Gems from Second CoL Meeting, March, 2018

Gems from second CoL Meeting, March, 2018


Russell’s Opening


All around the country teacher’s are doing inquiries, mostly towards their attestations. In our context, if teachers can’t find the stuff that works and share it with others, our kids will continue to fail. The reason we have Jannie in this year is because all of you guys expressed that we have a language acquisition problem. To get out of poverty, you have to be able to speak the right way. You can’t shift into a different echelon in society if you can’t speak the kind of way that is accepted in our society.


Teaching absolutely is an intervention. Your inquiry is part of forming the intervention. There is a difference between teaching, and guiding and supporting. This is teaching as inquiry. What Rebecca said, is that if it’s just development, if we are just letting kids develop, it’s not teaching. Teachers need to take learners beyond development. Part of teaching as inquiry, it is our job it identify the ‘good’ interventions. How do we get our children to be connected, confident and competent citizens in our society.




When you just fix a school the community doesn’t necessarily improve. One of our goals is that more children will go to Tamaki College. You have to think of not only our learners in our school getting better, but our whole community. We are trying to bless the orchard, and that is why we are here, as CoL teachers. We have a partnered learning process that we are engaging in here, which is new and unusual. What we are here for, we must not just think about your inquiry, it is OUR inquiry, we are trying to create citizens ACROSS a community.


Rebecca Jesson


What does it take to get your inquiries to a position where we can get information out of your inquiries, we need to be quite hard-nosed with the robustness we need out of your inquiries.
A causal chain is when a cause leads to an effect and that effect becomes the cause of another effect. A leads to B. B leads to C. C leads to D. Any intervention you design will (consciously or not) be based on a causal chain you have in mind - this is your theory of action. Often the links between these are ‘unspoken assumptions’. In order for you o be able to systematically test if what you did changed an outcome, you need to have a clear theory to see if what you did worked.


Rebecca and Aaron spend a lot of time doing theory testing, which is really them articulating how or why what they propose they are going to do is going to make a difference, our peers test our theories. We can’t just focus on inquiry without knowledge and the building of this. You need a lot of knowledge to know what to look at in that ball and chain. If you don’t know stuff you can’t do it.


You can’t test your theory unless you know what your theory is and why you hold it.


There are always theories you can eliminate right from the outset because you cannot measure what you are trying to find out. Jannie - everyone has to be thinking are what you doing the powerful difference maker or not. Deep, not superficial. Think about what it is that you want to see change for the kids.


What will your near mesure need to tell you? What will you need to know?

Jannie Van Hees


‘Recommended reading this book … What every primary teacher should know about vocabulary’


Where will you put the lens. Travel cautiously… What will make the biggest difference? It is about being explicit, not just extracting from learners.


To flourish learning potential you need:
  • Attention to learning and noticing
  • Effortful and purposeful engagement and interaction
  • Triggering the ‘known’ to connect the ‘new’
  • Stretching the learners’ current language repertoire
  • Multiple encounters
  • Context relevant

It is as important that the learner plays their part, they have to come to the party, they have to focus and notice - we can tell them they  have to put in the effort, but in the end you as the teacher can’t make it happen. You are not the whipping horse. Am I making the effort? Am I honestly focussed that we are a CoL inside this classroom that I can potentially learn from others.


We need to have high expectations for ALL learners. We have to ask ourselves, what do we HONESTLY mean by high expectations for all children.


Context relevant - this whole area here is dripping with context relevant learning; marine reserves, clean air - are we bringing our classroom that is outside in our community, inside. When contexts are relevant and meaningful, they WANT to learn, the learners want to be part of it.


Let’s open our children’s domains, and use our community as the rich pickings for our domains.

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