This book focuses on inquiry-based teaching, one of the five vital aspects of the instructional work of school librarians identified in the second edition of the IFLA School Library Guidelines (2015). Effective implementation of inquiry-based teaching and learning requires a consistent instructional approach, based on a model of inquiry that is built upon foundations of research and best practice.
The book explains the importance and significance of inquiry as a process of learning; outlines the research underpinning this process of learning; describes ways in which models of inquiry have been developed; provides recommendations for implementing the use of such models; and demonstrates how the other core instructional activities of school librarians, such as literacy and reading promotion, media and information literacy instruction, technology integration and professional development of teachers, can be integrated into inquiry.
Inquiry-based learning is part of “learning to be a learner,” a lifelong pursuit involving finding and using information. Inquiry develops the skills and understandings that learners need in new information environments, whether that be as students in post-secondary institutions, as producers and creators in workplaces, or as citizens in communities.
Through inquiry-based teaching, school librarians help students to build the essential skills and understandings needed for dealing with complex learning challenges, including analysis, critical thinking, and problem solving. In this book, special attention is given to the development of students’ metacognitive abilities, which are essential to their becoming life-long and life-wide learners.