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E-fellow in Christchurch

                                                       Leaving Poverty Bay

It has been a couple of weeks since I returned from the second 2014 e-fellow experience of the year.  Christchurch was our destination, a place I’ve not visited for 15 years since I toured around the country in a 1981 Mitsubishi Mirage with surfboards on the roof, a tent in the back and not a care in the world.  Plenty has changed since then and I was astonished by the level of disruption, hardship and destruction still felt by the earthquakes back in 2010 and 2011.  However I was really amazed by the level of good old kiwi ingenuity and positive outlook that allowed the residents of Christchurch to continue on and rebuild their city.  Learning communities like the GCSN have really supported the rebuild in the educational sector by connecting schools and promoting shared resources and good practice.  

During the trip I spent plenty of time thinking about my inquiry - enabling learner agency in traditional
schools.  I am using an action research approach, which is similar to the ‘teaching as inquiry’ model proposed by the MinEd - the teacher is reflecting and modifying the area of inquiry to enable better practice, I am on the 3rd modified cycle of inquiry at the moment, I will write about my current findings in a blog post soon to be published/completed when the world stops spinning so quickly.  

I shared a thought with the e-fellows as we had our last moments together in Christchurch, and it was around that feeling that you get when you are lying on your back looking into the sky and watching the clouds that are drifting by, suddenly the thought pops into your head that you know the reason behind why we exist in this world, and as quickly as you feel like you are going to solve all of humanity's problems, it disappears into an abyss never to be returned to again, it is almost within your grasp, and you are so hungry to know the answer it slips through your fingers like the hot sand on a sunny summer beach.  Over the three day blur of eye opening sights and mind expanding conversations I felt challenged and stretched by all my interactions.  We visited two very contrasting schools that had different approaches, and were driven by different visions.  Both of them allowed me to think about my inquiry and were a catalyst of thoughts and ideas between what I know happens in schools, what people say happens in schools, what people think happens in schools and what could potentially happen in schools - and is any of it ever going to work or make any difference at all?  So at this stage, I am confused, challenged but slowly finding clarity…..but perhaps this is what it’s all about.


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