Starting Collaborative Inquiries

When I arrived at Lynfield College last year I found a school with a very strong Teaching as Inquiry culture. All teachers across the school were inquiring into the impact that their teaching was having on their students. This was enabled by some great scaffolded templates to help teachers who were newer to the process and time was built into the meeting schedule to help these inquiries progress.

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Reconstruction of Christchurch

I’m a Geography teacher. I have spent the last dozen years teaching students about natural disasters. Teaching them that disasters are not just one off events, that a major part of understanding a disaster is the reconstruction afterwards. Yet, today I was shocked by what I saw in Christchurch.

I like to think I am fairly on top of what is happening in the world currently. I constantly read news online, I scour social media for any storied that might be relevant for our learners. Heck, I’m even connected online with plenty of people that live in Christchurch. My in-laws were involved in the Quake. Injured, lost belongings but realistically lucky compared to many others. They have told me that I don’t understand what it was really like. Today I know that is the truth. Continue reading

Transformation and Discomfort

There is a lot of talk about transforming education or transforming schools these days. Many of the ideas or initiatives linked with this though leave me wondering whether we really understand the challenge we face to transform education in New Zealand. Many of the initiatives I have discussed with others lately are based around STEM and/or digital technologies, so that will be the slant of this post. All of these initiatives are truly innovative and are having great outcomes for students and teachers, but I wonder is it enough and are they focused on the right things?

In our experience here forming Hobsonville Point Secondary School, the hardest thing about change is the discomfort that occurs. This was also backed up in EdJourney where Grant Lichtman says that change is not hard, change is uncomfortable. To me, none of the innovations and initiatives trying to bring about change are really addressing this discomfort well. Continue reading