My literature search has resulted in me focusing on three main areas.

  • Projects specifically involving the design and building of a pushcart (my ILA project)
  • Inquiry learning in science or design technology in primary schools
  • The role of the teacher-librarian in assisting with inquiry learning projects.

My bibliography combines resources from each of these three focus areas.

Abd-El-Khalick, F., BouJaoude, S., Duschl, R., Lederman, N. G., Mamlok-Naaman, R.,

Hofstein, A., Niaz, M., Treagust, D. and Tuan, H.-l. (2004), Inquiry in science education: International perspectives. Sci. Ed., 88: 397–419.

This set of papers from an international symposium discuses issues directly relating to inquiry learning within science. It looks at issues in the light of inquiry both as means (i.e., inquiry as an instructional approach) and as ends (i.e., inquiry as a learning outcome). Although it is disscusses secondary science classrooms I thought it would be give an excellent over arching view of inquiry-learning from a variety of countries. As a teacher-librarian I was particularly interested in the section: ” Images of the enactment of inquiry in the curriculum, curricular materials, classroom instruction, and assessment practices” as I thought this would be useful for making recommendations for future practice when analysing my ILA.

Beattie, G. & Ryan, F (1994) Technology, Transport ,Energy And The Environment …

Today and Tomorrow. Into The Future:-an integrated technology, science and environmental education kit. The Victorian Country Education Project.

Despite the age of this kit I thought it contained useful information relating to the teaching of inquiry based projects. Particularly interesting was the initial framing up approach to a topic that was the same as our questionnaire for CLN650 and that which we did with our ILA:- What do you already know, What would you like to know etc. There are also well set out activities that are specific and appropriately worded for primary school level that could be a model for teachers to use and support what I will include as part of my recommendations for future practice in the analysis of my ILA.

Donham, Jean.(2011) Assignments Worth Doing. School Library Monthly, 28 (2), 5-7 3

Donham examines how school librarians need to be vigilant in challenging students on a deep cognitive level. Even though it is not specifically about science it can be easily related to inquiry learning across all curriculum areas. Of particular interest was her emphasis on moving beyond “superficial fact-gathering” tasks which has been a topic of discussion amongst the CLN650 group in relation to ILAs. She discusses a guide to deep learning through inquiry whichschool librarians can use with teachers to design assignments and assessment criteria that I thought would be

Egret584 (2010) Best Practices; 2nd Grade Inquiry Based Science. Youtube video clip

            This video documents second grade students who are adept at applying higher level thinking skills to the scientific process. It is an excellent example of inquiry learning which includes examples of question types and questioning techniques; generating hypotheses; experimentation; recording observations and reporting results. These are all processes I observed students in my ILA completing and the comparison of the different approaches is valuable. It also demonstrates using students as experts, and collaboration which came up as points for consideration after the ILA students completed their first questionnaire. So, not only does it parallel aspects of my ILA it also addresses inquiry learning in the science classroom, a very valuable resource.

Kids’ Design Challenge (2012)

This resource is the web page for the Kids’ Design Challenge which runs the Technopush Project which is the topic for my ILA. It provides all the details necessary to be involved in the project including registration, tips, expert help and showcases from previous years. A detailed teaching plan is sent out once you have registered.

McLean, Ian (2011) Taking the plunge: guided inquiry, persuasion and the research river at

Penrith Public School. Scan; 30 (4), 26-35

McLean’s motivation in writing this article was to present his findings from a guided-inquiry collaborative journey at Penrith Public School. He had initially attended professional development sessions with Ross Todd and Lee FitzGerald in 2010 and was keen to implement more fully Carol Kuhlthau’s ‘Model for the information search process’ (ISP) at his school. This related directly to everything we had been reading and discussing with regards to inquiry learning. Also the content and context was Australian primary school specific relating to the K-6 syllabus. From a teacher-librarian perspective I was very interested to see how he had used the SLIM toolkit and a weblog and generally incorporated the use of ICTs into the inquiry learning process.

Milne, Ian (2010) A Sense of Wonder, Arising from Aesthetic Experiences, Should Be

the Starting Point for Inquiry in Primary Science Science Education International, 21 (2) 102-115

Milne in this article expresses his personal belief in the need for both students and teachers to operate from a point of wonder or awe when learning /teaching about science in primary school. What was pertinent to my research however was a table provided that introduces, “Creative Exploration” an inquiry based model for teaching and learning in primary science. He describes this as a co constructive inquiry learning approach. Although this probably requires further exploration I thought the distinction he made between “doing science and learning science” was pertinent to my ILA.

Prevost, E.J. (2010) Developing a culture of inquiry in elementary schools:

The role of the teacher-librarian.

Prevost’s masters’ dissertation provides an overview of Inquiry-Learning and outlines her personal journey towards it. It examines the inquiry process in elementary (primary) schools and the benefits to all the educational stakeholders. She also outlines what is required to develop a culture of inquiry-based learning and how best to collaborate with others. It is written in a reader friendly style and is very suitable to my aim of learning how to better assist others with inquiry-learning in their classrooms as it is almost like a ‘how to’ manual. The background story of her personal journey is also very appealing as aspects of it mirror my own.

Quigley, C. , Marshall, J.Deaton, C.Cook, M, & Padilla, M.(2011) Challenges to

Inquiry Teaching and Suggestions for How to Meet Them Science Educator; 20 (1) 55-61

This peer reviewed article claims inquiry has been a goal of science education for decades. Of particular interest to me was how it described four major challenges facing teachers as they implement inquiry based teaching:-“including measuring the quality of inquiry, using discourse to improve inquiry, pursuing the goal of teaching content through inquiry methods, and learning how to effectively manage an inquiry classroom.” The authors go on to provide an analysis of these issues and provide implementation strategies.

Vassila, H., King, J., & Foster, L. (2008) How can teacher librarians support technology

learning? Scan 27 (2), 15-18

This article ticks all the boxes for my requirements; it discusses specifically how science and technology is best taught within the NSW syllabuses and describes the methodology of project work that is used. This process of teaching fits in with inquiry-based learning models and the part that particularly caught my eye in the abstract was, “teacher librarians are valuable teaching partners to enhance technology learning… especially when students are exploring, defining, analysing and organising information for the project task.” The specific skills that a teacher-librarian can bring to the classroom are described and valued.

Yax, Kerrie (2012) Kerrie Yax’s followed topic posts.

This! website site is an amazing link to a large variety of resources, articles, lesson plans, webinars and tools that will prove useful not only for this course of study but also for my teaching practice. It covers such a wide variety of topics relevant to both inquiry-learning and science including:- Flipping and Expanding Bloom’s Taxonomy; 100 Coolest Science Experiments on YouTube; Mrs. Yax’s Science Websites; Curiosity in the classroom; Visual Interactive Blooms of web 2.0 tools; Project-based learning. And the list could continue. This is probably the most valuable resource I have found that I will continue to use into the future.


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