Teaching as Inquiry 2016

Clarity for Teachers
From my previous posts I had a number of un answered questions.  Whilst I have gained clarification, the next step is to ensure that our teachers have that same shared understanding.  I felt there needed to be clarity for teachers to have ownership and begin the process.  I therefore devised a concise summary of what our 'Teaching as Inquiry' involves and how this aligns to our current thinking.  I have been to Team PLCs to convey this in smaller groups.  I have seen many nodding of heads with what has been shared, and questions have been asked, that have clarified and enabled the amalgamation between what already exists and where to next.
 'Teaching as Inquiry'
I will continue to support teachers in their understanding of the changes that have been made, by attending their Team PLC meetings, reviewing team minutes, individual teacher blogs, student evidence and following the Inquiry Cycle requirements.
Continuing to Evolve 
After our TOD around Inquiry teaching, there were a large number of questions that I needed clarification on.  I have also been reviewing  TKI about Inquiry teaching  and have re-read "Understanding Teaching as Inquiry" in a curriculum update.  One of the questions to come from our meeting has been, do we inquire into all curriculum areas? as our "teaching as Inquiry Mid Term and EOY cover these aspects, (however I see these as more of a review of learning). 1. Should it be a school wide curriculum area as a focus of Inquiry? How many target students should be in our Teaching as Inquiry groups?
After speaking with my facilitator of my AP/DP group she highlighted that teachers focus on only 1 curriculum area with their students, and to begin with their needs and these will filter into School Wide Targets.  I am really enjoying the learning  the finer details of 'Teaching as Inquiry" ensuring that we are enabling our teachers to develop a deeper level of thinking around their students and their learning.

'Teaching as Inquiry' versus 'Personal Inquiry'
Throughout this term I have been delving deeper into how we can continue to support our target students, through deliberate acts of teaching.  As part of my AP/DP group Roween Higgie has assisted me to fine tune my knowledge of 'Teaching as Inquiry' and how to ensure our staff are covering all of the PTCs through their teaching practice, and classroom programmes.  CBS staff do go through unpacking target students and in Team PLCs  and discuss possible barriers to students learning, and discuss next teaching steps.  For 2016 I have adopted a more detailed Inquiry Cycle for next year, which guides the teachers through reflective questions, facilitating them to inquire into their own practice to change or adapt their deliberate acts of teaching to build on student achievement and progress.
I believe there has been too much focus on teachers own 'Personal Inquiries' and this has possibly detracted from the importance of our target children.  I am really looking forward to discussing our new revised Appraisal and Inquiry Learning Journey.  I have also refined the Appraisal Overview
The inclusion of 'Backward Mapping' will guide appraisal teacher discussions around the PTCs, identifying strengths and next steps, ensuring teacher practice is continually developing.

Teaching as Inquiry Term 1 2015
In term 1 the teachers began formulating their inquiry questions, asking themselves the questions..

"What is worthwhile and meaningful to me and my
needs to develop my teaching practice" (possible reference to school goals)

"What is important and therefore worthwhile spending time on given where
my students are at?"

The teachers have now formulated their questions and are beginning to identify the steps and actions required to work towards unpacking their inquiry question.
It has been discussed that using the Cockle Bay Learning Journey - Teaching as Inquiry document is helpful to guide us, however it is also important to use some form of template to be able to backwards map the journey your inquiry takes.  For example what actions you may need to take in regards to your question, observations, research, gathering data.  How you might go about ensuring that you are on track, by using some form of timeline.  Lastly how are you going to measure the success or dissonance of your question, what evidence or achievement data will you gather. 
This year all teachers are using Blogger to correlate their Inquiry.  In term 4 we will have a TOD where teachers will share their Inquiries with one another.  This was very successful last year.
Cockle Bay Teacher Inquiry Questions 2015



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