As educators, it is important for us to guide students as they collaborate with others and gain new information. We need to teach our students to use the technology tools in a meaningful way and help them understand that the information they read can be untrue and misinterpreted.
Guiding students through the inquiry process is an excellent way in helping students deepen their understanding of new information. Through guided inquiry, teachers and librarians can join together in teaching information literacy.
Student's WorldThere's more to inquiry than just collecting and presenting information. Students can investigate the new knowledge and how it relates to their world. (What questions do they have, what do they already know about the subject or problem and how they can reflect on their classmates' contributions.)
Asking Meaningful QuestionsTo begin the inquiry process, I present students with different types of media so they can learn to ask meaningful questions. These begin as Big Questions and can eventually be narrowed down to researchable questions.
- Present photographs and ask students to write down questions they have about the picture.
- Show YouTube videos or TedTalks that present thought-provoking questions.
- Students can journal each day about questions they have (something they saw on TV, saw in their neighborhood or read)
- Have objects in a bag that they may not be familiar with. Students can write down questions and then discuss these with classmates in small groups.
What questions would you ask about this photograph?
A book I would recommend in teaching guided inquiry is Guided Inquiry: Learning in the 21st Century by Carol Collier Kuhlthau. She says, "Guided Inquiry equips students with abilities and competencies to address the changes of an uncertain, changing world."