Professional Learning – Developing an Inquiry Culture

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A few years back Sam and I ran a 1 day workshop and 4 days of demonstration lessons at Mt. Scopus College in Melbourne, Australia. The format was very different to the usual ‘run of the mill’ workshops or conferences which most of us have become accustomed to.

Since then, Lana Fleiszig has developed a strong relationship with ISHCMC for a few years now and naturally, we thought it made perfect sense to bring her to VIS too.

The value and impact was immediate and she instantly drew in our teachers. Lana said it best when she referred to herself as ‘the provocation.’ And that is what she did, she stirred up our thinking, added to our evolving inquiry culture and inspired us to continue the amazing work she did for the week she was with us.

The power and value in hosting in-house professional learning is obvious. We all could learned together, we all got on the same page and we are all finding ways to strengthen our practice through her ideas and knowledge.

We are sending 4 teachers to Shanghai to complete Making the PYP Happen. They will fly to Shanghai, be part of the workshops and then, snap – it’s done. A huge amount of investment and resources funneled into 4 people. A week with Lana (in-house) meant that 28 teachers and 19 Instructional Assistants were all touched. I know which basket to put all  (or most) our eggs in.

So how did we take the learning to the next level after Lana left?

Using Inquiry Moves (see below), each teacher selected 1 that they wanted to develop. They now have three weeks to collaborate with those people (outside of their teams) and then share back to the group. This is just one step of many we plan to develop and strengthen.

This is how we are developing an inquiry culture at VIS. This is just the beginning. We have big plans to bring Lana back and take us through the next cycle of inquiry learning t-o-g-e-t-h-e-r!

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2 comments

  1. lanafleiszig

    I’m so excited to be part of the VIS learning community. It’s fabulous to hear some of the next steps that educators are taking to strengthen inquiry as a stance. Go team!

  2. sherrattsam

    This is great, Chad, and not a surprise in the slightest to hear of Lana’s immediate impact on VIS! Love the Inquiry Moves and subsequent actions… crucial here is avoiding the mistake we make so often in our school of just adding that to a list of things for teachers to work on. Create the time and the space for it by putting other things on the back-burner or taking them off the to-do list completely… or else… you know exactly what will happen… you’ll have teachers wandering around saying “what are my Inquiry Moves again?”.

    I’m sure I am pointing out the obvious to you, mate, but amazing how quickly the lists of things can escalate!

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