Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

New Zealand Curriculum Online navigation



Blog archive

Teaching as inquiry


Resources to support understanding and exploration of teaching as inquiry

Professional learning that makes a difference to students

Helen Timperley, Professor of Education at The University of Auckland, talks about professional development that makes a difference to student learning. Helen talks about the importance of combining careful assessment and analysis with pedagogical content knowledge, and ways teachers can gain this knowledge through cycles of inquiry into their practice.

Teaching as inquiry is made up of the focusing inquiry, teaching inquiry, and learning inquiry:

Focusing inquiry – The focusing inquiry helps determine direction.

Where might I start:

  • Follow an interest
  • Investigate a situation, yourself or other people’s ideas
  • Use a particular technology
  • Critique something
  • Change a routine
  • Modify a technique
  • Face problems and try to find a solution
  • Individual, syndicate, or whole-school priority

Teaching inquiry – The focus of the teaching inquiry is on identifying strategies that are most likely to help the students achieve the selected outcomes.

  • What could I try?
  • How good is the evidence?

Learning inquiry – The focus of the learning inquiry is on the impact of teaching actions on student outcomes.

  • What is happening for students in my classroom?
  • Why might this be happening?

Source: Effective Pedagogy in Social Sciences/Tikanga ā Iwi

Teaching as inquiry examples


Newmarket Primary School
Developing school-wide inquiry. Includes a resource outlining advice for leading inquiry. Duration: 4:07

Newmarket Primary School
Modelling inquiry with teachers. Duration: 4:23

Ilam School
Teaching as Inquiry (Download paper top RH of screen.)

Ilam School
Approach to effective pedagogy Duration: 6:58

West End School
Deprivatising practice – plus discussion resource Duration:2:23

Koputaroa School
Principal led teaching as inquiry, resulting in a collaborative, supportive, and motivational learning experience for all.


Kelston Girls’
Carol Jarrett describes introducing teaching as inquiry in her department. Duration: 4:49

Epsom Girls’
Claire Amos talks through the process of introducing teaching as inquiry to develop school-wide e-learning action plans. Duration: 6:42

Papatoetoe HS
Principal Peter Gall describes a teacher’s inquiry on student engagement. Duration: 1:14


New Zealand Curriculum – effective pedagogy section

Curriculum Update 12 – Understanding teaching as inquiry

INSTEP – Inquiry and evidence based practice

Assessment – using evidence for learning

A suggested teaching as inquiry process for teachers of te reo Māori

Teaching as inquiry – elements of teaching effectiveness (Professor Graeme Aitken)

Teaching as inquiry and the key competencies

Teachers as learners: Improving outcomes for Māori and Pasifika students through inquiry


Directions for learning: The New Zealand Curriculum Principles, and teaching as inquiry May 2011 (published 22/7/11)
In early 2010, the Ministry of Education asked the Education Review Office (ERO) to conduct an initial evaluation, and a follow up evaluation one year later, to investigate how schools were using the eight principles and the teaching as inquiry process as outlined in The New Zealand Curriculum.

Curriculum Implementation Exploratory Studies 2 (published 5/11)
This study reports on ways in which innovative schools and teachers have been working to implement The New Zealand Curriculum across all three years of the project.

Monitoring and Evaluating Curriculum Implementation: Final Evaluation Report on the Implementation of The New Zealand Curriculum 2008–2009 (published 1/4/11)
This report presents findings from a national evaluation of the implementation of The New Zealand Curriculum. The project sought to establish a national picture of implementation progress in English-medium schools in the first two years following the curriculum's launch in November 2007.

effective pedagogy
teaching as inquiry