Inquiry is a complex process of constructing personal meaning, applying critical thinking skills, solving problems, creating understanding, and questioning. 

In its truest form, the inquiry process requires an individual to look deeper and beyond the obvious, examine information for validity, point of view and bias, and construct meaning from all of these endeavours.

Effective application of an inquiry model can transform novice learners into interdependent and independent learners, confident of their information power.

Together for Learning, p. 25. (OSLA 2010)

Explore the T4L vision for Discovery and Guided Inquiry, including practical ideas for implementation on pages 23-26 of the print document, or on the corresponding page in this webiste: Discovery and Guided Inquiry.

See Appendix A (The Inquiry Process) of Together for Learning for more information about the Guided Inquiry cycle.

Ideas for Discovery and Guided Inquiry in the Learning Commons

Ideas   Examples & Resources
  • Infuse appropriate technology into the inquiry process. E.g., Durham District School Board's Five Cogs: Technology at the Point of Learning, Technology at the Point of Instruction, Technology in Professional Practice, Digital Citizenship, and Technology as a Doorway to Information.
  Primary Doorway to Information.pdf
Gr 4-12 Doorway to Information.pdf
  • Establish a skills continuum to support the integration of guided inquiry skills into teaching and learning.
  Durham DSB Information Literacy Skills Continuum
  • Make connections on your library website to to relevant tools at each stage of the research process.
  Durham DSB Learning Commons

Waterloo Region DSB Library Learning Commons: Research Process
  • Engage students in digital literacy skills throughout the process.
   MediaSmarts: Digital & Media Literacy

  • Focus on explicit instruction for Nonfiction Writing to support the Inquiry process. Scaffold student learning to consider the purpose, audience, writing form and medium for non-fiction writing that demonstrates their inquiry-based learning and research projects.
  WRDSB Libraries: Writing Non-Fiction

Non-Fiction Writing Forms.docx
Writing Plan.pdf
Digital Fieldtrips.docx
  • Create Knowledge-Building Centres so teachers can collaboratively develop and instruct from a virtual space and learners can also work and learn together.
  Knowledge-Building Centres

Inquiry Untethered
  • Prepare and present workshops and share information pieces for principals and staff on Inquiry, emphasizing learning that is self-directed and highlighting a process that is transferable through the grades.
  • Link teacher to Ministry initiatives that support inquiry. Make the connections between Ministry initiatives and the guided inquiry process.
  Capacity-Building Series
What Works? Research Into Practice

  Use Leading Learning standard, Cultivating Effective Instructional Design to Co-Plan, Teach and Assess Learning (p. 15) to frame inquiry strategies.
  Use the Leading Learning standard, Fostering Literacies to Empower Lifelong Learners (p. 17) to prioritize instructional strategies.