Monday, March 30, 2015

Workshop - Transforming Learning in Schools: Innovation and the Spiral of Inquiry

WOW what a powerful learning day! 
Spirals of inquiry are part of my learning journey and I have been eagerly anticipating this PD. 
What a pleasure and a privilege to spend a day with Judy Halbert @JLHALBERT and Lyn Kaser @lkaser.

After a delayed flight from Dunedin, we received the smoothest trip from the airport through to our venue in central Christchurch and arrived just in time for the start of the day!

The day was a MAGICAL mix of content, collaboration and powerful acts of facilitation - many of which I anticipate taking into my learning environments.   And many wonderful resources to explore!

Thanks to Judy and Lyn for the journey!

We started by acknowledging tangata whenua.

Stickies on table for any questions throughout the session – attended to at end of day!

Give and go – put your ideas on a sticky, meet someone intellectually stimulating, share yours with someone and hand it on… continuing sharing… give and go!

Cwe’lep – uncertainty in anticipation of new knowledge…

Unpacking curiosity - Curiosity is important because… (we NEED to strive to know the currently unknown… see the unseen, hear the unheard, feel the untouched,) my idea in brackets... This idea was shared with another, then handed on, I received another and so on til we had interchanged many times...

No hands up… strategy – hand the mic, or talking stick to someone who shares, who then passes it on.  Important in this strategy – the recipient of mic has the right to pass it on!

Gratitude in working together…

Living in the what if… conversation, sharing, reflection, hearing new messages,

Martin Hill – environmental artist – Wanaka –

What is GRIT? Grit – passion and perseverance for long term goals. Grit – living life like it is a marathon, not a sprint.
Grit, then harvest and celebrate.

The Nature of Learning Using Research to Inspire Practice Edited by Hanna Dumont, David Istance and Francisco Benavides

Six big findings:
·      Inquiry based
·      Collaborative
·      Linked and coherent
·      Takes place over time
·      Professionally led
·      The ‘right’ focus

Building commitment – “clusterness”

Setting hard goals…


Every learner crossing the stage with dignity, purpose and options.
ALL learners leaving our schools MORE curious than when they arrive.
ALL learners with an understanding of and respect for bicultural, multicultural perspectives.  

Valuing family, nature, and looking forward many generations…

Resources to explore:
Mindset – fixed to growth – read Carol Dweck’s book
Moving from fixed to growth… what helps make the shift…
The power of Yet – allowing for potential development…
Angela Lee  Duckworth – Effort, perseverance, grit,  take the grit survey
Read - how children succeed – Paul Tough
Growth mindset is a start but we need more!  Be willing to fail, start over again with lessons learned.  “We need to be gritty about getting our kids grittier”.  Goldie Hawn – calming down strategies…

What should we do more of, more often.
What should we do less of, more often.

Self check and regulate – with the taking on of any new initiative.
Continuum – mindfulness, relaxation techniques.
Stickability, GRIT

Four big questions:
1.     Where are you going with your learning?
2.     How’s it going? Matched to criteria…
3.     Where to next?
4.     Can you name two adults in this school who believe you will be a success in life?

I am challenging myself to include question 4 in our sessions… how can we use this with our clusters?

Ten by two strategy – ten days in a row, two minutes a day – have a connection with a learner – develop a relationship
How do we apply this to our role?

Why inquiry? Why now?

What happens after our LwDT contract is over?

Systematic continuations of great practice.
Iterative inquiry, investing in continued knowledge building, and establishing coherence of learning and teaching practices across curriculum areas, show continuing improvement in gains.

The spiral of inquiry: 
Scanning – includes the four questions, but also includes speaking with the learners, and the familites.

Focusing – framing the questions – not too narrow, not too wide… Take a focus, pursue,

Developing a hunch – What’s leading to this situation?  What is it about our practice?  How are we contributing to this? (long slow hunch)

New Learning – How and where will we learn more – PD.

Taking action – what will we do differently?  Trial, sharing, error is okay, size of action is crucial… flexibility with action

Checking – how will we check we have made enough of a difference?   Four questions will be very useful again at this stage.

Powerful introduction to the spiral - working with the spiral!  Split into groups to unpack the sections:

Working with the spiral – What’s really important about this phase?
What are some specific considerations at this phase that are critical to the process.
Unpacking the phases of the inquiry – photos to come!

How can I use this in my learning environments?

Individual Inquiry Good, 
Collaborative or collective inquiry better, 
Getting started – crucial

Personalise the inquiry by talking about teacher’s own biological children.

Where are we at as LwDT facilitators – individual inquiries?

What if kids were curious?  What if kids were more peaceful?  What if our kids cared about cultures other than there own?

Inquiry to transform learning…
Spark by John Ratey read – for exercise – engagement

Nature of learning reading:
1.     Learners at the centre – and learning at the centre – self regulated learnerswe
2.     Social Nature of Learning – incorporating the social aspect of learning (sharing across schools in cluster – sharing similarities and differences)
3.     Emotions are central to learning – awareness of this
4.     Recognising individual differences and prior knowledge – valuing diversity
5.     Stretching all students – Demands hard work and effort – without excessive overload
6.     Assessment for learning…
Dylan William – Embedded formative assessment
7.     Building Horizontal Connectedness – eg connecting with local senior home, seeds of learning,

Starting with the questions… a deep understanding of our learners and their families, the sky is the limit with creating a learning environment that works…

Hot seat – use for stretching and challenging the one sharing…

Big Questions
Where are you at?
Where do you want to be?
How are you going to get there?
What do you want us to do to support you?

Spiral framework – team…

Research base behind a collaborative inquiry process
Invitational and powerful
Is it possible to meet all of the needs of all of the students on your own…
Gathering focus – weaving ideas together – putting in collective energy.
Convergent at checking – everybody involved
Collective action – greater energy possible
Unpacking skills that are needed to be effective.
Watch Carol Dweck videos… - effect of praise.

What good question did you ask today? To shift the focus of parents who ask “what did you learn today”…

How to talk so children will listen and listen so children will talk.

Involve and engage community – eg 7 lots of ten minute involvement, sharing interactions, teaching visible to the communities,

Structures provided for every voice to be heard and valued.

Mixed groups with norms of respect…

“Leaving role at the door” establishing norms for how we will work as a group…

Open up thinking – think more broadly – question more, what is going on for our learners?  How do we know?

A hunch can start us off on an inquiry – use the buzz to go wide with scanning…

Mentor, coach role, supporting the inquiry process across the school.

WOW - what an incredible day!!!

Just can't wait for tomorrow's session!

And a walk tonight exploring new arrivals in Christchurch... limitless new cafes, bars, restaurants, and street art popping up everywhere...

Love this one!

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