|Spirals of Inquiry|
Today we pressed ‘send’ on the book we have been working on for over a year entitled Spirals of Inquiry. We are grateful to the BCPVPA for partnering with us to publish this book and are very pleased that all the proceeds from the sale of the book will go to supporting inquiry schools – particularly those serving vulnerable communities.
In some ways working on this book represents our gift to the educators we have been so privileged to work with over the past several years within various networks across BC. Your stories, your observations, your questions, and your inquiry journeys have all provided rich opportunities for us to grow in our understanding of the importance of inquiry. Your experiences also reinforce for us the absolute necessity for educators to connect in substantive ways across schools, across districts and across roles. We have heard this repeatedly from many educators over the past few months – and we are listening.
We spent last Sunday with thirty of the volunteer network leaders from around the province. Although not exactly a day of rest, the conversations were lively, the laughter was contagious, and many connections were strengthened. As a group, we had a chance to reflect on the ways in which inquiry is taking hold through various initiatives across BC and we also explored ways to sustain the emphasis on self and co-regulation that the network represents. One of the key features of the network has been the persistent focus on the six key strategies of assessment for learning – and the understanding that assessment for and as learning are the bridge to a more personalized, learner-focused system. Despite the progress that has been made, there was no sense that we had arrived in a place where coaching forms of assessment are way of life in every setting, for every learning.
We were very pleased that Maureen Dockendorf was able to join this discussion. The CR4YR initiative provides such a great opportunity for a well-resourced and supported network focused on young readers. In addition, having the coaches and facilitators from the VIU rural literacy research project led by Paige Fisher added another dimension of coherence-creation. The more connections and coherence we can create across initiatives, the better. Our discussions led to the set of beliefs that you will find below. Networks do matter – a lot!
So what is happening next? The case studies from the 2011-2012 schools have been posted on the website and within the next little while we are planning to get small grants out to as many of these schools as we can with the proceeds from last year’s seminar. The video clips from the seminar are also posted and we encourage you to check them out. We know that many school districts find ways to acknowledge and support the dedication of network schools. This local recognition is hugely important and greatly valued.
Any school in the province is welcome to be part of the network. All it takes is a commitment to the core beliefs of the network and a curiosity for learning. A guideline for inquiry as well as templates for school questions are available on the website.
Here’s what the network leadership team sees as the core beliefs. We hope you agree.