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Nudging Toward Inquiry (AASL 2009)

Nudging Toward Inquiry (AASL 2009)

Writing Our Way Into Inquiry and Presearch As we continue our efforts to think about writing literacies as a focal point of our inquiry work in a high school library, my colleague Jennifer Lund and I continue to see the power of an old school technology: pen and paper. We’ve targeted the presearch phase of research projects as a sweet spot for using writing literacies as a medium for critical thinking and making visible student ideas, questions, and patterns of understanding. In their “Pathways to Knowledge“ model of information literacy, Pappas and Tepe define presearch as the stage that “…enables searchers to connect their information need and prior knowledge. They may participate in a brainstorming activity to create a web or a list of questions on what they know about their subject or what they want to know” (Harada and Tepe).

Question Families Connecting the Dots In 2009 I outlined this approach in "Connecting the Dots," an article that first appeared in Knowledge Quest, a publication of the American Association of School Librarians. A class exploring the question of what they should do about floods starts with a simple diagram like the one below. But it soon becomes much more complex. Questions are grouped and organized to emphasize causes and effects as well as past efforts and planning issues. This is unlikely to happen unless the teacher helps the group to recognize that questions work best when arranged conceptually. What the Heck Is Inquiry-Based Learning? Inquiry-based learning is more than asking a student what he or she wants to know. It’s about triggering curiosity. And activating a student’s curiosity is, I would argue, a far more important and complex goal than mere information delivery.

Bringing Inquiry-Based Learning Into Your Class In the shallow end of the Types of Student Inquiry pool, Structured Inquiry gives the teacher control of the essential question, the starting point—for example, “What defines a culture?” or “What is the importance of the scientific method?” These questions are not answered in a single lesson and do not have a single answer, and, in fact, our understanding of an essential question may change over time as we research it. In Structured Inquiry, the teacher also controls specific learning activities, the resources students will use to create understanding, and the summative assessment learners will complete to demonstrate their understanding. Great Research A really great research project will demand original thought. Mere scooping and collection of information will not suffice. The project must be built around a question or an issue whose answer does not lie waiting on a Web page. This is not a scavenger hunt.

The importance of surprise There should be surprise, delight or even discomfort as one explores. True inquiry involves discovery. The task at hand should awaken curiosity and take the student on an adventure. Mere topical research requires little more than gathering and is often sleep inducing. SCASL Fall 2017 by Editorial Chair - Flipsnack Some pages of this flipbook are locked due to the use of a mandatory form. CopyCopied Using free embed code, the flipping collection will display only 3 flipbooks, each limited at 15 pages/pdf. Questions of Import Difference of Opinion Some questions matter more to some than others. Significance is defined to some extent by personal issues, tastes and interests. Several people looking at the image below might pose very different questions. Some might pose questions about media, media coverage and media literacy. Others might be intrigued by Michael himself and the drama surrounding his passing.

Harvard Education Publishing Group Students in Hayley Dupuy’s sixth-grade science class at the Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School in Palo Alto, Calif., are beginning a unit on plate tectonics. In small groups, they are producing their own questions, quickly, one after another: What are plate tectonics? How fast do plates move? Include – NSLS Shared Foundations Challenge I’ve given myself the challenge of spending a few weeks with each of the Shared Foundations in the new National School Library Standards. Unsure about the new standards? My intro post has some explanation. The standard I’ll be focusing on for the next few weeks will be include.