Exploring tensions within the practice of leading ‘teaching as inquiry’ in a New Zealand secondary school and its kāhui ako
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Citation:Bryant, N. (2019). Exploring tensions within the practice of leading ‘teaching as inquiry’ in a New Zealand secondary school and its kāhui ako. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Educational Leadership and Management). Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4782
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4782
RESEARCH QUESTIONS: 1. What are school Middle Leaders’ and Kāhui Ako Within School Leaders’ perceptions of the purpose of ‘teaching as inquiry? 2. What are school Middle Leaders’ and Kāhui Ako Within-School Leaders’ perceptions of the nature of teaching as inquiry? 3. What are school Middle Leaders’ and Kāhui Ako Within-School Leaders’ perceptions of the practice of leading ‘teaching as inquiry? 4. What are school Middle Leaders’ and Kāhui Ako Within-School Leaders’ perceptions of the and challenges and benefits of leading ‘teaching as inquiry? ABSTRACT: ‘Teaching as inquiry’ has been established as a pedagogical model in the New Zealand Curriculum for more than a decade. It is promoted as a highly effective process for professional development and for improving student learning outcomes, particularly in addressing issues of equity. However, it has been ineffectively implemented in schools. This study investigated the perceptions of Middle Leaders and Kāhui Ako Within-School Leaders regarding the purpose and nature of ‘teaching as inquiry,’ the nature of its leadership and its challenges and benefits. Data were collected using online surveys and focus group interviews within eight schools in one Waikato Kāhui Ako. Leaders saw the purpose of ‘teaching as inquiry’ as improving teaching and as improving student learning outcomes. It was seen to follow cyclical, iterative steps and promote adaptive pedagogical practice. Leaders used a variety of strategies to lead it and preferred to develop relational trust instead of following compliance-based accountability processes. There were tensions identified, including confusion over which roles held the primary responsibility to lead ‘teaching as inquiry;’ time limitations that existed within other complex and competing professional expectations; challenges in dealing with resistance from other staff and the visibility and credibility afforded to leader’s roles and the implications of their ‘teaching as inquiry’ processes. These challenges were linked with a perceived lack of professional development opportunities that focussed on leadership. The benefits of ‘teaching as inquiry’ were seen to be the opportunity to collaborate and connect with other teachers and leaders’ autonomy, enjoyment and ultimately retention in the teaching profession. It is recommended that the capacity for collaborative inquiry is strengthened at national, local and individual levels.