“ Whatever your circumstances, you need to find time to be in your element - to do what gives you energy rather than what takes it from you.” Ken Robinson, 2013

There has been growing interest in ‘personalised learning’ for many years now. Increasingly, schools are making arrangements to provide more opportunities for learners to learn to be self-directed and to have their needs and interests met through the curriculum. An inquiry-based approach is in itself, an approach that recognizes the importance of learner voice and choice and of linking new learning to the existing knowledge, experiences and interests of the learner. In this sense, inquiry has always been an approach that nurtured learner agency but this can be amplified when learners can pursue the questions, interests, problems and wonders that matter to them.

Teachers who use an inquiry based approach are committed to helping learners ‘learn to learn’ and to equipping them with the skills and dispositions to more independently investigate questions, problems, issues and interests. But what opportunities do we give learners to do this both within and beyond the “units of inquiry” we may develop? How can we enhance our inquiry program so learners have real opportunities to follow their passions and to truly inquire into those things that matter to them? And why is this so important? This workshop is all about supporting learners to design, pursue and assess their own journeys of inquiry and how these pathways sit alongside collaborative inquiries where learners are building understanding through shared investigations. Over the two days of this intensive workshop, teachers will explore a variety of ways to nurture agency through personal inquiry such asiTime, genious hour, Studio time, passion projects and innovation days. Teachers will leave the workshop having considered ways to design their own approach to personalizing the inquiry experience for learners.

We will explore the following questions with practical tasks and lots of recent examples from classrooms:
  • Why is personal inquiry important? What’s our purpose?
  • What is the teacher’s role in this and how can we apply quality conferring skills to scaffolding learner thinking in connection with their personal investigations.
  • What does ‘personal inquiry’ look like as learners move through the school?
  • How can we help learners identify their interests? How can we inspire wonderment and curiosity?
  • How can we help learners design effective questions for their investigations?
  • How might opportunities for personal inquiry be structured differently for different age groups?
  • How can we make sure personal inquiry time is not simply “doing projects” or ‘free play’? How do we help learners challenge themselves and go beyond the knon?
  • What skills and dispositions do learners need to make this work? How can we teach these?
  • How can we make this manageable? What systems and routines and classroom set ups make it work?
  • How can we involve learners in co-constructing criteria for routines, content and assessment?
  • How can we make links across the curriculum through personal inquiry?
  • How can we involve the wider community and communicate the importance of this practice to parents?
  • What resources are available to support this way of working?
  • How can we provide our learners with powerful models of what it means to be an independent inquirer?
  • How can we nurture our own interests and passions as part of the learning community?
Potential Audience:
This workshop would best suit (K-6) teachers who already have some understanding of inquiry and are using this approach in some form in their school. I would also recommend you come with at least one other colleague so you can collaborate on an action plan for your return to school.
Kath Murdoch
Kath Murdoch is an experienced teacher, author, university lecturer and popular consultant who has worked for many years in schools throughout Australia, New Zealand, Asia, America and Europe. She is widely respected for her work in the field of inquiry based learning and integrative curriculum in which she has taught, researched and published for well over 25 years.

Kath began her professional life as a classroom teacher in Melbourne, Australia. Her fascination in how students' constructed their understandings - and her interest in the way questions and big ideas could drive curriculum soon lead to a passion for integrative and inquiry based methodologies. This passion has become a career-long focus for teaching, research and writing and the methodologies in which Kath specialises are now central to curriculum frameworks in many parts of the world - including the popular International Baccalaureate, PYP program.

Critical to Kath's success is her continued involvement in classroom teaching. Whether it is to demonstrate techniques, coach teachers or build her own repertoire of practices, Kath is committed to regular and ongoing work with students. Her classroom work and research feeds a dynamic and ever-evolving expertise in the area of integrative and inquiry-based learning.

Kath's professional development offerings are diverse. They range from intensive partnerships with schools to develop inquiry programs and practices over several years through to one-day workshops for beginning or experienced inquiry teachers. Whether in her home town of Melbourne or on the other side of the world, working with a team or speaking to a packed auditorium Kath's style is refreshingly practical, inclusive and always connected to the real world of teaching.

8.30 am to 3.30 pm
Registration at 8.00 am
on the 7th February 2020.
USD 790 Closing Date 15th January 2020
INCLUDES: Certificate of Participation for 16 Professional Development hours, Lunch and 2 coffee breaks.
Upcoming Workshops
Inquiry Reading Instruction
- By Kathy Collins
28th - 29th February 2020
Teaching and Learning Through Inquiry
- By Kath Murdoch
14th - 15th March 2020
Santiago, Chile
Learner Agency Through Personal Inquiry
- By Kath Murdoch
4th - 5th April 2020