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Teaching as inquiry in The New Zealand Curriculum is a model to support teacher inquiry into the teaching-learning relationship. It is useful across the curriculum as a whole, and also to consider teaching and learning in relation to the key competencies in particular.
Teaching inquiry involves three inquiries: focusing, teaching and learning:
Click on each of the three inquiries in the above diagram to open questions that prompt attention to the key competencies.
The focusing inquiry is about establishing what matters most. The key question that guides a focusing inquiry is ‘What is important (and therefore worth spending time on), given where my students are at?’ It establishes both a baseline, and a direction. That baseline, and direction, need not be based only on information about students’ knowledge or learning area achievement. A baseline and direction for developing students’ capabilities in the key competencies should also be a key consideration.
The teaching inquiry is about increasing the likelihood that teaching strategies will help students achieve the most important outcomes for them. The key question that guides a teaching inquiry is ‘What strategies (evidence-based) are most likely to help my students learn this?’ The teacher uses evidence from research and from their own past practice and that of colleagues to plan teaching and learning opportunities aimed at achieving the outcomes prioritised in the focusing inquiry. The evidence used to inform a teaching inquiry should also emphasise key competencies – with attention not only to evidence about how to improve, for example, knowledge or skills, but also how to improve, for example, students’ application of ideas, learning dispositions, participation, curiosity, interactions, metacognition, or self-motivation.
The learning inquiry is about investigating the success of teaching for important outcomes. The key question that guides a learning inquiry is ‘What happened as a result of the teaching, and what are the implications for future teaching?’ In a learning inquiry, the teacher investigates the success of the teaching in terms of the prioritised outcomes, using a range of assessment approaches. A key competency focus in the learning inquiry suggests the importance of students being actively involved in providing feedback about what they learnt, how they learnt it and their experience of the teaching and learning. It also requires attention to the success or otherwise on key competencies both during, and at the end of, the learning process. This enables the teacher to be immediately responsive to supporting key competencies development.
Download a PDF of all three key competency inquiry tools: