Thursday, 12 April 2018

What is Teacher Agency and how do we become more agentic?

Such are the questions that the Teacher Agency Initiative have been exploring over term 1.

In school leaders from Kohia Terrace, Victoria Avenue, Meadowbank and Remuera Intermediate Schools shared ideas and conducted research, resulting in a co-constructed definition of Teacher Agency.  We are using this to frame our learning over the year.

Teacher Agency is the belief and capacity for teachers to act in a purposeful manner to drive their own professional growth through responsive, collaborative and reflective practice in order to improve teaching and learning.

But ... what does effective Teacher Agency look like?  Once again, we collaborated and this time produced a Teacher Agency Progression Matrix.  The purpose of this is two-fold:

  • To gather baseline data from across our 4 schools around our levels of Teacher Agency.
  • To provide some indicators around the actions and beliefs of teachers at different stages in the progression.

We are currently sharing the definition and matrix with teaching staff and individuals are recording their best fit on each of the five strands.  We have also compiled a matrix that explores Teacher Agency from a school perspective.  The data from these self assessments will help us set our direction for term 2 and beyond. 

Our next step will be to continue to build understanding around this topic.  We hope to support and encourage teachers to act with and develop their agency, for example by inquiring deeply into their practice, collaborating with others and making changes (they only need to be small but well researched) that impact on student outcomes.  

Teacher Agency Leaders: Catherine Palmer, Alaric Nicholls
Teacher Agency Champion: Janice Adamson 

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