Our November discussion is the second stage of a 4-month journey where we will be reading and discussing Focus on Inquiry - A teachers guide to implementing inquiry-based learning.
This month we will focus on chapters 5-11 only. How do I teach all of the stages? To catch up on Octobers chat check it out here.
PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE JOINING IN THE DISCUSSION BELOW...
The IFLA School Library Guidelines (2015) identify inquiry as a core instructional activity of the school librarian within the school library's pedagogical program. The Guidelines state the following about instructional models of the inquiry process:
Many countries, local authorities, and school libraries have worked out very successful models for designing instruction that develops media and information literacy skills within the context of inquiry projects. Creating models for inquiry-based learning involves years of research, development, and practical experimentation. Schools without a model recommended by their education authority should select a model that aligns most closely with the goals and learning outcomes of their curricula, rather than attempting to develop their own models. | p. 41.
Where there is no locally or nationally developed model for inquiry-based teaching and learning, a school librarian should work with the classroom teachers and school leaders to select a model. As the teachers and students apply the model they may wish to adapt the model to serve school goals and local needs. However, caution should be exercised in adapting any model. Without a deep understanding of the theoretical foundations of the model, adaptations may eliminate the power of the model. | p. 43.
Consider, for example, the development of the Alberta Model of Inquiry, which is taken from Promoting Information Literacies: A Focus on Inquiry, a paper presented by Dianne Oberg at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in 2004:
Focus on Inquiry (2004) was predated by Focus on Research (1990), which was developed to support teachers and teacher-librarians in teaching students a model of the research process and in guiding students through inquiry-based learning activities. At the request of the Alberta ministry of education, work on Focus on Inquiry, a revision of Focus on Research led by Dr Dianne Oberg (Professor Emerita in theDepartment of Elementary Education at the University of Alberta) and Dr Jennifer Branch-Mueller (Professor in the Department of Elementary Education at the University of Alberta), began in 2003. Focus on Inquiry was also influenced by involvement in the final editing of Achieving Information Literacy: Standards for School Library Programs in Canada (2003), the joint project of the Canadian School Library Association and the Association for Teacher-Librarianship in Canada. The revised 1990 Alberta model of the research process was informed by other process-based models of library instruction, particularly the work of Ann Irving, Michael Marland and James Herring in Great Britain and the work of Carol Kuhlthau (Distinguished Professor Emerita in the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University) and Barbara Stripling (Professor Emerita in the iSchool at Syracuse University) in the United States, with the personal involvement of Carol Kuhlthau.
FOSIL (2012), by comparison, is based on the Empire State Information Fluency Continuum (2019) , which was originally developed in 2009 by the New York City School Library System (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) while under the direction of Dr Barbara Stripling. The New York City Information Fluency Continuum, as it was called, was endorsed by the School Library Systems Association of New York State (SLSA) in 2012 and renamed the Empire State Information Fluency Continuum (ESIFC). The ESIFC was re-imagined in 2019, again under the direction of Barbara Stripling, to adapt to the changing information, education, and technology environments, as well as the increasing diversity in student populations – the SLSA serves more than 3.2 million children in 4,236 schools in New York State (as of 30 October 2020). The ESIFC is endorsed by the New York State Library, the New York Library Association, the New York State Education Department, and as of April 2020, the FOSIL Group. FOSIL is also informed by the work of Carol Kuhlthau, particularly her work on the Information Search Process (ISP). For more on the history of FOSIL, see here.
No single model of the inquiry process can perfectly describe the inquiry process, which means that all models of the inquiry process will have comparative strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, the value of closely examining the Alberta Inquiry Model lies in the extent to which it deepens our understanding of the inquiry process and enables us to use our chosen model of the inquiry process more effectively.