Just like learning for children, teachers need small  attainable chunks based on collegial support.
  • Timetabled reflection is a vital part of the learning and needs to  enable teachers to make changes and create a shift in school culture.
  • Continue to develop and refine Teacher Action Inquiry as supported by the coaching model.
  • Encourages priority and responsibility for personal learning in  a collaborative non- threatening way that works at an individual level based on identified data that indicates  needs. 

Links to support;  Presentation to Three Rivers Cluster of how we are doing Teacher Action Inquiry at Hikutaia. http://www.slideshare.net/karenreynolds63/teacher-action-inquiry

Resources and people that helped to inspire and create; Coaching Leadership, Building Educational Leadership Capacity through Coaching Partnerships.  Jan Robertson NZCER PRESS (2005)  Talking the Walk: Walking the Talk.  Cheryl Doig (2009)  InterLEAD ‘4 minute walk throughts’ course  (2009) Techniques for Coaching and Mentoring.  David Megginson and David Clutterbuck Butterworth Heinemann (2005)  Lorraine Watchorn: lewatchorn@wave.co.nz and Sue Bewley  Nicky King: Rotokawa School  Barbara Wenn bwenn19@gmail.com