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Education: Inquiry : Ontario Inquiry Model K-12

What is inquiry-based learning?

Inquiry is the process of formulating questions, exploring and evaluating information, analyzing and synthesizing data, organizing ideas, and communicating findings and conclusions.

Inquiry-Based Learning:

  • Is driven by questions of interest rather than general topics.
  • Emphasizes asking good researchable questions.
  • Coaches students as they go.
  • Develops information literacy skills by through demonstration, practice, and feedback.
  • Draws on expertise of the instructor / teacher librarian to model effective inquiry.
  • Assesses student progress in developing inquiry skills as well as understanding of content.

In Ontario K-12 schools, research projects are organized around the four stages of discovery and guided inquiry as outlined on page 23 of the 2010 Ontario School Library Association document Together for Learning: School Libraries and the Emergence of the Learning Commons. Take a look at an example of an inquiry-based project about the Titanic. There is also a new Social Sciences and Humanities Research and Inquiry Process created by the Ontario History and Social Sciences Teachers' Association.

What research model should I teach my students?

The Ontario School Library Association created a 4-part research model in the document Together for learning: School libraries and the emergence of the learning commons: A vision for the 21st century. Teachers can follow the stages in this model to teach the research process to students in kindergarten through to grade 12:

OSLA inquiry model

 

 

Stage 1: Exploring

 

Stage 2: Investigating

 

Stage 3: Processing

 

Stage 4: Creating

Stage 1: Exploring

Students explore by Initiating the inquiry, choosing an appropriate and personally engaging topic, and developing deep questions around the topic chosen (Together for Learning, 2010, p. 24).

Stage 2: Investigating

Students investigate their topic by designing a plan for inquiry, finding sources and selecting appropriation information, and formulating a clear focus (Together for Learning, 2010, p. 24).

Stage 3: Processing

Students process what they have found by analyzing the information, evaluting their ideas and those from selected information, and organizing and synthesizing findings (Together for Learning, 2010, p. 24).

Stage 4: Creating

Students create knowledge by making products that present the results of their inquiry, assessing thier product and the process they use to construct it, and extending and transferring their learning to new contexts and inquiries (Together for Learning, 2010, p. 24).

Last Updated: 11 September 2014

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