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Ministry of Education.

Teaching inquiry: Planning for teaching

Planning for my students' needs 

What strategies (evidence-based) are most likely to help my students learn this? In this teaching inquiry, the teacher uses evidence from research and from their own past practice and that of colleagues to plan teaching and learning opportunities aimed at achieving the outcomes prioritised in the focusing inquiry.

Key questions

  • What broad approaches are most likely to help our students:
    • meet the learning outcomes?
    • involve them in setting targets and monitoring learning?
    • support each others' learning (e.g through  ako, teina-tuakana)
  • What specific strategies might support those approaches?

Why are these questions important?

The NZ Curriculum (NZC) says that students are “at the centre of teaching and learning” and asserts that “they should experience a curriculum that engages and challenges them, is forward-looking and inclusive, and affirms New Zealand’s unique identity.” [Principles p.9].

You can best support students’ learning by:

  • creating a supportive learning environment and positive relationships
  • activating prior knowledge by making connections to prior learning and experience
  • providing sufficient opportunities to learn
  • ensuring students know what they are learning and why they are learning it.
  • providing feedback about “Where they are going? How they are going? Where to next?”
  • fostering a spirit of ako where there are opportunities to share, to collaborate, to co-construct and to evaluate learning. “In classrooms where a sense of community is built, students are the crew not the passengers.” 1

1 Watkins, C Research Summary – Collaborative Learning from Learning about Learning.

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Useful resources

The importance of knowing who each student is and not making assumptions is reinforced in this clip

Consider what these teachers in this clip have done to build a positive relationship for learning in their classrooms.

A classroom environment in which students work together to support each other in their learning is one that illustrates the concepts of ako and teina-tuakana in action.

Here is an example of a teacher who changed the content of her lessons to be more responsive to her students’ cultural knowledge. This allowed her to also involve community in the teaching and learning. Wally Penetito and Mason Durie reinforce the key message of how and why culture counts.

  • English and e-Learning, explores how you can integrate the use of digital content, software, and other e-learning tools and contexts into your English teaching and learning.
  • Student management of their own record of learning through e Portfolios.

Published on: 13 Oct 2015