Knowing what scholarly resources
are available and being able to use
them effectively

This is the stage people often identify as ‘Research’. The focus should be on finding relevant, appropriate and authoritative resources and gathering information to answer the 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 may 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 non-reputable resources and to copy-and-paste answers they do not understand is a (perceived or real) lack of readily available suitable resources.

Consider

  • Having a quick go at the inquiry from a student’s perspective well before it starts, to check that appropriate resources are available and accessible
  • Working as a Teacher-Librarian collaborative team before the inquiry begins to address resourcing, discuss who will teach them how to access subject specific resources, both print and online, and discuss who will teach them how to identify a reputable source, particularly online. California State University’s CRAAP test (readily available online) can be a very useful starting point.
  • Giving the class an age-appropriate Investigative Journal (see resources to the right) to encourage them to think about how they are planning to use the information they gather and to record their sources.

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

Epistemology and Learning Memos