Competency 10:

Engage critically and creatively with ideas to be a change agent in society, especially with regard to equity and justice

Rosehip (ḴEL¸EḴ in SENĆOŦEN)

Teacher as Change Agent

“A change agent, or agent of change, is someone who intentionally or indirectly causes or accelerates social, cultural, or behavioral change.” (Nussbaum-Beach, 2010).

Being a Change Agent

  • Understand the beliefs and attitudes that you have towards and about education; know what your personal vision is as a teacher
  • Engage critically and creatively with ideas
  • Integrate technology into lessons, activities and assessments, knowing why you are using it and how it meets student needs
  • Continually reflect on the effectiveness of your practice
  • Collaborate with colleagues
  • Have a growth mindset
  • Be innovative
  • Infuse activities with real-life, real-world problems and issues
  • Empower students to be self-learners with a focus on 21st century learning skills
  • Assist students in accessing the curriculum through a social justice lens

“The fundamental role of a teacher is to help kids exceed their potential.” (Hattie, 2014).


  • Why are the roles of teachers changing?
  • In what ways can teachers be influence change in education?
  • As a new teacher, how can you navigate in this profession when it’s possible that others may not view today’s teaching role in the same way?
  • What will you do, while still in your teacher education program, to assist you in becoming a change agent?
  • How can the concept of teacher as a change agent impact the ways you design your units and lessons?

Inquiry to Support Change

The world of tomorrow will look nothing like the world of today, and to be successful, students need to develop the skills and knowledge to become innovators and problem-solvers. Inquiry-based learning, as supported by the BC curriculum, is well suited to help students achieve this, as it places them in the centre of the learning experience. It also encourages educators to create a culture of learning where students are challenged to wonder, create, test, and question. In the spirt of these ideas, here are eight simple ways to support inquiry-based learning from Kindergarten to Grade 12 classrooms.

  • think about the learning environment
  • start with students’ questions
  • foster curiosity in your classroom
  • be a co-learner: let’s find out together
  • think like a scientist by exploring and discovering
  • think like an engineer, an artist, a writer
  • focus on skill development
  • look for cross-curricular connections

As educators, developing an inquiry mindset requires that we ask questions of our own practice rather than simply looking for answers externally.  It recognizes that ideas and possibilities (and even further questions) come from a variety of places.  An inquiry topic is explored through different lenses:

  • Self-Study (What can I learn from my personal experience?  What intuitions do I have?   Why do I care about this topic?)
  • Community (What do colleagues, students, community members have to say about the topic?  How does what they say inform your topic?)
  • Observations (What do I see/hear about this topic in classrooms?  In hallways? In staff rooms?  What is present (or absent)?)
  • Academic Literature (What does the larger academic community think about my topic?  How does this inform my understanding?)

Inquiry learning is reflective of the First Peoples Principles of Learning and Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Learning in terms of the view that “education is a complex process that is personal, holistic; embedded in relationship to each other, to self, and to the land; and is most effective when it is authentic and relevant”.

Chrona, 2016

You are likely concerned about some complicated and important questions.  For example, you may wonder:

  • What do I really care about as an educator?
  • How might my attitudes and beliefs affect my teaching?
  • What do learners really care about?
  • What matters in our communities?
  • How do I build a caring community in my classroom?
  • How can I embrace the complexity of teaching?


  • What questions about teaching and learning most intrigue you?
  • How can you collect and show evidence of your personal and professional preparation in your dPortfolio?
  • How are the roles of teachers changing?
  • How can teachers support inquiry? How do they engage in inquiry?
  • As a new teacher, how can you navigate in this profession when it’s possible that others may not view today’s teaching role in the same way?
  • How can the concept of inqury inform unit and lesson planning?
  • What are some challenging to inquiry?  How can you address this?