One of the many goals we faculty have for the year is investigating how we might further apply inquiry-based learning in our classrooms. At the very least, inquiry-based learning asks learners to consciously consider how they learn as they learn.
In some environments, inquiry-based learning asks learners to drive the content of their studies. In other environments, inquiry-based learning positions learners to understand and feel the need of teacher-directed curricular content.
No matter the openness of the inquiry learning, learners are always challenged to consciously consider how and why they explore, select, verify, organize, and present information. Teachers can design learning experiences where students will face a variety of intellectual roadblocks, whether those roadblocks pertain to verifying the accuracy of information, organizing research, or managing time. With the teacher as mentor, the student can then build confidence in overcoming those road blocks, heightening that student’s sense of resilience and building important skills for the future.
In the opening days of school, I’ve shared several models of inquiry learning, the most prominent being Guided Inquiry Design, developed by Carol C. Kuhlthau, Leslie K. Maniotes, and Ann K. Caspari. This model outlines a series eight distinct steps in an inquiry process that a) we naturally follow and b) we can coach learners to use in their inquiries:
Guided Inquiry Design stems from over 30 years of research that rockstar-libarian-scholar Carol Kuhltau has put into the Information Search Process, or, ISP. The ISP shows the feelings, thoughts, and actions any researcher undergoes throughout a project, helping teachers and learners anticipate and intervene with the discouraging, negative emotions that accompany the process of seeking information and creating knowledge.
In the coming weeks, I’ll continue to share other models of inquiry (especially those endorsed by PYP, MYP, and IB), and I’ll provide sample approaches for each step in that process, showcasing how teachers at AWS use inquiry to strengthen knowledge, resilience, and curiosity throughout the grade levels at our schools.
For more information on Guided Inquiry, stop by the library to check out our own copy of Guided Inquiry Design:
Kuhlthau, Carol Collier, Leslie K. Maniotes, and Ann K. Caspari. Guided Inquiry Design: A Framework for Inquiry in Your School. Santa Barbara: Libraries Unlimited, 2012. Print.