I have confirmed the date and time of the Q&A with Barbara Stripling – Sunday 28 March 2021 at 2pm-3.30pm GMT / UTC – which will be recorded for colleagues who will not be able to join us for practical reasons.
As with everything on the FOSIL Group website, the chapter that we will be discussing – Empowering Students to Inquire in a Digital Environment – is free to download for purposes of the discussion here with the kind permission of colleagues at School Library Connection and Libraries Unlimited / ABC-CLIO.
While it will be possible to follow the discussion without joining the FOSIL Group, participating in the discussion will require registering for an account, which is free.
If inquiry, as we are coming to understand it, is “a dynamic process and stance aimed at building knowledge and understanding of the world and ourselves in it as the basis for responsible participation in community,” then inquiry in a digital environment is of vital concern for us, and we hope that many of you will be able to join us in this discussion, whether directly or indirectly.
Please ignore this message – clearly having Sunday 28th in both Feb and March is too much for me. See you in a month.
Apologies, if I’ve misunderstood but it this discussion open for us all to watch live? If so I am not sure where to find it. If not apologies, I’ll go back to my Sunday and watch the recording when its available.
This reply was modified 2 days, 5 hours ago by Ruth.
Inquiry is not limited to the International Baccalaureate. However, as an inquiry-based approach to learning and teaching that can be traced back to the early 1960s, an approach to which the Library/ian is integral, there is much of theoretical and practical value about inquiry that we can take from the IB.
The IB document Ideal libraries: A guide for schools (2018, p. 9) – quoting Callison (2015) and Levitov (2016), who are almost certainly not writing about the IB – makes the point that “inquiry is more expansive than research, and facilitating it requires expertise beyond research methods”. Furthermore, as “libraries are where many inquiries begin and continue, the librarian is responsible for energizing and maintaining the inquiry process. Ideally, the librarian is trained in many ways of creating conditions for inquiry within and beyond the classroom.”
This echoes the point in the text under discussion, that “the teaching of inquiry skills represents a paradigm shift for school librarians” that is still underway (p. 53).
Before moving on to discuss what changes fundamentally when inquiry, especially Investigate, takes place in a digital environment, we should give some thought to this paradigm shift and what it demands of us in the library and the classroom.
Callison, D. (2015). The evolution of inquiry: controlled, guided, modeled, and free. Santa Barbara: Libraries Unlimited.
IBO. (2018). Ideal libraries: A guide for schools. Cardiff: International Baccalaureate Organisation (UK) Ltd.
Levitov, D. (2016). School Libraries, Librarians, and Inquiry Learning. Teacher Librarian, 28-35.
Thinking further, what does the paradigm shift from, and what does it shift to?
Why is this paradigm shift necessary, which may be the same as why it matters? To us? To our colleagues? To our children? To our communities? To our society?
For interest, I share the following and am guessing that we are mainly talking about paradigm in the sociological sense, although I am also guessing that we have a tendency to look backwards to exemplary past achievements rather than forwards to achievements that are yet to accomplished?
Kuhn, T. S. (1996). The structure of scientific revolutions. 3rd edition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
On the one hand, [paradigm] stands for the entire constellation of beliefs, values, techniques, and so on shared by the members of a given community [sociological]. On the other, it denotes a sort of element in that constellation, the concrete puzzle-solutions which, employed as models or examples, can replace explicit rules as a basis for the solution of the remaining problems of normal science [exemplary past achievements]. (p. 175)
Thanks for getting us started Darryl. I have found reading Barbara’s chapter very interesting… Lots of highlighting going on, which is a good sign!
To answer your question about the paradigm shift I think for me it is about understanding what the role of the school librarian is within inquiry. As far as I understand it we are moving from teaching traditional information literacy skills where students are taught to ‘research’ by locating, finding and using information effectively, where the role of the school librarian was to teach using the catalogue, evaluating websites and creating bibliographies etc, to helping the students engage with the process. As Barbara says “inquiry is about developing personal meaning connected to prior knowledge, not accumulating information or adopting someone else’s knowledge”. If we are expecting more of our students we need to offer more too.
I think if we begin to understand what students are going through before and after they get to the investigate stage, our skills to support them in this is part of the paradigm shift.
Why does it matter? Until we as librarians understand this shift we will be unable to support our teachers and students. If we stay in the bubble of information literacy we will always be thought of as teachers of research skills and we know there is more to inquiry than that. We need to be part of the whole picture and be able to explain how and why.