Deepen Teacher Inquiry Series - Part 23

You’ve got to think about big things while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.
— Alvin Toffler

Teacher inquiry is about the small things. The small things we do as teachers to enhance the learning of our students. The small things in an inquiry are the teaching strategies that are designed in response to the “big things”

The name of the game is - Deepen teacher Inquiry.
The outcome of the game is - Empowered teacher learning - which all going well will lead to improved impacts on student learning.
This week we will explore strategy.
The second phase of an inquiry is the extract phase. Evidencing and strategising.
Strategising - creatively identifying unique strategies that are connected to the learning needs of the students.


Be Creative | See  Needs | Do Strategies

The extract phase is all about finding a strategy. Teachers are engaged in strategy. Strategising the design of new teaching actions that are designed to have positive impacts on student learning.

Finding a strategy is all about being innovative. Innovating allows teachers to shift from stagnated to open concerning the strategies they use for their Inquiry.
Innovating strategies encourages teachers to look for approaches that may be unique to them. To step out of their comfort zone and try something new.

Strategies need to be specific. Designed with the student learning gap that was identified during the explore phase of the teacher inquiry process. That way inquiry will begin to make viable strategies that are incredibly impacting.

Once teachers have innovated a unique teaching strategy, it is essential to think carefully about what the impact of the strategy will be. Teachers hypothesise the impact they expect. A teacher inquirer looks for the impact they hope their approach will have on the learning of the students. The purpose of strategising in this way is to grow teacher professional practice. After all, teachers are professional practitioners.

The purpose of strategising in this way is to grow teacher professional practice. After all, teachers are professional practitioners.

Last week we took a look at how Leah’s inquiry question changed from "How can I improve my students writing?”  to "How does the use of a check pencil for writing improve students correct use of capital letter and full stops in writing?”

Resource found at

In the process of refining her original inquiry question, Leah identified her strategy. Leah's strategy was unique to her. She had never used a check pencil with her students before.

Leah had to make decisions about how she would use this resource with her students. How she would engage her students in the use of the check pencil to edit their writing before she started to use it with her students. Amongst all of these decisions, Leah was also making decisions about how she was going to evidence the impact of the check pencil. The thought process around those decisions will be unpacked next week when we take a look at "evidencing".

How much are you challenging yourself in your practice when you teach?

How often are you reaching outside of the normal teacher toolkit you have built up over your years of teaching?

Teacher inquiry is another avenue in which you can grow that teacher toolkit so you have an even greater number of tools to use.

Teacher inquiry is all about stretching what you know.  Exploring future ways of teaching and/or learning

Change happens when teachers embrace the sandpit culture of a teacher inquiry. When they step out of what is normal and try something, that for them is truly different. We expect our kids to do it on a daily basis - teachers need to model this courageousness about learning that they expect from the students.

Until next week - Have a great week everyone



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