This is the stage people often identify as ‘research’. The focus should be on finding relevant, age-appropriate and authoritative resources, and gathering information in response to the broad inquiry question. This stage will often throw up new questions as students start to Construct a deeper understanding of their topic and should be characterised by a movement from “confusion, frustration and doubt” towards “clarity, direction and confidence” (Kuhlthau, 2004). Students are likely to need help to persevere in the initial stages.
It is vital to consider resourcing in inquiry design, and teacher / librarian collaboration has traditionally centred on this stage. A major source of frustration for students, which pushes them towards unreliable resources and to copy-and-paste answers they do not understand, is a (perceived or real) lack of suitable and readily available resources.
Students can become confident and motivated to pursue their investigations (and, in fact, future learning) when they are taught social and emotional competencies along with the cognitive skills of inquiry. Students can begin to recognize, respect, and empathize with the diverse perspectives, opinions, and cultures that surround them, both within school and in the larger world. In that process of discovery, students clarify their own perspectives and develop confidence in their own ability to learn.
Wonder ← Previous | Investigate | Next → Construct
Kuhlthau, C. C. (2004). Seeking meaning : a process approach to library and information services. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.