Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What does Inquiry look like?

I've been sitting in on planning meetings with schools and in an effort to focus planning on Big Ideas, key concepts and competencies we created a document that sets out the stages of an inquiry. Obviously it will be different from school to school depending on the language you use to describe inquiry, but in practical terms it defines the teaching that generally occurs at each stage. It also states the level of teacher / student control. For example, during the focus / knowledge attack stage teaching is more traditional and teacher led.

Inquiry Planning Template Inquiry Planning Template Heath Sawyer .
The practical implementation of a 10 week inquiry unit.


  1. I like the layout! It's amazing to see so many different takes on the inquiry model. I might show our team the progression broken down into weeks. We've had trouble making sure we pace it by using 'milestones'.

    Has your school got your own personalised inquiry model? - something we're in the early stages of.

    Thanks for the tip!

  2. I love your references to teacher-led or co-constructed activities. I created something similar a few years back which is a bit dated in relation to e-learning tools, but may be still relevant. http://centre4.core-ed.net/modules/file/file.php?space_key=12596&module_key=51398&link_key=39889&group_key=0

    I like some of the resources from Sharon Friesen - especially her Inquiry rubric which looks at elements of Inquiry such as authenticity, academic rigor, assessment and appropriate use of technologies - amongst other things.

  3. Thanks for posting this. It is always good to see a fresh progression of the process as you see it. I know a couple of teachers at my school who would find this helpful as it reinforces the importance of basing the inquiry on a really big key concept or idea. I have also developed similar more specific overviews of inquiry units with the students to help them manage their time, learning and remain focused on the purpose. Sometimes if you don't, you miss out that key deep reflection at the end which is really crucial.

  4. I have seen a model from Rangiora Borough School that extends this brainstorm. It includes the possible ICTs to be used at each stage and has a section for 'Kid Speak'. I'd like to extend their model further by making it a linkable document to online tools and documentation for teachers to reference during their inquiry.