Teacher Inquiry and future planning for meaningful Professional Learning
"Menu" of PL choices
Working within the IB across 4 schools in my current role has been the best way to further develop my understanding of the IB from PYP through to DP. What the IB does beautifully is integrate and foster connections between concepts and ideas, communities both local and global and allows for opportunities to students and teachers to be knowledgeable inquirers themselves.
A recent activity I have run with 2 schools is to invite staff as part of a 1 hour future planning session to embark on a teacher inquiry. Using the template to the left staff worked in vertical teams to explore the ideas presented prior to dot voting using an oversized inquiry task once they had found out a bit more about these things. Staff were able to ask colleagues, use existing school resources (human and print) and of course use the www to explore. The excitement and conversations generated from this were astounding – not only did the school have rich data about what teachers wanted to know more about but staff automatically started drawing connections between what is possible and what they are doing as part of the inquiry units and how they could be enriched.
Next we invited staff to respond to the prompts in a survey to work out not only what they want to learn, but how – an important question we consider for our learners. Some schools went on to gather additional staff information like benchmark data and competency with current systems.
One such workshop led to the development of a professional learning action cycle for 2 teams – one focussing on digital storytelling and how it can promote engagement with STEAM (particularly Science with some Technology) whilst the other group explored augmented reality to support community engagement within the School.
Staff developed an inquiry question, received some training using the 30:30 model (30 minutes to learn, 30 minutes to apply, explore) around some possible tools that could work to get them there and they went and tried something with their class after a 1:1 coaching session to help staff develop the proficiency with the tool or resources such as workflow to support it. The final session involved teachers coming back and sharing what they learned, student work samples and discussing what worked well and what they would refine next time with a wider peer group.
Slides used to scaffold process