Thursday, 25 January 2018

Inquiry Title

The Achievement Challenge that my inquiry will be focussed around is Achievement Challenge 1 from 2017: to raise Maori student achievement through the development of cultural visibility and responsive practices as measured against National Standards and agreed targets for reading Y1-10 and NCEA Y11-13.

I do note this goal includes reference to National Standards, which our new government is canning, so perhaps this will change into as measured against e-asTTle scores or PAT data.

My focus will be on raising Maori student achievement in reading in the hope that improving reading will lead to improved achievement in other areas, such as science. I will inquire into the junior years, as I believe it makes more sense to try and accelerate achievement in the years before NCEA, rather than trying to play catch-up when they arrive.

To me this means that any changes, resources or strategies I inquire into the effectiveness of must include developing cultural visibility and also being responsive to the needs and cultures of students in front of me.  Changes, resources or strategies should also include a focus on accelerated achievement in reading.

My inquiry title will be can changes to the cultural visibility and responsiveness in the junior science program improve Maori student a) reading achievement and b) enjoyment, confidence and achievement in science.

A long term question that I will need years to answer is whether those same changes will improve Maori student enrolment and NCEA achievement in senior science.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Introduction To My Inquiry

Kia ora, talofa and talitali fiefia to the blog where I will share my inquiry during 2018.

I found out in December that I've been allowed to give COL'ing a go (can I turn that word into a verb? I guess I have!) My aim as a COL inquirer and science teacher will be to complete as robust-an inquiry as I can in a classroom full of uncontrolled variables!

I'll also be making every effort to share this in blog posts that are short, sharp, and hopefully enjoyable or informative to read. Can someone please hold me to that? "Nic, I only made it through the first paragraph" will definitely be considered legitimate feedback from today onwards.

I spent some time over the holidays reading the full inquiries of 2017's Tamaki COL teachers and one thing that was mentioned in more than one of them was a visit from Graeme Aitkin. His take-home message really jumped out at me; there are three key factors in student's success. These are:


To me that means for our students to enrol and then be successful in high-stakes senior science classes, they need to enjoy their time in junior science, feel confident to choose a senior science, and have experienced achievement. While they're IN senior science classes they'll need to enjoy their learning, feel confident to approach assessments and hopefully experience early achievement and build on that.

I think my area of inquiry could be something about strengthening the enjoyment, confidence or achievement of science students in the junior years, with the long-term goal of getting them enrolled into and then achieving in senior science in later years.