The collaborative inquiry game - a catalyst for change.


Catalyst is a practical, game-like tool that transforms teaching as inquiry into an engaging and social experience.

Modelled on Kaser and Halbert's Spirals of Inquiry, Catalyst is underpinned by the OECD Seven Principles of Learning. It offers a framework and facilitation tool for collaborative inquiry that puts evidence about your learners at the centre of decision making. You will be challenged to see learning through the eyes of learners and their whānau, develop empathy and an understanding of their needs and motivations, and come away with a roadmap to activate changes.

Who should play?

Catalyst is a game changer for teams of educators from early childhood centres, schools, kura, and Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako. It’s a valuable tool for anyone who wants to collaborate effectively, articulate challenges and map pathways to improve learner achievement.

How to play?

Catalyst uses a board game format to facilitate collaborative inquiry by enabling educators to inquire deeply into learning challenges, with the learner at the centre, and produce a strong set of directives to help all learners succeed.

  • Teams use a game piece to move along the six phases of the Spirals of Inquiry (Kaser and Halbert 2017).
  • Each team member is assigned a role and uses role cards to prompt learning-focused conversations and provoke new thinking and learning.
  • As each team member plays their role, the inquiry is recorded to provide evidence for the code and standards for the teaching profession.
  • Ultimately, you’ll center on your learner, foster collaboration, inquire deeply into your learning challenges and activate steps to address these.

What are the benefits of playing?

Catalyst supports educators by:

  • Allowing everyone to be an expert inquirer
  • Fostering collaboration
  • Acknowledging cultural processes
  • Slowing down and scaffolding thinking and change leadership
  • Developing the language of mentorship
  • Deepening learning-focused conversations
  • Quickly identifying gaps in knowledge and data gathering
  • Tracking the inquiry process and providing evidence for the code and standards for the teaching profession

How can I get the most out of playing?

Alongside Catalyst, we offer facilitated kickstart sessions and mentoring, to get your collaborative inquiry underway and ensure you achieve the most value. Our experienced facilitators guide teachers and leaders through the game and initial phases of the inquiry process. We help you build effective collaborative teams and lead with an inquiring mindset.

Facilitation is customised to meet your requirements, allowing you to maximise Catalyst in your setting. (Please note, centrally funded PLD hours can be used.)

To find out more, please complete the enquiry form.

How much does Catalyst cost?

Catalyst is available for purchase in the CORE Toa for $80.00 (excl. GST & shipping). Facilitation costs are dependent on individual needs.