Enriching students’ intellectual diet through inquiry based learning

Power, Bernadette M. (2012) Enriching students’ intellectual diet through inquiry based learning. LIBRI - International Journal of Libraries and Information Services, 62(4), pp. 305-325.

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Traditionally, Science education has stressed the importance of teaching students to conduct ‘scientific inquiry’, with the main focus being the experimental model of inquiry used by real world scientists. Current educational approaches using constructivist pedagogy recognise the value of inquiry as a method for promoting the development of deep understanding of discipline content. A recent Information Learning Activity undertaken by a Grade Eight Science class was observed to discover how inquiry based learning is implemented in contemporary Science education. By analysing student responses to questionnaires and assessment task outcomes, the author was able to determine the level of inquiry inherent in the activity and how well the model supported student learning and the development of students’ information literacy skills. Although students achieved well overall, some recommendations are offered that may enable teachers to better exploit the learning opportunities provided by inquiry based learning. Planning interventions at key stages of the inquiry process can assist students to learn more effective strategies for dealing with cognitive and affective challenges. Allowing students greater input into the selection of topic or focus of the activity may encourage students to engage more deeply with the learning task. Students are likely to experience greater learning benefit from access to developmentally appropriate resources, increased time to explore topics and multiple opportunities to undertake information searches throughout the learning activity. Finally, increasing the cognitive challenge can enhance both the depth of students’ learning and their information literacy skills.

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ID Code: 55069
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Inquiry based learning, Inquiry learning, Information literacy, Science education, Secondary education, Middle school
DOI: 10.1515/libri-2012-0024
ISSN: 0024-2667
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > LIBRARY AND INFORMATION STUDIES (080700) > Library and Information Studies not elsewhere classified (080799)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Secondary Education (130106)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Curriculum and Pedagogy not elsewhere classified (130299)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators (130313)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Past > Schools > School of Cultural & Language Studies in Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Walter de Gruyter
Copyright Statement: The final publication is available at www.degruyter.com
Deposited On: 22 Nov 2012 06:15
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2013 22:17

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