Onwards and Upwards
My recommendations following this blog can be broken into the following four sub-topics:
- Questioning framework
- Inquiry process
- Action Research
Although the use of KWL is fairly common in classrooms, the extended version for Guided Inquiry is not. The questions that form KWFLUN (Kuhlthau, Maniotes & Caspari, 2007 p. 4) need to be clearly displayed, and the element at which the learning session is working at needs to be explicitly pointed out each time. This was done, but needs to be even more explicit. In addition, the classroom teacher collaborating with needs to be fully aware and cognizant of the process. An alternative is to collaboratively choose, at the planning stage, a different questioning framework, one which is visually more appealing and which makes the cyclical nature of inquiry more apparent. The collaboratively developed Inquiry Cycle (Gourley, 2008 p. 20) was shown to my fellow colleagues when we were planning for the subsequent term and all agreed that this would be easy to follow and understand.
This framework includes questions and all users can see where they are at during each stage. Gourley (2008) describes the importance of each stage of the inquiry process being explicitly taught. The questioning framework that Inquiry Cycle contains allows for this explicit teaching.
As the person who is at the centre, and who is the one ‘keeping things going’ so to speak, I require additional support in guiding students through the inquiry process. The research behind and the support given in the Guided Inquiry Design Process (Kuhlthau, Maniotes & Caspari, 2012) engenders me with confidence that I can begin to formally establish a constructivist approach to learning with the library as the learning hub of the school – incorporating as it will, reading and writing process strategies with the research process (Kuhlthau, 1999 p. 94). Kuhlthau et al have utilised their research behind the Information Search Process, including the affective, cognitive and physical experiences of the student to expand into the Guided Inquiry Design Process.
Built into my planning for the foreseeable future is the continued use of the Student Learning though Inquiry Measure (SLIM) Toolkit (Todd, Kuhlthau and Heinstrom 2005). I will focus on one class a term, as a means of action research and value assessment for the different strategies that are being applied for building information literacy skills at my school. The data generated by this measure, and the opportunities it provides for targeted intervention will help to ensure that the work achieved through the school library is both valuable and valued. The value and purpose for this process will be collaboratively agreed upon by the participating class and teacher; they will have a clear understanding of its importance.
The lack of collaboration is at the core of the lost opportunity that was the ILA reported on in this blog. As a direct response to this experience, sessions were allocated at the end of last term to meet and collaboratively plan with each year level that wished to work with me (as the Teacher Librarian) the following term. Our starting points were the ACARA outcomes and their elaborations, followed by the assessment task. Our guiding framework, as we backward planned from the assessment task, was each phase of the Guided Inquiry Design Process. Each participant is fully aware of their roles and expectations. Understanding and competence with this process will be a journey we will all take together. The benefits of building a collaborative culture in the school, both between classroom teacher and teacher librarians, and amongst students, is well documented. Chu (2008), Montiell-Overall (2008), Chu, Tse, Low, Chow (2011) and Kuhlthau, Maniotes & Caspari (2012). As time goes on, it is hoped that an inquiry model can be agreed upon and become part of the whole school culture. There is much focus at present on the Explicit Instruction agenda, however, within the Guided Inquiry Design Process there are planned learner centred inquiry sessions, at the beginning of which there is opportunity for explicit teaching of key concepts and skills required by the students.
Chu, S. (2008). Grade 4 Students’ Development of Research Skills Through Inquiry-Based Learning Projects. School Libraries Worldwide, 14(1), 10-37. Retrieved from ProQuest Education Journals. Retrieved from http://gateway.library.qut.edu.au/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/217763059?accountid=13380
Chu, S. K. W., Tse, S. K., Loh, E. K. Y., & Chow, K. (2011). Collaborative inquiry project-based learning: Effects on reading ability and interests. Library & Information Science Research, 33(3), 236-243.
Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0740818811000296.
Gourley, B. (2008). INQUIRY: The road less traveled. Knowledge Quest, 37(1), 18-23. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/194728270?accountid=13380
Kuhlthau, C. (1999). Student learning in the library: What library power librarians say. School Libraries Worldwide, 5(2), 80-96. Retrieved from ProQuest Education Journals.Retrieved from http://gateway.library.qut.edu.au/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/217753435?accountid=13380
Kuhlthau, C., Maniotes, L., & Caspari. A. (2007). Guided Inquiry: learning in the 21st century School. Santa Barbara: Libraries Unlimited.
Kuhlthau, C., Maniotes, L., & Caspari. A. (2012). Guided Inquiry Design: A framework for Inquiry in Your School. Santa Barbara: Libraries Unlimited.
Montiel-Overall, P. (2008). Teacher and librarian collaboration: A qualitative study. Library & Information Science Research, 30(2), 145-155. doi:10.1016/j.lisr.2007.06.008