By Greg Harris and Khai Ma
Our teacher inquiry related to three of the four pedagogies of New Pedagogies for Deeper Learning (NPDL.) Learning partnerships, learning environments and pedagogical practices were prominent in our group and partnership decisions to make learning relevant and responsive to students. Learning Partnerships were formed between teachers and their classes and between their Inquiry Buddy classes. Learning environments included hallways, split classrooms, local forest areas and our library. Challenges (provocations) were given to students where they had to decide how to achieve successful results. Pedagogical practices continued our school’s tradition of involving teachers who wanted to take part in our inquiry, involving administration to share what we were doing and to consider the ‘principal’ point of view and involving students through classroom discussions and individual feedback.
We learned and confirmed better ways to have students work and learn together. A key finding (that we expected) was learning would be most relevant when students could make choices regarding their own learning. Regular feedback to students (individual and partners) and whole class discussions and pre-meeting planning further demonstrated to students that teachers observed and listened to them to be responsive to what they were working on. Our study didn’t connect to addressing specific cultural backgrounds. However, by getting down to the individual students, we demonstrated that we valued students as people and as learners.
The reader could read the Introduction and jump to the Summary. However, the Inquiry Buddies Recount section provides the contextual stories and golden evidence that explain where we drew our conclusions and recommendations from.
Greg Harris: Teacher Librarian @ Ardagh Bluffs Public School, Barrie, ON Canada
Greg has been a teacher for most of his life whether in or out of school. The best thing about his school is working and talking with students and staff about whatever is interesting because you never know where it’s going to lead.
Khai Ma: Kindergarten Teacher @ Ardagh Bluffs Public School, Barrie, ON Canada
Khai is happily and wholeheartedly invested in the world of Kindergarten. His previous experience was in special education. What he is most proud of his school is that students, teachers, administrators and parents have contributed equally to its culture of open-minded learning.