I took a photo last week because my son was receiving a values award for taking responsibility to choose a learning area and experiences which work well for him. I loved this because the school is clearly showing students that they value seeing growth in their skills and dispositions as individuals and as learners. I’m similarly excited by the prospects of what is possible as we work with our teachers in the space of Lutheran Education’s Identity, and how we as learning communities understand and live into this identity.
A significant emphasis in CONNECT and in the new Equip, is the inquiry approach. I’d like to focus on three gifts of the inquiry approach which I believe provide opportunities for us to grow our identity, clearly modelling the skills and dispositions which are critical to this identity.
Inquiry models and fosters an inclusive culture and this is a critical starting place if we are to engage staff in learning about what it means to be part of Lutheran Education. Research in this space suggests that among other outcomes, inclusive leadership results in higher levels of innovation, team engagement and staff well being. Welcome has always been a mantra for long time members of Lutheran Education and the inquiry approach in formation & accreditation courses enables us to engage directly in what an inclusive culture looks like, sounds like, feels like.
Inquiry fosters curiosity, inviting participants to continue being an experiential learner who engages with their own questions and the values and questions of the community to which they belong. Whilst those of us who read theology passionately would love to share the myriad of gems we’ve encountered over the years, the inquiry approach is more focused on allowing folks to engage at a level and intensity that allows for meaning making and transformation.
Inquiry has the potential to provoke creative problem solving that is relevant and owned by participants. Explicit instruction almost always has a place in learning, but when we’re able to actively engage in questions about how to live out this culture of Lutheran education, I believe there is a sense of empowerment and belonging. Seeing this happen with teachers in Equip is a privilege.
A couple of questions to conclude: How might collaborative design for learning happen in your community as you plan for the implementation of Connect? What is the focus for your CS team as they grow their understanding and practice of inquiry?
I’m thankful for the gift of never ending learning!
Director – Identity & Formation