Sunday, December 17, 2017

2018 NOII Symposium - May 11 - 12

We’re gearing up for the 2018 Symposium on May 11 – 12th, 2018 at the Westin Wall Centre, 3099 Corvette Way, Richmond, BC. Please join us another event showcasing presentations from leading local and global educators, practical school-based sessions, flash chats, ignites and lots of time for networking.


The cost for the 2018 Symposium is $350 (including gst). We do not offer 1 day rates. Please register online here.

Please share the Symposium Flyer with your colleagues.



We have arranged for a limited number of rooms at the Westin Wall Centre at 3099 Corvette Way, Richmond, BC.

To qualify for the group rate of $155 CAD+tax, book early and prior to April 18, 2018 using the information below: 

Phone: 1-866-716-8108 indicating “NOII” or “Networks of Inquiry and Innovation” Symposium.

 Visit our website for more information.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Two UBC MOOCs (free online courses)

Next Offering October 17, 2017 |

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.

Learning Objectives:

·     Explore personal and professional histories and assumptions in relationship to Indigenous peoples histories and worldviews.
·     Deepen understanding and knowledge of colonial histories and current realities of Indigenous people.
·     Engage with Indigenous worldviews and perspectives that contextualize and support your understanding of the theories and practices of Indigenous education.
·     Develop strategies that contribute to the enhancement of Indigenous-settler relations in schools, organizations, and communities.
·     Explore Indigenous worldviews and learning approaches for their application to the classroom or community learning setting.
·     Engage in personal and professional discussions in an online environment with others committed to understanding and advancing reconciliation.


Launches October 31, 2017 |

Mental health literacy is the foundation for mental health promotion, prevention and care and can be successfully implemented through classroom based curriculum interventions that have been scientifically shown to improve mental health related outcomes for students and also for their teachers. A Canadian-developed, nationally and internationally-researched resource, the Guide ­ previously delivered only through face-to-face training ­ is now available online through this UBC-supported program.

In this course, educators will learn how to apply this classroom-ready, web-based, modular mental health curriculum resource (the Guide) as well as upgrade their own mental health literacy. Educators can then use this curriculum resource in their schools to successfully address mental health related curriculum outcomes designed to be delivered by usual classroom teachers to students in grades 8 ­-10.

Learning Objectives:

·     How to apply a variety of first-voice and knowledge based classroom activities that have been shown to significantly, substantially and sustainably decrease mental health related stigma.
·     How to apply a variety of video and knowledge based classroom activities that have been shown to significantly, substantially and sustainably increase knowledge related to mental disorders and treatments
·     How to apply a variety of knowledge based classroom activities, personal exercises and other evidence based interventions that have been shown to significantly and substantially improve: health and mental health self-care; stress understanding and management; mental health help-seeking capacity.
·     Better understanding of all aspects of mental health literacy that can be applied not only in the classroom but to all aspects of an educator¹s own circumstances: understanding how to obtain and maintain good mental health; understanding mental disorders and their treatments; decreasing stigma; increasing help-seeking efficacy.

Visit our website for more detailed information, and program

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

UBC Inquiry and Innovation Summer Institute - Reg by June 12!

There is still a bit of time (although not much!) to register for the UBC Inquiry and Innovation Summer Institute on July 7 & 8. A two-day intensive working session for teachers, principals, Aboriginal cultural workers, district leaders and others interested in making inquiry-informed and innovative practices a way of life in your school and district settings.
This is a great opportunity to bring a team of educators for some in-depth summer learning.
The registration deadline has been extended to June 12.
Please share the flyer with your colleagues.
For more details and to register visit:

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Making Things Right

What an action packed few weeks of learning and sharing it has been for the Networks. There have been a number of regional celebrations taking place over the last few days or coming up soon, with school teams sharing their inquiry learning and celebrating how connected learning matters and how this has the potential to “make things right” for our students and communities.  

Those who attended the 2017 NOII Symposium (or followed us on Twitter at #noii2017) will surely remember the significance of “making things right” and how Kaleb Child explained this as being our collective responsibility for our children, as well as recognizing the “racism of low expectations.” Indeed, many of the presenters, school presentations, ignite sessions and flash chats addressed this challenge throughout the 3 day event. 

And this is what the Network is all about – and what the Symposium hopes to accomplish each year. It’s about coming together and working hard to address how to improve the outcomes and lived experiences of our learners. It’s about EVERY learner crossing the stage with dignity, purpose and options. All learners (kids and adults) leaving the school more curious than when they arrived. And ALL learners gaining knowledge and respect for Indigenous ways of knowing. We hope you felt these “reverberations” as you participated in the Symposium this year. Here are some comments we received through our feedback survey:
“As for ideas that resonated with me... so many! My biggest one that I came back with and spoke with my District Principal about was the fact that Spirals brings the focus back to the students. It isn't about teachers' professional "development". Instead it is about being reflective educators engaging in "professional learning" in responsive ways to meet the needs of our students. It places the students at the centre of all learning, including the teachers.”
“The power of grassroots, teacher-led development of practice is a force unstoppable. It was a great first experience with the Symposium. One veteran participant described it as coming home to a family of like-minded educators.”
“What jazzed me was the diversity of ideas, the push to go to the next level. Only my second time attending, but by the end exhausted and invigorated at the same time! The importance of keeping it up, pushing through the moments of exasperation and helping each student believe they can be successful, then helping them find that success.”
“The symposium was so inspiring and energizing - it has really given me the push I needed to finish the year off strong, and to plan for the year ahead. I have already begun making connections with other educators and outside groups in order to get our outdoor classroom, and outdoor education program as a whole, rolling for next year.”
“I am changing my job description to inquiry and innovation leader, along with my 2 new teaching partners!”
“Every single person who came was genuinely on the paddling team - from the Yukon, BC, Alberta, New Zealand, Australia, Oakland, Montreal... it was spirit lifting to know so many people who care so deeply - and also who know how to play.”
“I left in a state of awe, gratitude and wonder. My learning will reverberate for months and years to come. Thank you all!”
“Excellent arrangement of speakers, musicians and story tellers. Food was lovely, venue was fabulous, content was rich and evoked curiosity. I have indeed left more curious than when I came - and I came in with a dozen questions! Thanks for the fabulous sessions! Well done.”
We are extremely grateful to those who contributed their time to the event through presentations, leading flash chats, volunteering, and being fully engaged in lively discussions over the course of 3 days. Several presentations and highlights from the Symposium have now been posted on our website here. Some shared comments are also captured below and through #noii2017

Monday, April 24, 2017

Spiralling Into Something Better

Several years ago, well before the inception of the Network, Linda and I spent some time in New Mexico and became intrigued with spiral images that were all over the place. We came home with earrings, candle-holders, necklaces, tee-shirts, coasters and even placemats. Although we have cut back on spiral purchases, the image remained compelling.   

We hadn’t really made the connection to inquiry until our work with Helen Timperley helped us all realize that the inquiry process is much more of a continuous spiral than it is a fixed cycle.  We like the red brush stroked spiral that was designed to reflect our conceptualization of the inquiry process. While we knew the image was right, it was only recently that we learned more about the spiral and what it means to some Native American groups. What we found out made the image even more special.

Over Spring Break I spent a few days with a friend from childhood at an adventure spa in southern Utah.  We hiked, practiced yoga, tried out a barre class (never again), had massages and swapped stories over wine.  The weather was glorious and the red rocks of the canyons were stunningly beautiful. 

On one guided hike, a ranger took us into hidden places where the rocks were covered with ancient petroglyphs of the Navajo people. Spiral images were everywhere. She said that the spiral represents the space between what is and what can be, between the present and a preferred future. It also reflects the passage between life as we know it and an after life. 

Later, we were encouraged to walk slowly around, into and out of a spiral of stones in the red dirt. As we walked in, we were encouraged to be aware of the burdens we were carrying, the hurts, the sorrows, the losses -  a metaphoric backpack. Once in the centre, we were to put the backpack down and imagine it being consumed by the fire and the energy that exists in the core of the spiral. On the way out, we were to be open to new possibilities. I can imagine some of you thinking I must have been on a very strange adventure.

And yet, when I thought about it, I saw some close parallels with what the spiral of inquiry asks educators to do – and where it can take us. Being open to listening to our learners and reflecting on our own practices takes courage and can often feel a bit overwhelming. The backpack of understanding can feel pretty heavy. And when as a team, we decide to put the backpack down (or as Helen Timperley advised us ‘put down the ducky’) we open ourselves up to all kinds of new possibilities. The changes that schools are making when they go into that space of listening to their learners can be life changing for them.  

We say repeatedly that the spiral of inquiry is not an initiative -  it is a way of professional being. The idea that the spiral represents the way between where we are and a better place for our learners makes the image even more compelling.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Pre-Symposium Seminar - May 11th

We are very pleased to announce the NOII Pre-Symposium Seminar with Dr. Helen Timperley and Amelia Peterson.  

This seminar is designed for educators:
  • determined to strengthen professional learning in schools and districts
  • curious about what other jurisdictions are doing to help all learners thrive
  • interested in how professional inquiry is helping to change the life experiences of learners

When: Thursday, May 11, 2017
             10am - 2:45pm

Where: Westin Wall Centre
              3099 Corvette Way
  Richmond BC

Cost: $150 (including GST) – Enrollment is limited
           Registration is online by credit card:

Dr. Helen Timperley, University of Auckland, New Zealand, is widely recognized for her work in professional learning. She has published widely, including her most recent book Realizing the Power of Professional Learning (2014).

Amelia Peterson is completing doctoral studies through Harvard University’s PhD in Education. She is currently studying the development processes of innovative education policy agendas, and working on Thrive: Why 21st Century Skills Are Not Enough (with Valerie Hannon, forthcoming June 2017).

Join us for an engaging session with two international scholars! Please share the flyer with your colleagues. Not registered for the NOII Symposium on May 12 & 13th yet? Registration is almost sold out:

Monday, March 13, 2017

Assessment for Learning Drive-In

Interested in assessment for learning and strategies for making the new BC Core Competencies visible for students?

The Centre for Innovation Educational Leadership at Vancouver Island University invites you to the Assessment for Learning Drive-In on April 20th from 4pm – 6pm at VIU Cowichan Campus in Duncan. For more details and to RSVP, see their flyer.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Tools to support school-wide inquiry

Network schools are now fully engaged in their school inquiries, collaborating across roles and schools to improve teaching and learning in their districts. Please take a few moments to scan through the list of topics for this school year so you can see the breadth of learning taking place across the province, as well as potentially connect with another school and/or district working on similar learning goals. There are three lists of inquiry topics to explore:

Aboriginal Enhancement Schools Network
Schools focused specifically on Indigenous ways of knowing and worldviews. For example, history/culture, residential schools, place-based learning, self-identity, etc.

AESN Impact Study
Secondary schools focused on student transitions for Aboriginal learners. These schools are also engaged in a research study looking at the impact of their inquiry work. 

Network of Inquiry and Innovation
Schools focused on a variety of topics linked to specific school needs. For example, self-regulated learning, the new curriculum, student engagement, math, co-teaching and collaboration, etc. 

We also want to share a great new resource from the New Zealand Ministry of Education focused on the Spiral of Inquiry. Their new website features resources to support all stages of the Spiral, including collaborative inquiry examples, videos, links to the work in BC, and more. Certainly worth checking out and sharing widely! You can find this and other materials linked on our Resources page on the website. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

NOII AESN Extended Lower Mainland Meeting – Jan. 23rd

You are invited to our second Extended Lower Mainland Network Gathering on January 23rd from 4 – 6 pm at Norma Rose Point School in Vancouver. This is a great time to share in some professional dialogue with other educators and learn from both local and international research. It is always exciting to share our stories.

Our focus for this session will be Aboriginal Worldviews and Perspectives.We are so pleased that Jo-Anne Chrona, Jurisdiction/TEFA Curriculum Coordinator from FNESC (First Nations Education Steering Committee) will be joining us and sharing the new Science First Peoples resource.

There will be an opportunity to explore, discuss and learn about this resource and make connections to the revised curriculum and interdisciplinary learning frameworks. We also welcome Linda Klassen, who will be sharing an “Ignite” session about Aboriginal Education at Gibson Elementary School in Delta.

After this session, teams will have an opportunity to share their inquiry work and case studies to date.
Please join us and bring a friend!

Share this flyer with your colleagues and networks.

Norma Rose Point School
5488 Ortona Rd, Vancouver (near UBC)
January 23 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Refreshments provided