Monday, September 18, 2017

Guide Inquiry? Why?

Why did we choose Guided Inquiry Design? Why not just Inquiry Design?

Well, simply put Kuhlthau's studies showed a need for intervention and guidance when students were using multiple resources to learn.  There was also indication of a great need to shift the traditional assignment design to more clearly match the students experiences- and so the inquiry process of GID was born. But the guiding part is a little more fuzzy. Kuhlthau explains that intervention requires a balance between too much and too little.  The timing of that intervention is pretty important, as well.

Adapted from Vygotsky's ZPD Kuhlthau describes the zone of intervention in inquiry learning. "The zone of intervention is that area in which an information user can do with advice and assistance what he or she cannot do alone or can do only with difficulty. Intervention within this zone enables individuals to progress in the accomplishment of their task.  Intervention outside this zone is inefficient and unnecessary, experienced by users as intrusive on the one hand and overwhelming on the other." (Kuhlthau, 2004)

As teachers of inquiry we want to be efficient and effective when guiding students through the process.

Rogoff (2003) talks about guided participation. She says, "children learn as they participate in and are guided by the values and practices of their cultural communities." It includes "social partners."  Guided is "meant to include but go beyond interactions that are intended as instructional."  It focuses on the side-by-side arrangement.  It's participating in a community of practice.

Guided Inquiry is meant to occur within an Inquiry Community.  This is the community of practice for inquiry-based learning.

Teachers can guide by

  1. Structuring children's opportunities to observe and participate 
  2. Structuring direct interaction
  3. Recounting, elaborating, and listening to narratives
  4. Practicing and playing within routines and roles (Rogoff 2003)
We GUIDE inquiry by designing opportunities for students to observe and participate in the learning. We GUIDE by designing student-to-student interaction as well as teacher-student interactions into our plans.  We GUIDE by offering opportunities for students to reflect and elaborate on their thinking as well as co-construct with their peers. And, we GUIDE through the phases as children engage in practicing - they Explore ideas, Identify questions, and locate, evaluate, and use information to learn in Gather, in these ways they participate in the community of practice of the Inquiry Community.

Inquiry is guided through the intentional design of the learning sequence. It is guided through our daily actions of listening to our students to provide "advice and assistance" in that zone, that will take them from where they are right now onto the next level.

Guides can constrain, but they also provide the best opportunities for taking the work to a higher level, that which one cannot do alone...

So, Guide on you Inquiry Sherpas! 

Shout out to my friend Heather Hersey for that title  (She's the Original Inquiry Sherpa)
Leslie Maniotes, PhD

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