Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Regional Meetings Update (lots of resources!)

The Networks have been busy over the last week with regional meetings happening all over the world (yes, world!), including Nanaimo, Smithers, the Lower Mainland and Australia (yes, Australia!).  We have a lot to share from the discussions and networking over the last week.

Judy and Linda, and AESN Impact Study leader Debbie Leighton-Stephens were in Smithers with the North West Regional group for a day of professional learning and networking. Judy and Linda shared the brand-spanking-new Spiral Playbook, which they were asked to write by C21 Canada aimed at Canadian Superintendents.  There are a bunch of resources that accompany the Playbook which we hope you will find useful, including the Spiral Playbook Quick Reference Guide.  Debbie shared more about the AESN Impact Study, and specifically how schools involved with the study are focusing their inquiry work around transitions for learners. You will hear more about how this work is going at the NOII Symposium in May.

The central Vancouver Island Network meeting was held in conjunction with the regional Canadian Assessment for Learning Network (CAfLN) event – two great events in one! The CAfLN conference is in Nova Scotia this year in early May.

The Extended Lower Mainland group meet in Burnaby, with Network Leaders Brooke Moore (Delta) and Lynne Tomlinson (West Vancouver) focusing a part of the discussion around assessment and sharing a bunch of ready-to-use tools and resources. Check out the Embedded Critique and Feedback Rubric (developed from Ron Berger’s Leaders of Their Own Learning), this Science 10 Lab Rubric developed by Michelle Wood, and this visual rubric developed by Kelly Skehill. We also thought this Grade 1 Term Overview by Annieville Elementary is a really helpful way to communicate student learning and focus for the term. (See what you miss when you don’t attend meetings??!! – I missed attending this one and was so disappointed!). The next Extending Lower Mainland meeting will be on Jan. 23rd (lock it in!).

Last but not least, NOII Australia kicked off their first meeting as an official region of the Network – go team! We’re thrilled to learn with and from this great group lead by Network Leaders Natalie Mansour and David Sim. Make sure you plan to attend the NOII Symposium on May 12 – 13 in Richmond in order to meet and network with some members of this Australian team.

If you held a meeting that we’ve missed (or you have one upcoming) please let us know by dropping us a line along with a few details (and even better, some resources) to noii.aesn@gmail.com.

Thanks to everyone involved – especially those hosting meetings, sharing during discussions and attending for the first time – for all your great work in supporting inquiry, teamwork and curiosity. And please keep in mind that submission of your school inquiry focus is due by November 25th. See more about how to do that here.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

S’TENISTOLW Conference - Proposals due Jan. 31, 2017

S’TENISTOLW Indigenous Adult Education Conference
August 23-25, 2017 


Hosted by EyēɁ Sqâ’lewen: The Centre for Indigenous Education & Community Connections
Camosun College | Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Traditional Territories of the Lkwungen and W’SANEC Peoples

The 2017 S’TENISTOLW Conference is a gathering for instructors and educators in Indigenous programs as well as leaders and allies in the field of Indigenous adult education. The goal is to build relationship and networks of reciprocity – to share, learn and exchange with each other. 

  • Cultural Pre-Conference and Welcome Dinner in collaboration with the Songhees Nation
  • Confirmed Keynote Speakers: Gregory Cajete (Tewa educator and author, Look to the Mountain),  Linda Tuhiwai Smith (Māori educator and author, Decolonizing Methodologies) and Graham Hingangaroa Smith (Māori educator and Indigenous education advocate)
  • Workshops and presentations from educators, scholars and knowledge keepers
  • Sessions with Elders, wellness providers and artists

We invite all Indigenous and allied educators, scholars, administrators and other leaders in the field from Turtle Island and beyond to join us and submit workshop and panel proposals along the following themes:

Indigenous Pedagogies
·          Land and Community-Based Experiential Learning
·          Supporting Learner Engagement
Relationality/Living Our Collective Values
·          Practicing Indigenization
·          Strengthening Alliances

Deadline for Proposal Submissions: January 31st, 2017

To submit proposals, register and for further information on our conference themes and structure please visit our Website:

Find Us on Facebook:

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Indigenous Education Professional Learning at UBC

The UBC Faculty of Education has announced three professional learning courses in Indigenous Education that will take place in 2017: 

·         Reconciliation Through Indigenous Education | Online MOOC (poster)
·         Aboriginal Education in Canada | UBC Vancouver (poster)
·         Ecology, Technology, and Indigeneity in the High Amazon | Lamas, Peru (poster)

January 24 ­ March 7 | MOOC ­ a free Massive Open Online Course

Engage with Indigenous knowledge keepers, educational leaders, and resources to enhance your understanding and knowledge of practices that advance reconciliation in the places where you live, learn, and work.

This course will help you envision how Indigenous histories, perspectives, worldviews, and approaches to learning can be made part of the work we do in classrooms, organizations, communities, and our everyday experiences in ways that are thoughtful and respectful. In this course, reconciliation emphasizes changing institutional structures, practices, and policies, as well as personal and professional ideologies to create environments that are committed to strengthening our relationships with Indigenous peoples.

For educators, this means responding to educational reforms that prioritize improved educational outcomes for Indigenous learners. In addition, educators must support all learners to develop their knowledge and understanding of Indigenous people¹s worldviews and cultures as a basis for creating equitable and inclusive learning spaces. To support these goals, teachers, administrators, young people, school staff, and researchers will learn from Indigenous Elders, educational leaders, and culturally relevant learning resources as part of their experiences in this MOOC.

For others who want to build their own competence and the capacity of those around them to engage in relationships with Indigenous peoples based on intercultural understanding, empathy, and respect, this course will help get you started in this process.


This online course is delivered using the edX platform, learn about how to register here.
·       DATES:   January 24 ­ March 7, 2017
·       LOCATION:  Online (asynchronous)
·       REGISTRATION:  Register by January 23 


Visit the website for more detailed information, and program contacts:pdce.educ.ubc.ca/MOOC

January ­ April, 2017 | 8 evening classes + 4 online modules

The educational landscape in BC is undergoing exciting developments,
and this course responds to new curriculum developments.


In this course, educators will build their knowledge and deepen their understanding of Aboriginal/Indigenous people¹s worldviews, approaches to learning, and their histories and contemporary realities. Through the frameworks of reconciliation, decolonization, and self-determination, we will explore how Indigenous histories, perspectives, content, worldviews and pedagogies can be respectfully and meaningfully integrated in the curriculum, teaching, and programming of classrooms, schools, and community contexts.

This course responds to new curriculum development in British Columbia and Canada¹s Truth and Reconciliation Commission¹s Calls to Action (2015), whereby educators are prepared to advance Aboriginal history and worldviews in the curriculum of schools.

Delivered through blended learning, the class will meet 8 weeks face-to-face at UBC Vancouver and include four 3-hour online modules.


Registration is available for credit (3 credits, EDUC 440) or for non-credit participation to meet the needs of working professionals. We anticipate this course will fill quickly, early registration is recommended.

·       DATES:   January 3 ­ April 7, 2017
·       TIMES:  Tuesdays, 4:30-7:30pm
·       LOCATION:  UBC Vancouver + Online modules
·       REGISTRATION:  Register by November 22


Visit the website for more detailed information, and program contacts: pdce.educ.ubc.ca/Aboriginal-Ed

July 4-24, 2017 | Lamas, Peru


Join UBC at the Sachamama Center for BioCultural Regeneration in Lamas, Peru.  The Center is a non-profit organization whose mission is to work collaboratively with the local Kichwa-Lamista communities in their bio-cultural regeneration with the goal of nurturing intercultural dialogue.


This six (6) credit Peru Summer Institute: Ecology, Technology & Indigeneity in the High Amazon offers an intensive three-week program of study consisting of two integrated courses: Ecology, Technology, and Indigeneity in the High Amazon, and Narrativity, Indigenous Ecoliteracies and Ecopedagogies in the High Amazon.

Through a combination of seminars at Sachamama and immersion learning in a local Kichwa-Lamista community, students will engage mind, body, heart and spirit as they experience worldviews, knowings, and community practices that value other than global capital and geopolitical systems.  

Students will reciprocate by doing hands-on service work at Sachamama and in the Kichwa-Lamista community as part of their coursework. It is anticipated that the exchanges with the Kichwa-Lamista continue beyond the Peru Summer Institute enacting sustained intercultural solidarity-building toward a more just and sustainable world.


Registration is available for credit (6 credits), therefore participants would need to be a UBC student or apply for admission in order to register. Go Global at UBC International House supports this program.
·       DATES:   July 4-24, 2017
·       LOCATION:  Lamas, Peru
·       REGISTRATION:  Register by January 19


Visit the website for more detailed information, and program contacts:pdce.educ.ubc.ca/Peru2017

Monday, October 31, 2016

Fall News (and how to submit your inquiry focus)

You know what’s exciting about this school year? Inquiry and team work seems to be a buzz all over the province! We’ve already heard from quite a few of you asking about how to submit your inquiry plans for this year – we love it when you are a step ahead of us!

So without further ado, here it is – the 2016– 2017 NOII/AESN Inquiry Proposal Template. This is up on our website too. Similar to last year, the process is streamlined. School teams use the template to submit their inquiry focus at the beginning of the year (due November 25th) and then submit case studies at the end of the year to document their experience and learning. Please share this template with your colleagues. It may also be helpful to review these helpful notes on the Spiral of Inquiry as well as the Four Key Questions for Scanning and Checking.

We also have lots of news to share – both from our recent Network Leader’s Meeting as well as all the interesting collaborations and events we have lined up for this year. If you haven’t already, please take a look at our Fall 2016 Network Newsletter for an update.

Finally, the 2015 – 2016 case studies are now posted on our website – see both NOII and AESN focused inquiries. For now, the case studies are listed in alpha order by school name, but we’re excited to let you know that we are in the process of planning for a new Network website! One of our ‘wish list’ items that we’ve heard from many of you is to have a searchable database for all the rich case studies documenting school learning. This will help to more easily and quickly see what other schools are working on and connect with school teams working on similar inquiries. We’ll work to incorporate that into our new site, but also welcome your feedback on other ways you’d like to use the site or access information. Please contact Sarah with your suggestions at noii.aesn@gmail.com.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Update from Network Leader Meeting

Earlier this month we held a Network Leaders meeting in Vancouver, with over 40 educators from across the province gathered to deepen our conversations about inquiry and planning our Network activities for this school year.

As a Network, we discussed how we might put more formal coaching practices into place this year, with Leaders taking on coaching roles within and across districts. Lynne Tomlinson shared this helpful document outlining an approach to coaching calls that Leaders can use with Network school teams. We think you will find her 5-4-3-2-1 framework provides a very accessible approach to coaching calls. We also had one of our colleagues – Rosie Palmer – from the Whole Education Network (WEN) in the UK share how they have been structuring support for their schools engaging in the Spirals of Inquiry through coaching. Rosie kindly shared her presentation with us, which outlines their approach. She also provided some good insight and tips, including sending out a simple agenda ahead of the call in order to allow everyone to think about the discussion ahead of time. Both of these resources will be helpful as you plan your coaching practices this year.  Rosie noted that one of the most common coaching questions they engage is “what are the learners telling you?”

We also heard from our Network colleagues in Australia – David Sim and Natalie Mansour. They joined us via videoconference to share how their Network activities are shaping up this year. Earlier in their school year, they hosted an inquiry “master class” led by Judy and Linda, supporting educators to get started get started with the Spirals and plan their inquiries. They have several Network events planned throughout the year, including a full day of pro-d around the Spirals of Inquiry as well as videoconferences showing good practice in action. They will also be hosting first Australia Network Symposium in July 2017 – very exciting!! We’ll share more details soon.

A few articles and books were mentioned as reading for professional learning over the coming weeks. Learn more about the Expeditionary Learning Model by reading this article. Expeditionary Learning is built on ten design principles that reflect the educational values and beliefs of Kurt Hahn, founder of Outward Bound. Also, explore Gregory Cajete’s Rekindling the Teachings of the Seventh Fire – a good book club selection for school teams.

Please also remember to save the date for our BC Network Symposium on May 12 – 13, 2016 in Richmond. We anticipate a full house again this year, so ensure you register early. We’ll let you know when registration opens early in 2017.

Friday, September 9, 2016

A New School Year...

When we first watched this video a couple of days ago, we knew we just NEEDED to share it here on the blog. It’s so inspirational…and so transformative. Whether you are feeling completely energized from the first week of school, or a bit overwhelmed, you need to take 7 minutes to check this out. Thanks so much to Rosa Fazio – Principal at Norma Rose Point K5 and Middle School and recent graduate of the UBC Transformative Educational Leadership Program – for her willingness to share this here. Rosa put this video together as a school opening message. Her message is indeed wonderful and encouraging, but on a deeper level it truly is an example of transformative leadership. Thanks, Rosa!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Welcome back! Videos, resources and programs for 2016 - 2017

Welcome back to school, everyone. We’re excited about all of the possibility that this new school year offers and hope you are too!

While it may seem like a long way off (and it kind of is…), we are planning ahead for the Network Symposium in May 2017.  Save May 12 – 13, 2017 in your calendar for what is already shaping up to be a great event. Take a look at this awesome video, filmed and produced by 3 videography students from the Argyle Secondary School from the 2016 Network Symposium. Not only does it give you a sense of what happens at a typical Symposium, but it also provides some great thinking from our Network both in BC and around the globe.

Two key resources to revisit early in the school year, in addition to the full text for the Spirals of Inquiry, include the Guide to the Phases of the Spiral of Inquiry and the Four Key Questions that Matter. These serve as good tools for one of your first staff meetings.  You may also want to check out the Resources section of our website. Here, you’ll find links to texts, articles, and other tools to support inquiry and deep thinking over the school year. For instance, many school teams have found the Aboriginal Understandings Learning Progression Rubric – developed by Laura Tait – to be an invaluable tool in their teaching and learning practice.

Stay tuned for more developments as we add an international section to the website, including case studies from around the globe with others involved with the Spirals of Inquiry. Both the Whole Education Network in the UK and groups of schools in Australia are intimately involved in Network activities. 

There is still time to apply for the 2nd cohort of the UBC Transformative Educational Leadership Program (TELP) which begins in October. This post-graduate program, led by Judy and Linda, was a huge success in its first year and aims to bring together individuals from across the K – 12 system interested in transforming themselves and their communities by exploring and engaging in dialogue and debate about major challenges and opportunities facing school districts. But don’t delay if you want to be involved this year – applications are due on September 11th.

For those schools and teams specifically addressing school health, check out this new  physical activity documentary featuring Josh Ogilvie – a CIEL and VIU graduate from Burnaby School District, as well as Dr. John Ratey from Harvard. Deep thinking to start off the school year!

We’re once again grateful and impressed at the caliber of work that network school teams are leading. Case studies that were submitted over the summer are almost ready to put up on the website. We’ll post a link here when these are accessible.  We are also preparing templates for submitting your 2016 - 2017 Inquiry Focus - more to come!

We’re grateful to the Ministry of Education, the Irving K Barber Learning Centre at UBC and the Annual Foundation for their funding and support of the Networks. Book sales from Spirals of Inquiry also continue to support the exceptional work of network schools. 

Looking forward to another great year of learning, teaching and inquiring together!