The basics for teachers and TLs wanting to get started with Guided Inquiry
What is Guided Inquiry?
Guided Inquiry is “A way of thinking, learning and teaching that changes the culture of the classroom into a collaborative inquiry community”(Kuhlthau, Maniotes & Caspari, 2015, p3) It is based on the Information Search Process and enriched with its mirror image, the Guided Inquiry Design Process (GID) This is a picture of the GID process:
The process is the most important element of GI, which sets the scene for task design, feedback, interventions, and metacognition. These are the main reasons why the GId is a consistent and reliable information process:
Why is an information process necessary?
An information process provides the framework for designing inquiry units, while giving students a metacognitive scaffold to use whenever they have an information need. GId mirrors the information to knowledge journey of any researcher, predicts points which are difficult for any researcher, and differs from other processes in asking students to delay creating inquiry questions until they have some idea of the parameters of the topic at Identify.
Read The Down Under Devil’s Advocate: Ten ways to derail a Guided Inquiry project – for what NOT to do with GI!
What is unique about teaching inquiry using GID?
In the chart below, find all you need to investigate Guided Inquiry and to create and deliver your own GI
From CSU student 2021, Diana Brien, an engaging introduction for students to the GId process!
More about GI
Teachers teaching inquiry:
Teacher Librarians teaching inquiry: What can they do?
Information literacy specialists:
|Some unit planners and scaffolds|
Scaffold for lesson plans for each phase of the GID:
Inquiry circles are small groups of students which form at various phases of the GID process – they can be useful at Explore, to share the work of gaining an overview of the topic; again, at Identify, to work together to form inquiry questions; at Create/Share, to discuss and share the work of synthesising information. The composition of the inquiry circles should vary throughout the process. If an inquiry circle creates a group presentation at Create/Share, it is important to ensure all members are contributing equally.
Theory behind the GID process is that there are phases in inquiry that students find more difficult than others. The first is at Explore, when they begin to realise the size of the topic, and the effort involved in coming to understand a broad overview of it – this was observed repeatedly in research studies led by Kuhlthau. Another difficult phase is at Gather, moving into Create, when synthesis of information is required. And so it is good for students to reflect at these stages of their inquiry, and to receive feedback from teacher and TL, if they need it. At Evaluate, it’s important that students reflect on their learning through the inquiry unit, calling for reflection on the whole unit. Reflection will be carried out in the Inquiry Journal.
A useful reflection tool is the SLIM Toolkit, (Heinstrom, Kuhlthau & Todd, 2005) to be used at the phases of GID mentioned above.
For your reflection
Kuhlthau, C., Maniotes, L. & Caspari, A. (2015) Guided Inquiry: Learning in the 21st century, 2nd edition. Libraries Unlimited
Heinstrom, J., Kuhlthau, C, & Todd, R. (2005) School library impact measure. Centre for International Scholarship in School Libraries, Rutgers University.