Aboriginal Inquiry: Lifting All Learners

An Impact Assessment of the Aboriginal Enhancement Schools Network (AESN)

5.6 Networked teacher learning

Another theme that became evident was that these teachers wanted to develop ties with other schools, regions or districts around the province to share what they had learned and to learn more from others. There was an intensity to descriptions of their work and how much value they placed on the opportunity to share with and learn from others. For example, references were specifically made to partnerships they had made with two teachers attempting to use culturally responsive practices in their own school but who had little in the way of professional learning support. Sharing was also credited for their renewed focus on their inquiry question; they used AESN case studies completed by other teachers in other schools to consider how they might incorporate more hands-on or experiential learning components to their subsequent inquiry. Again, the theme of scaffolding and laddering learning is evident here; yet the point is not that one group helps another learn, but rather how networked learning can alter trajectories, create alternative pathways for thinking, and accelerate learning in shorter cycles. And as one would expect, as the network grows, new connections and even more collaborative professional learning activities occur, there is a growth in both enthusiasm and interpersonal relationships. Such activity naturally attracts other teachers or participants, as teachers in Prince Rupert identified in the focus group discussion. This theme of enhanced relationality and building a learning centered culture exemplifies the ways in which networked learning empowers and amplifies the magnitude of change.