Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Power of the Process: Adopting Kuhlthau's Guided Inquiry Model

The three librarians at my school (ES/MS/HS) spent the last few months thinking about the research process, what it looks like at the school (kind of a mess), and how we can improve it. 

Our biggest problems:
  Each of the libraries takes a slightly different approach (mostly variations of the Big 6)
  Just because the library has a process, doesn't mean teachers are using it.

Thus, students are getting conflicting messages/approaches to research (when they get one at all). I wouldn't say confusion reigns, but it's definitely mounting a campaign.

As a bit more background, the tech integrator and I ran a prototype of a collaboratively planned unit with the grade 9 science team last spring (Prototype: 90% sure it's not what the final will look like; Pilot: 90% sure it is).  The planning team involved all the grade 9  science teachers, me, the integrator, learning support and the enrichment coordinator.   As you can guess, it grew a bit unwieldy with so many people, and we had WAY too many meetings, but some good things came out of it and next year, as a pilot, each department is mandated to plan one unit a year with the entire support team.

What does that have to do with our research problems?

We took a long, hard look at Carol Kuhlthau's  Guided Inquiry model, a key element of which is using learning teams of three to guide students through the inquiry process.  It seemed like a natural fit!

Thus, beginning in fall, the three libraries will concurrently run a formal action-research pilot of what the guided inquiry process would look like at our school, then use those findings (presumably!) to push for school-wide adoption of the model.

Since this is action research, we need to document the planning and the process,  which seems as good a reason as any to start blogging again after my overly-long hiatus! 

Stay tuned...

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