Why Change My Question Quest?

Regular followers of my blog will have noticed that my Question Quest came to a halt last week.

I have thoroughly enjoyed asking these questions and have loved the discussions that have been provoked by some of the posts. Lately however, I have found that some of the questions have been rushed thoughts at the end of a long day rather than properly thought out questions. It is for this reason that I will not complete the challenge as originally set out – 1 post a day for July and August.

Instead, I will continue to post Question blogs infrequently but indefinitely. My aim was to role model questioning as an example for students and to develop my questioning ability. I have done that through regular questioning but feel it is now time to focus on asking questions worth asking.

I will try to show how the questions have developed to their final blog form and the posts that support them will end up longer. I feel this will still allow for a modelling of effective questioning strategies whilst allowing me to focus on the issues I consider truly worth pursuing. Hopefully, this will also allow me to return to more of my reflective narrative blog posts that help me process my thinking (the actual reason I blog regularly).

Thanks for following this blog series and I hope to still discuss many of these issues with you all in future.

What if the Ministry of Education and teachers actually collaborated for the benefit of students?

This to me just makes sense but it hardly ever happens. All of us in the education system should be in this to benefit student learning.

I hear teachers regularly bagging Ministry decisions (or the equivalent administration in other countries) yet when I speak with Ministry staff many really do hold the same vision and values that we teachers do. They unfortunately are there to do the bidding of whoever is in power as Minister at the time.

If the political parties could get out of the way and let teacers and Ministry staff work together I am absolutely certain we would see some innovations take hold to benefit student learning across the system.

What do you think we could achieve together?

Or am I living in a dream world here? But that’s ok because this post is Day 11 of my Question Quest.

How might we overcome the conference to classroom chasm?

Right now, all around the world, many countries have school holidays. Thousands of teachers are spending part of these holidays attending education conferences. Getting inspired, sharing ideas and planning ways to transform their teaching to benefit the learners in their classes.

Fast forward 3 months and how many of these inspiring ideas have actually been implemented? At ICOT last year in Auckland I was inspired greatly by the ideas of Design Thinking from Ewan McIntosh. Yet, back in my school, very little occurred until I changed schools and had more agency to implement these ideas. I spoke to lots of teachers who enjoyed Ewan’s keynote and workshops but know many of these have not implemented the ideas yet at all.

What happens between being inspired at conferences and getting back to the classroom? Is it a crowd-based euphoria that disappears when we leave the conferences? Are the presenters too inspiring so we feel unable to emulate them? Why are ideas disappearing into a chasm to be lost for a year or 2 until we come across them again at another conference?

Do we need to set up critical friend pairings at conferences to check up on how implentation is going? Do we need a day back together 1 month later to discuss any misgivings we now have? Do we need help with pitching our ideas from conferences to senior leaders or influential colleagues?

How might we overcome the conference to classroom chasm?

This post is Day 8 of my Question Quest