An inquiry into our school…

Learning takes place through inquiry.

Learning is most meaningful when the learners have choice in how they learn, as well as opportunities to wonder, explore, hypothesise and construct meaning for themselves.

This is why we have chosen to structure our new staff induction in the form of an inquiry

On Day 1, as part of a broader introduction to the PYP, our new teachers will explore concept based learning, one of the essential elements of the PYP. They will develop their understanding of the conceptual approach by using the PYP key concepts as a lens through which to generate questions about our school.

Day 2 will include an inquiry, via which our new teachers will have the opportunity to actively find out about their new school, rather than passively sit and listen to us ‘tell them stuff‘!

Central idea:

Each school has a unique culture, beliefs and approaches.

Suggested lines of inquiry:

  • Cultural beliefs and values of our school
  • Our learning principles
  • The learning environment
  • Roles and responsibilities within our school
  • Our written curriculum

Participants will be free to select the conceptual lenses through which to explore these lines of inquiry. They can also, of course, explore self-generated questions and wonderings, based on the concept exercise from the previous day.

They will conduct their inquiries in small groups, with the following resources at their disposal:

  • The school environment
  • The learning resource centre
  • Members of the school community who will be present to support, demonstrate, facilitate, encourage and respond to questions
  • Access to curriculum documents

As always, I like to blog about the plans for such events in advance, when I have no idea how the inquiry will develop or to what degree it will be successful.

But isn’t that how the best inquiries unfold?

About whatedsaid

Teaching and Learning Coordinator at an IB PYP school in Melbourne, Australia. I'm a teacher, a learner, an inquirer...
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4 Responses to An inquiry into our school…

  1. Dean Kuran says:

    Sounds exciting 🙂


  2. Fantastic. Thanks for sharing. I am going to steal this for our new staff orientation next August. I wonder how it will work with only three new staff and me? Curious to find out!


  3. Thanks for the inspiration! Inquiring into our school in this way will really support the less-experienced PYP teachers while still facilitating learning about our school’s PYP context for more experienced teachers. This makes a lot more sense than trying to tell everything to everyone. Will revisit this post and give further thought to CI and LOI that would work for us when the time comes.


  4. cdw11238 says:

    I have forwarded this to two schools that are in a dynamic change process right now, trying to achieve a spirit of inquiry among staff. I think these questions can be used as ongoing reflections to help a school grow and to empower teachers to make contributions in a collaborative way. Thanks, Edna!


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