Thoughtful REACTionS to The Day: Framing Inquiry-based Learning
The widely influential Brainstorms and blueprints : teaching library research as a thinking process by Barbara Stripling and Judy Pitts, published in 1988, introduced their Taxonomy of Thoughtful Research (p. 3) and REACTS Taxonomy of Thoughtful Reactions to Research (pp. 9-10). The crucial insight of Brainstorms and blueprints is that if classroom- and library-based teachers “accept the importance of students’ thinking during research, [which students do not automatically do], then they must also accept the responsibility for teaching thinking skills” (p. 19). This, in turn, requires a “thinking frame for research, which is the research process” (p. 19). This treatment of the research process, in turn, laid the foundation for the development of Barbara’s highly influential model of the inquiry process (2003) and underlying framework of inquiry learning skills (2009, 2019), which FOSIL is based on.
From the perspective of FOSIL, which stands for Framework Of Skills for Inquiry Learning, and which was developed by Darryl Toerien in 2011, articles from The Day always lent themselves to thoughtful inquiry, being “news to open minds” presented thought-provoking way – the most highly-developed example of this being the Year 7 English Inquiry – Science Fictional Writing in the FOSIL Group Forums.
Some months ago Darryl was invited by Richard Addis to reflect on how the format of The Day articles might lend itself even more to an inquiry-based approach to learning across the curriculum. This period of reflection, and discussion with Barbara, produced two insights. The first, and more obvious, insight was that the steps to discovery ought to reflect the stages in the inquiry process – in this case FOSIL. The second insight, which grew out of the first, was that the Six steps to discovery, if formulated carefully, could, in the process of a well-designed inquiry, also serve to step students through the six levels of the REACTS Taxonomies.
This workshop will consist of two parts. Firstly, Darryl will share reflections on the new format of The Day articles as they relate to the inquiry process and the REACTS Taxonomies. Then, Barbara will imagine two very different teaching scenarios based around The Day, one in which severe time constraints limit inquiry to the article under discussion, and one in which more generous time constraints extend inquiry well beyond the article under discussion.