At this stage I am wanting to consolidate my understanding of what guided learning is, and link it to my history curriculum context. I decided to initially investigate the concept of guided inquiry, and straight away found links between the concept guided inquiry and the work of teacher librarians. In addition one of the first links was the role of guided outlined in the ASLA guidelines. (Although the link was invalid as the ASLA website is currently being developed further.) Another link which was interesting was a PowerPoint about practical application of guided inquiry within library settings. While this PowerPoint was linked to old Victorian curriculum standards and not Australian Curriculum standards, it still gave me some insight into the practice of embedding guided inquiry theory through an Information Research Process.
Another link which was also both reasonably current and also once gain practical ideas was a slide share presentation from a Cairns Conference on Guided Inquiry.
An extremely fruitful search in terms of developing my understanding of the concept of guided inquiry, and also suggested practical implications for my current teaching practice.
While this first search was productive for my second search I decided to be a little more specific. Using Google again my search this time was “guided inquiry” and “early years” and Kuhlthau and history”.
For my second search in this area I added quotation marks to look at the difference that this makes in terms of search results. This is where I found my digital footprint. My first two results were actually links to my word press blog for this unit. A number of the following links were links to books I could buy on the subject, and outlines of university subjects which I could undertake., as well as blogs written by previous students of the Masters in Teacher Librarian course. It was interesting to look at those blogs and compare it to where I am right now on my journey.
While some interesting links I decided to look at the same search using Google Scholar as the previous search did not really provide me with any more information in regards to my goal. A quick look at Google Scholar was not very successful in terms of my end goal. At this stage I felt that it was important to step out of my comfort zone and take a look at other databases, which are available to me.
The first I used was A+ Education. I wasn’t feeling very confident in terms of my search terms using this database simply because I haven’t used the database a great deal. My first search was guided and inquiry and Kuhlthau and Australian and curriculum. This search provided me with two hits. The first Curriculum Perspectives provided me with link to an abstract about a book held in the library by Ross Todd. The abstract mentions how Guided Inquiry can be developed in a meaningful way in schools to enable learners to develop information literacy skills in line with Kuhlthau’s information search process. This link is definitely worth following up both in terms of my own information journey, but also for my current classroom practices.
I decided to refine this search further by looking at a similar focus but including the context of the primary school. This search proved to be very fruitful indeed. In particular the search provided me with access to an article which outlined the journey undertaken by a teacher librarian in Penrith, Sydney “Taking the plunge: Guided Inquiry, persuasion and
the research river at Penrith Public School”, and how he was able to integrate his knowledge of Kuhlthau’s information process, using the SLIM toolkit developed by Todd, and also being used by me for the first time as part of the expectations of this unit, Information Nexus. Lots of information here that can help me on my journey.
I am beginning to realise that I have actually made my own information literacy journey over the course of this Master’s course more difficulty by not accessing the databases available in the university library on a regular basis. Should I have done this subject earlier in the course, would I have made life easier for myself?
To finish off this search session I decided to take a look at the ProQuest Education Journal database, a database that I have actively used in the past and had success with.
My initial search was not fruitful at all.
I adapted my search to include the following this search gave me 64 hits, with reference to both Australian and overseas examples of guided inquiry, and Kuhlthau’s information on search processes. This search was definitely fruitful and provided me with resources that I can use for both my information journey and my own ILA guided inquiry unit in my classroom this semester. Looking back at my searches using a variety of different databases during this session, I am certainly gaining insight into the limitations and strengths of different databases. In particular the use of Google or Google Scholar while convenient and easy in terms of gaining lots of information about a broad range of topics, the use of databases such as A+ Education and PRoquest Journal led me to information which was more directly related to my original search goal. The use of databases such as these also “forces” me to be very specific in my search terms, and made me stop and think about what the true purpose of my search journey is. Through this search process I now have a number of resources that I wish to add to my annotated bibliography.