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Transcript of Inquiry
Growing Lifelong Learners
What is Inquiry?
“Inquiry is a process of learning that is driven by questioning, thoughtful investigating, making sense of information, and developing new understandings. It is cyclical in nature because the result of inquiry is not simple answers but deep understandings that often lead to new questions and further pursuit of knowledge. The goal of inquiry is not the accumulation of information; it is the exploration of significant questions and deep learning" ("Inquiry" 50).
How does this
"Students learn more when they’re active participants in the classroom and in their own learning" (qtd. in Carpenter 2).
Students are more engaged and motivated because the learning is student led.
Students gain a deeper knowledge of subject matter because they are exploring explanations to their own questions about a topic.
Students are learning the skills needed to be life-long learners along with content.
"Information fluency skills make sense to students when they are engaged in a coherent process of inquiry and learning" ("Assessing" 25).
"Teaching Students" 17
The Stripling Model of Inquiry includes 6 phases. Students are encouraged to reflect throughout the whole process and repeat a phase if they desire. This is not designed to be a linear process.
How does benefit teachers?
Able to be facilitators of student learning
Learn with and from their students
Teachers aren't forcing information on kids and learning is more enjoyable
Able to teach kids skills that can be used across the curriculum and in real life
Able to differentiate for various ability groups
How does the teacher-librarian fit in?
Collaborate on lesson plans
Help facilitate the inquiry process either in your classroom or in the library
Provide needed resources for students and teachers
Help to assess students throughout the inquiry process.
Let's take a sample lesson through The Stripling Inquiry Model!
7th grade Texas History
7th graders will explore Spanish missions in Texas and what life was like within them. Using teacher and teacher-librarian selected resources including books, videos, encyclopedias, internet, and other primary source documents, students will begin to develop their own question(s) and findings about life in a Spanish mission. The students will use the Stripling Model to develop these new understandings. Using Google SketchUp or another tool of their choice, learners will create a model of a Spanish mission using
the information they gained through the inquiry process.
The teacher-librarian will provide a KWLQ chart to the class and ask them to fill in what they already know about the Spanish missions in Texas in the K column. She will build on the students’ background knowledge by asking them to describe the characteristics of the neighborhoods they live in today and lead the class in a discussion on how they might be similar and different from neighborhoods in the past. The teacher-librarian will show the students several primary source documents that pertain to Spanish missions. After viewing the primary source documents, the students will add additional facts that they acquired to their KWLQ chart. During this phase the teacher is not only building background knowledge, but also trying "to provide a context for learning through language, developing content-specific vocabulary, and helping students understand patterns of text used for different purposes"
The students will work together in pairs to explore various preselected resources and primary source documents about Spanish missions in Texas. Each student will write questions about Spanish missions that have come about as a result of their exploration in the W section of their KWLQ chart. The teacher-librarian and teacher will encourage students to share their questions with each other to encourage collaboration and further inquiry.
Taking those questions that they have generated about missions and mission life, the students will begin exploring various resources to gain new knowledge about Spanish missions. As they gain new knowledge, they will record these findings in the L section of their KWLQ chart. The students should use their note taking skills that they have previously been taught as well as correct citations as they record their information. As students gain new knowledge, the teacher and teacher-librarian will encourage them to add new wonderings that have come about and explore those new questions as well.
In order for students to construct new meaning about Spanish mission life, they will be given the opportunity to share their findings with other groups in the class. They will be encouraged by the teacher and the teacher-librarian to listen for connections between their findings and other groups’ findings. They will also be listening for any misconceptions they might have had. When listening to the other groups’ findings, they should continue to think of new questions about Spanish missions in Texas and how they can connect life back then to their lives today. During this phase they should look through all the information they have gathered to determine what information is most important.
"Students can display a high level of creative thinking
during the Express Phase as they use digital tools to create their own messages and transform learning from presenting “reports” to creating original and valid presentations" ("Teaching" 19)
Using Google SketchUp or another tool of their choice, students will create a virtual model that shows their understanding of what was included in a Spanish mission in Texas and what life was like. Students will present their Google SketchUp or other model to the class from a perspective other than their own (TV reporter, tour guide, child who lives in the mission, etc).
The students will be able reflect on their project by self assessing their work using a rubric provided by the teacher and teacher-librarian. They will look back at their KWLQ chart that they used to organize their information to determine how successful they were in gaining new knowledge. They will also record any remaining or additional questions that they have about mission life. By creating the model based off their findings on mission life, students will be able to reflect on how complete their research was and if there are any parts of mission life that could be explored further. Goals should be set by the student for future inquiry projects based off of their reflection.
Another Example of an Inquiry Lesson
American Indian Tribes in Texas
7th Grade Social Studies
Objective: The student will be able to compare the cultures of various tribes of American Indians in Texas prior to European colonization and identify ways those tribes interacted with the environment in order to survive.
Another Example of an Inquiry Lesson
Living Systems and the Environment
7th grade science
Objective: After using the Stripling Model of Inquiry, the students will have a deeper understanding of the relationship between between organisms and the environment.
The teacher and teacher librarian will begin the collaborative lesson by showing
students pictures of different biomes. To activate prior knowledge they will facilitate a discussion about the characteristics that help the students to identify the different biomes and discuss what animals they might find within the biome. Students will explore a variety of predetermined resources including a webquest and print and media resources to learn more about biomes and the organisms that inhabit them. The students will guide their own knowledge based on questions they have about the organisms, biomes, and the relationship between the two. The teacher and teacher-librarian will guide the students through the Stripling Inquiry Model encouraging them along the way to continue to ask questions and explore the answers while reflecting on their new learning throughout the process. At the end of the process, students will choose a way to construct their knowledge about a particular biome and how organisms are supported within the biome. This will be shared with the class
so that students can learn from each other and reflect on their
After a discussion on American Indians in Texas with the teacher and teacher-librarian students will record what they know and questions they have on a graphic organizer. As a class, the students will go back in time and virtually walk in the footsteps of several American Indian Tribes in Texas. They will gain new knowledge about the various tribes’ cultures and how they interacted with their environment to survive. The teacher and teacher-librarian will be encouraged to record their new knowledge as well as new questions that may have come about from the class experience thus far. By providing a variety of predetermined resources including webquests, and print media resources, the students will be able to explore and learn more about American Indian tribes, their cultures, and how they interacted with their environment. The teacher and teacher-librarian will guide the students through the Stripling Inquiry Model encouraging them along the way to continue to ask questions and explore the answers while reflecting on their new learning throughout the process. Students will choose how they want to present their learning on how the American Indian tribes of early Texas shaped its history.
Why Collaborate with Me?
“Help(s) restructure the curriculum so that inquiry and problem solving are integrated into all subject areas” (“Inquiry-Based” 2)
When more than one person is working on lessons and units, more ideas can be discussed, thought through, and adjusted to create the best lesson for the students.
“Foster(s) connections across curriculum areas, a focus on broad concepts instead of isolated facts, and the true blending of content and process “ (“Inquiry-Based” 2).
When teachers and librarians collaborate, each person is able to bring their individual strengths to the partnership and create more powerful lessons for their students.
A trusting relationship is developed, allowing the librarian to help teachers who are feeling overwhelmed with all of the requirements.