Thank you, Jennifer, and I think that this answers another question that I had, which was whether there was a companion-document to Focus on inquiry : a teacher’s guide to implementing inquiry-based learning for school librarians, but of course, in your educational paradigm school librarians are specialist teachers, which also explains, I think, why you and Dianne are based in the Department of Elementary Education at the University of Alberta.
For us it is worth us dwelling on this question, because in our prevailing educational paradigm, inquiry is thought of “in terms of isolated projects, undertaken occasionally on an individual basis as part of a traditional transmissionary pedagogy,” as Gordon Wells puts it, if it is thought of at all. This stands in stark contrast to thinking of inquiry, following from the definition above, as “a stance that pervades all aspects of life and is essential to the way in which knowledge is created,” and from which a number of things follow.
(While on the Galileo Educational Network it is worth looking at Inquiry-Based Learning: A Review of the Research Literature (Friesen & Scott, 2013), which “draws on theory and research in the field to provide insight into the efficacy of particular approaches to inquiry in terms of their impact on student learning, achievement, and engagement”. The review includes Why Minimal Guidance During Instruction Does Not Work: An Analysis of the Failure of Constructivist, Discovery, Problem-Based, Experiential, and Inquiry-Based Teaching, by Kirschner, Sweller, & Clark (2006), as well as the excellent response by Hmelo-Silver, Duncan, and Chinn (2006), Scaffolding and Achievement in Problem-Based and Inquiry Learning: A Response to Kirschner, Sweller, and Clark.)
I’ll pause with 4 thoughts on the following passage from Focus on inquiry (p. 2):
Some of the research on this effect [inquiry-based learning improves student achievement] comes from studies of effective school library programs that are centres of inquiry-based learning. A school library program that is properly equipped and staffed can make a difference in terms of measurable gains in student achievement. School library factors alone can account for improvements of 2% to 9% in student achievement (Lance, 2001)*.
Firstly, “school library program” is not part of our vocabulary. Secondly and thirdly, are there guidelines on what constitutes “properly equipped and staffed”? Finally, I assume that there is a difference between educational achievement and attainment, but I am not exactly clear on what it is.
*Lance, K. C. (2001). Proof of the power: Quality library media programs affect academic achievement. Multimedia Schools, 8(4), 14–16, 18, 20.