Improving Teacher Practice Through Inquiry
Blog post by Hilary Kingston
This blog post is the first in a series focusing on 'improving teacher practice through inquiry'
Teaching as inquiry is a stance, it is a process that teachers use daily in response to student learning needs. By following a spiral of inquiry, teachers have an opportunity to take a more considered and evidence based inquiry approach that will change teacher practice to improve outcomes for learners.
Teacher inquiry and knowledge building cycles require a shift in thinking and use of assessment data. The purpose of assessment is to inform the learning process, ie how effective has the teaching been and what needs to happen next?
Dimension 2 of the inquiry cycle builds on teacher professional knowledge, skills and dispositions. The process requires teachers to undertake their own formative assessment of their learning needs in relation to the student needs identified, promoting teacher learning to improve student outcomes.
The staff at Our Lady of Victories engage in continuous improvement to ensure that teaching and learning programmes meet the needs of their diverse students. Through the process of 'Teaching as Inquiry', the teachers reassess their own learning needs in relation to the student needs identified. With the support of external facilitators from Kaha Education, the teachers have engaged in new learning and ongoing analysis of the impact of their strategies and approaches to enhance student learning and experiences.
Effective teacher inquiry requires support and leadership to allow opportunities for teacher practice to be explored and conditions which are responsive to how teachers learn. It has been great to have the Principal Denis involved in this PLD.