Building an accurate understanding
based on factual evidence

Construct is the critical stage during which information is transformed into knowledge. It is skipping or spending insufficient time on this stage and moving straight from Investigate to Express that leads to copy-and-paste answers that do nothing to advance students’ understanding of a topic.
Copy-and-paste ‘research’ where students produce a record of facts that they may not understand and will likely not remember is a key sign that the Construct phase has been missed. This is common where the focus is on the product and not the learning experience.
When students are taught to form their own opinions and conclusions based on the evidence they have found, students learn that their thinking matters. They begin to take responsibility for the validity of their ideas and are motivated to share their expertise with others. The Construct stage leads students to develop agency and empowers them to take an inquiry stance and pursue further learning on their own.

Investigate ← Previous | Construct | Next → Express


  • Teaching students the skills of forming opinions, drawing conclusions, and making claims
  • Not telling students what their product will be until after the Construct stage. This isn’t always appropriate but can be effective in moving the emphasis from product to understanding.
  • Giving students a scaffolding tool appropriate for your assessment criteria to help them to integrate all the information they have found to build a new understanding (see all the Construct resources on the FOSIL Group Resources page)

For more in-depth articles into the educational
theory underlying inquiry, visit our

Epistemology and Learning Memos