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Planning Robust Inquiries

With every start of year comes with it the wonderings of "can things be done better?" Inquiry is a constant debate whichever school I work with and teachers have very strong opinions that vary greatly even within the same school.

The key ideas that form the basis of my pedagogy when planning for robust inquiry are as follows but of course have to be adaptable and flexible depending on the students and teachers at a school

  • Inquiries that are collaboratively planned are more rich because we are all working towards the same goal

  • Inquiries need to be guided by the teachers. Students can develop the capabilities to guide their own inquiries and ensure they are robust after many, many cycles of modelled best practice so teachers need to know what the beginning, middle and end of an inquiry will sort of look like and guide students in this direction

  • Inquiries need to follow a process where students develop surface level knowledge and then have opportunities to think deeply about the information they have gathered. There are many models and they all have merits, the words are usually interchangeable so it is making it about what you believe encompasses the thinking happening at that stage.

  • Inquiries don't always have to change the world every time but they do need to get hands on through making. Using a lens of science, STEM, digital technologies or ANZHC we have plan to get hands on.

  • Inquiries can easily link to local curriculum and can provide rich opportunities using local environment, people and places. Planning these types of robust inquiries really build your local curriculum co-constructively with the students.

Interestingly the Know, Understand and Do framework of the ANZHC shows a leaning of the MOE towards more rich and robust planning for inquiries that follow a good process. Whereas this framework intertwines these ideas rather than sequence them, I think it is going to prompt more teachers asking for structure and guidance on what makes good inquiry. When I was full time in a classroom inquiry was central to everything I did in the classroom and all my other programs supported and integrated through this. I'm really excited about the inquiries that I working with schools on many that focus around the Voyaging stories of Aotearoa.



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