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E&L Memo 2 | Focus on Inquiry: Reflections on Developing a Model of Inquiry

Dianne Oberg | May 2, 2021

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Comments [2]

  • Darryl Toerien 3 months ago
    It is curious that you mention this, Elizabeth, because Jenny and I (Library) happened to meet with Joe Sanders (Politics) on Monday to discuss how we might best sum up what, in many ways, is the collaboration that most fully reveals what FOSIL is. I mention this here because in the meeting Joe said that all of his teaching is now framed through FOSIL. This is what it means to have adopted inquiry as a stance, which is how you then approach teaching, regardless of whether it is an inquiry or not. Jenny and Joe are going to start by mapping the curriculum content of the A-Level Pressure Groups inquiry unit against FOSIL inquiry learning skills. They will then look to mapping the curriculum content of other units against FOSIL inquiry learning skills, even where those units are not inquiries, which will help to illustrate how it is possible to frame teaching through inquiry without all of your teaching being an inquiry. For reference, the two relevant Topics in the Forum are: (1) Pressure groups inquiry (A-Level Politics) https://fosil.org.uk/forums/topic/pressure-groups-inquiry-a-level-politics/ and (2) Essay planners (A-Level Politics) https://fosil.org.uk/forums/topic/essay-planners-a-level-politics/. Also, a search for "Politics" in the Title field of Resources - https://fosil.org.uk/resources/ - will bring up the inquiry journal and associated graphic organizers, which will also shed some light on the difference between framing teaching though inquiry and, when appropriate, teaching through an inquiry. This also means that the nature and rhythm of the collaboration between the library and the classroom will change over the course of the year, and from classroom to classroom.
  • Elizabeth Hutchinson 3 months ago
    A really interesting read Dianne, your journey has been truly fascinating to follow. Much of what you have written rings true with me but one part jumps out which I would like to focus on which is this - "In Canada, for example, a year’s work in social studies or history will be divided up into four to six units of study. In my experience, spreading the work of an inquiry projects over most of the time devoted to a unit of study results in the most satisfactory outcomes for the students and also for the teacher and the librarian". I have never really thought about focusing on a teacher's whole curriculum for the year as I am usually focused on a one hour lesson or if I am lucky a project over a few weeks. How this would change if the teacher would be willing to use the whole year to embed FOSIL throughout several projects. This would really give us time to focus on and build on different skills throughout the year. I would be fascinated to see how this would work. Are there any examples of this I wonder?

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