Tuesday, 17 November 2015

The Rollercoaster Ride of Inquiry Huia Brown

Teaching as Inquiry


The rollercoaster ride of Inquiry

We hit the ground running. Inquiries in hand, planned and ready to go. 1st one up was Get your head in the game and I was teamed up with another teacher. This was a great thing, 2 brains are better than one. Collabaration was intense as we didn’t know how our thinking would match. Some parts it was a struggle to pull apart our thinking, work it together and finally place everything back together in a way we were both happy with the tasks we created. Also in the back of our mind was NCEA. How were students going to get credits and still inquire into something. It was a struggle but we had done it. We had set up all our task, uploaded them to the school forum and was totally chuffed with how it looked. First reflections through these inquiries; These task that we have done are way too long. It was taking senior students over an hour to complete one task. What would I do next time instead?  Our solotaxonomy were Terrible. I don’t even know where to start! I need some help. We asked this questions continuosly. Were we even on the right track? Right time to research! And NCEA. That’s a whole different chapter.

Well last term was a great learning curve time to reset the button. What worked what didn’t. Time for collaboration again. There were many things that we needed to tweak. First, to minimise our task so that it didn’t take students too long because this was only suppose to be a taster. We did not want students to become disengaged because task were too hard or too long.  Second, to create solotaxonomy that students could follow and was easy to read. We had some great coaching around this, Uni was one idea, multi was many ideas, relational was how do these ideas relate together, Ext Abstract how can you use these ideas to help you in your learning, life, etc. Well I think that’s it! Thirdly make sure to have a plan just in case we have NCEA students who choose our inquiry. Fourth and most importantly, what was something that we thought students needed to extend their learning. Brainstorm session here we come, so discussion started, what do our students need? We came to the conclusion that we noticed we had a few issues in our learning community that we were quite concerned about. It was that we felt that’s students found it hard to show respect for themselves and/or for any other people. We decided that the learning that would help our students the most was for them to realise that for every action that they did, positive or negative, there was a equal or opposite reaction. We found the following quote which then became the main driving force behind our inquiry. “The cause is hidden, the effect is visible to all”  We were away again. Task uploaded and this time smaller than our first ones. Solo, still not great as I still had not wrapped my head around it but was a bigger step than the first term. NCEA had been split into three different routes covering three different curriculum areas for students so they had a open choice.  Now it was time to deliver our new Inquiry for the term. Cause and effect!


The rollercoaster ride continues however it is less bumpy, still exciting and challenges around every bend. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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