Australian Guided Inquiry

Guided Inquiry is an instructional framework designed to support students while engaging in inquiry learning tasks. The new Australian Curriculum requires students to develop skills and understandings as critical inquirers of their world across a number of learning areas. In other words, inquiry underpins disciplinary thinking.

One of the key elements of inquiry is partnerships. Studies examining the impact of school libraries on student achievement have shown when teacher librarians collaboratively plan, teach and evaluate with classroom teachers, students learn more, get better grades, and score higher on standardised test scores than those students without access to the resourcing and instructional expertise of a teacher librarian (Kahn & Valence, 2012; Montiel-Overall, 2008; School Libraries Worldwide, 2008; Todd, 2008a, 2008b; Lance, Rodney & Russell, 2007; Haycock, 2007; Lance, Rodney & Hamilton-Pennell, 2005; Lindsay, 2005). Classroom teachers benefit from this collaboration because team teaching reduces the teacher/student ratio in a class, and allows greater opportunity to provide individualised instruction for each student each lesson. This instructional partnership also provides greater support for at-risk students (Gavigan & Kurtts, 2010). Furthermore, recent studies have identified the important role the teacher librarian can plays in supporting the development of teachers’ and students’ digital literacy skills (Lance & Schwarz, 2012; Todd, Gordon & Lu, 2011; Duke & Ward, 2009; Asselin, & Dorion, 2008). With ICT as one of the Australian Curriculum’s seven general capabilities, we are seeing the design of inquiry units that involve the integration of digital technologies within different phases of the Guided Inquiry process. Teachers and students need support in testing and trialing new digital tools and apps. Often it is the school’s TL who provides this support.

Lyn Hay contributed to the book Guided Inquiry Design: A Framework for Inquiry in Your School. By Carol C. Kuhlthau, Leslie K. Maniotes and Ann K. Caspari, 2012.

For details, go to http://www.sybaacademy.com.au/books/guided-inquiry/guided-inquiry-design-a-framework-for-inquiry-in-your-school

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