"It trains your brain": Student reflections on using the guided inquiry design process

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The research described in this article observed students in their first and second use of the Guided Inquiry Design process as they explored curriculum topics in Year 7 History and Geography. Guided Inquiry (GI) may be defined as 'a way of teaching and learning that changes the culture of the school into that of a collaborative inquiry community' (Kuhlthau, Maniotes and Caspari, 2015, p. 3). It originates from Carol Kuhlthau's research model the Information Search Process (ISP), on which she and collaborators have published extensively. Publications from Kuhlthau (2004) and Kuhlthau, Maniotes and Caspari (2007) saw the beginnings of an emerging pedagogy, with further publications making explicit a practical model of the ISP: the Guided Inquiry Design process (GID). The GID mirrors the steps of the ISP providing student friendly terms on which teachers and teacher librarians can scaffold GI units. Interest in GI is developing in Australian schools because of the inquiry-based curriculum initiatives in the Australian Curriculum lacking a process approach on which to scaffold inquiry learning (Lupton, 2014). Essential characteristics of the emerging GI approach for teachers and teacher-librarians include its focus on: the length of time it takes to develop a personal interest in and questions about aspects of the curriculum topic, understanding and allowing for emotional changes that happen as students experience the research process, and metacognitive awareness. There are many practical articles supporting the use of GI and GID in teaching. However, there is little empirical research on the GID, studying the experiences of users.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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