In her work on inquiry learning, Carol Kuhlthau is heralded as being the first person to incorporate feelings into a model of the inquiry learning process. Upon reflection, there is a lot more to incorporating thinking, feeling and acting in learning than just identifying the feelings students are having at particular times in the process. Kuhlthau’s model has let me know where in the inquiry learning process my students are most likely to have uncomfortable and negative feelings, and be ready to give up. But more importantly, she has matched these feelings with what the students are doing cognitively at this time.
This will enable me to provide scaffolds, organisers and learning experiences to support my students in their cognitive tasks at these points in the process.
By electing to use these scaffolds, organisers and learning experiences students should be able to reflect, infer, predict or see patterns in their information and therefore technically be in a better, more supported/confident/aware and positive position to make the jump to the next step in the inquiry learning process.
So my role is to have on hand a selection of learning experiences, scaffolds and routines for students to use at various times in the learning process, but especially at those times when their feelings are low and negative.
My learning of and about the inquiry learning process is deepening my understandings of what is involved in the information process and will hopefully lead me to be able to transfer this knowledge in practical and meaningful ways across age groups, grade levels and Key Learning Areas.
Image: “Icelandic Faces”