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Nurturing Agency through Inquiry: A workshop by Kath Murdoch

Workshop Overview

When applied thoughtfully, the use of an inquiry approach is all about agency. Inquiry teachers intentionally help learners build transferable skills and dispositions as they investigate questions of significance to them. 

Nurturing capable, curious and confident inquirers is a key goal for many schools around the world.  Empowering young learners to own their learning requires a sophisticated repertoire of strategies and a commitment to co-construction of knowledge, skills, routines and learning spaces. This workshop introduces participants to a number of key practices that drive inquiry and strengthen learner agency.

  • What do we mean by ‘agency’ and what might this ‘look like’ in our students?
  • What is the relationship between an inquiry-based approach and learner agency?
  • How can creating a classroom climate that cultivates curiosity, privileges student questions and uses real-world contexts strengthen learner ‘assets’?
  • How can the language we use as teachers impact on learner identity? How can we modify teacher talk to support inquiry and amplify agency?
  • What does it mean to release responsibility more fully to students as they engage in a journey of inquiry?  
  • What skills and dispositions enable more independent learning? How do we help build those skills and dispositions across the day?  
  • How can understanding of a ‘cycle of inquiry’ empower learners to design and manage their own investigations?

Over the course of 2 days, we will explore ten key practices and how to apply those practices across the primary school and within a range of learning areas. Participants will leave with a repertoire of techniques for questioning, lesson and design

As a result of attending this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • apply a framework that supports agency in students
  • design learning experiences that are more inquiry-based
  • adjust their level of guidance in an inquiry in order to maximise agency
  • establish a "split screen' approach to planning, teaching and learning key skills and dispositions for learning 


Day 1:
08:30-10:30 - Session 1: Introduction and tuning in to our thinking
10:30-11:00 - Coffee Break
11:00-13:00 - Session 2: Exploring the concept of agency
13:00-13:45 - Lunch Break
13:45-15:30 - Session 3: Introducing a framework of strategies for nurturing agency

Day 2:
08:30-10:30 - Session 4: Linking agency and inquiry
10:30-11:00 - Coffee Break
11:00-13:00 - Session 5: Reviewing and connecting learning experiences
13:00-13:45 - Lunch Break
13:45-15:30 - Session 6: designing for learning back in the classroom & reflection

About Kath Murdoch

Kath Murdoch is an experienced teacher, author, university lecturer and popular consultant who has worked for many years in schools across Australia and overseas. She is passionate about planning and teaching using inquiry-based, integrated curriculum with a particular interest in supporting teachers in their professional learning journeys., Currently, Kath has several, ongoing partnerships with a range of schools and school clusters assisting them to develop integrative programs and to build their repertoire of quality teaching and learning strategies.  Her work emphasises the way complex theories of teaching and learning can be translated to the classroom setting.  She also specialises in supporting teams of teachers to work and plan together and to build professional learning into their daily practice.  Recently, Kath has worked intensively with teachers throughout Tasmania on the implementation of their Essential Learnings Framework.

Kath is the author of many popular books for teachers including ‘Classroom Connections’ and ‘Knowing Me Knowing You’ (with Julie Hamston) and, most recently, ‘Learning Links’ (with Jeni Wilson). She is widely known for her dynamic, practical and interactive presentations and workshops and for challenging teachers to think about what, why and how they support students in their learning. 

Workshop Details

Trainer: Kath Murdoch

Who should attend: Primary teachers

When: Saturday, 2 and Sunday, 3 March 2019, 8.30am - 3.30pm

Where: UWCSEA Dover Campus, Conference Centre

Workshop fees : US$634 | S$869*


Registeration is closed.

*Workshop fees include a certificate of attendance, workshop materials, a notepad, snacks and lunches. There is a 5% discount if you are registering three or more participants from the same school/organisation, and a 10% overall discount for five participants or more.





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