Teaching as Inquiry through a Design Thinking Lens

This week I was lucky enough to be invited to be a Learning2 Leader at Learning2 Asia - a fabulous practitioner led conference that was developed by an innovative group of educators frustrated by the conferences they had available to them. Learning2 is now spreading across the globe with upcoming meet ups in Johannesburg, Milan and Ecuador. For my extended sessions I looked at  how Teaching as Inquiry can be used a mechanism for leading change. As a result of attending the NoTosh edition of Google Teacher Academy last year in Sydney, I decided to combine what I knew worked about Teaching as Inquiry with what I picked up at GTA last year, resulting in what I think makes perfect sense - Teaching as inquiry through a Design Thinking lens.

Below is an outline of my workshop activities. Much thanks to Ewan, Tom and Hamish (NoTosh) for their generosity in sharing many of these ideas and resources.

Intro and PPT Presentation 

Link to slides
  • Introduction to Teaching as Inquiry and Design Thinking
  • Why we need to evolve our practice?
  • How we can you use Teaching as Inquiry to become “adaptive experts”?

Professional Reading: Spiral of Inquiry

Phase One: Focusing Inquiry (Immersion) 

Key questions
What do we know about each student's:
  • prior learning
  • ethnicity/culture (Who are you? Where are you from?)?
  • linguistic background/languages spoken?
  • interests/hobbies/community involvement?
  • aspirations/goals (both student and family/community)?
  • skills, knowledge (including prior cultural knowledge) and understandings?
  • expected levels of progress in your learning area/class?

Activity - Drawing the issue

Select one group of students you teach (may be a class or a group within a class)
Using the data and the questions above create a visual map of what you know about your learners and their needs - feel free to use any combination of words and images.
Identify an issue that is important and therefore worth spending time on.

Activity - Think, pair, share brainstorm

Think about your issue, get together with a partner and discuss and brainstorm all of the possible aspects of the issue. Try to challenge one another

Activity - Hexagonal Thinking

NoTosh website - Hexagonal Thinking

Phase Two: Focusing Inquiry (Synthesis)

Activity - How Might We questions

NoTosh Website - Explanation of template

Phase Three: Teaching Inquiry (Ideation & Prototype) 

Key Questions
Knowing what I do about my students:
  • what themes/contexts/texts will connect with their lives, experiences and prior knowledge, including their prior cultural knowledge?
  • what learning outcomes are important and relevant for them?
  • what period of time will they need to meet these outcomes?
Knowing what I know about 21C skills:
  • what skills are important?

Activity - 100 ideas in 10 minutes

NoTosh Website - Come up with great ideas
Sinner Man by Nina Simone (10 min song)

Activity - Prototyping

Select one idea, prototype and present

Activity - Idea Gallery and Rose, Bud, Thorn (if time)

Putting up your How Might We question on your screen and write out and place your prototype (the teaching strategy or intervention you are going to trial) on your keyboard. Move around the room, reading ideas and giving Rose, Bud, Thorn feedback.

Two PD Video - Rose, Bud, Thorn

Phase Four: Teaching and Learning (Testing)

This is the phase where you would trial the strategies with your class.

Phase Five: Learning Inquiry (Reflection)

Activity - Discussing ways you could collect post inquiry data (quantitative AND quanlitative)

Padlet - Workshop (feel free to check out the ideas shared at the workshop)

Reflection Activity - World Cafe

Activity - World Cafe

What will you take away from today's learning?
How do you see teaching as inquiry being used to lead change? Potential challenges/opportunities?

World Cafe Website

Resources & Links

Teaching as Inquiry NZC Website
NoTosh Website (Design Thinking Resources)
Using Teaching as Inquiry to guide an elearning action plan (video)
Teaching as Inquiry at Epsom Girls Grammar School (video)
Teaching as Inquiry: A mechanism for leading meaningful and manageable pedagogical change

Planning Templates

E-learning Action plan 2011
E-learning Action Plan 2012
Blank Teaching as Inquiry Planner

Extension activity: Thinking about the “why”

Collaborative Activity - Online Jigsaw Reading Activity Looking at the Research about

Teaching as Inquiry (feel free to use this with your colleagues).

In this activity you will be reading and attempting to summarise some key pieces of research about Teaching as Inquiry. Each group will be given a piece of research to focus on. You may like to divide the reading up between you, or choose to all read then discuss.

When you are ready to write up your key points or summary notes, use the Google Form link below for your piece of research.

When writing your notes, consider the following the questions:
  • What are the key messages in this reading?
  • What are the opportunities or pros of Teaching as Inquiry?
  • What are the challenges related to using Teaching as Inquiry?
  • What can schools/teachers do to make Teaching as Inquiry more effective?

Research Papers/Reports
ERO Report - Directions for Learning: The NZC, Principles and Teaching as Inquiry May 2011
ERO Report - Teaching as Inquiry: Responding to Learners July 2012
Learning Media Report - Coherence and Inquiry as Key Dimensions for Sustainability of Professional Learning
Teacher Professional Learning and Development BES Summary by Helen Timperley
Teaching as Inquiry: Understandings and Challenges Towards a Professional Being By Justine Driver
Lit Review 15-38
Learning from the QTR&D Programme by Lorna M. Earle Chapter 6 Collaborative Inquiry in QTR&D 44-62

Google Doc for Jigsaw Activity - feel free to make a copy and share!


Popular posts from this blog

An open letter to Minister Hipkins - 13 Reasons Why EVERY teacher deserves a pay rise!

An open letter to New Zealand students - you are bigger than any exam!

The Principal Diaries: My Lens on Powerful Learning