Design Thinking Visual

Kinsella, Jason

ID (Inquiry and Design)

An introduction to design thinking. (2018). AARK Group. Retrieved from

This is the best visual I have found related to design thinking. This comes from AARK Group, which a consulting firm, not an educational organization. As teachers, we know the power of visuals, but visuals related to lesson design can often be confusing, especially for students. I think this visual perfectly explains the design thinking process, and teachers may want to use this as a guide when creating a visual to post in their classroom. What makes this visual so effective, in my opinion, is the full circle of arrows, then a smaller, second circle of arrows representing the “Evaluate” stage. This visually explains the iterative nature of design thinking clearly and simply. I have seen some confusing visuals for design thinking out there, but this one represents the idea perfectly.


Community Collaboration for Inquiry Success

Moreno, Mary


Fuller, C. F, Byerly, G. G., Kearley, D. D., & Ramin, L. L. (2014). Community collaboration for inquiry success. Knowledge Quest, 43(2), 56-59.  


As we have discussed during class, it is often the case that one plus one equals three, at least when it comes to collaboration. In this article, the authors describe what was a one community, one book program turning into renewed focus on student performance and developing a stronger workforce with broad information skills. Inquiry skills would be taught K-12, but the partnership also included college and university librarians who would build on and continue the curriculum. What resulted was the Denton Inquiry 4 Lifelong Learning organization. The DI4LL chose Guided Inquiry Design as their model. A new curriculum for K-20 was developed, and teacher librarians learned new methods of providing instruction “throughout the inquiry process rather than just instruction on accessing information and resources.”


What stood out to me in this article is the range of the collaboration. I’ve never heard of K-20 planning before, and I think it is an amazing idea. The authors were honest about some of the growing pains associated with this process: staff found finding time challenging, and shifting perspectives wasn’t always smooth. The group had a can-do attitude, however. Grants were written for additional staff and PD opportunities. The new relationships built through this process promoted success, and the group developed an integrated ID curriculum that librarians are excited about.

Genius Hour

Felix Davila III
RUSH, E. B. (2015). Genius hour in the library. Teacher Librarian, 43(2), 26-30. Retrieved from
In this article, Rush details her approach to developing “Genius Hour” within her school library, noting that approach can be daunting because the purpose of the hour is to allow students to thoroughly research using methods by the librarian for a topic of their choice. The amount of variance may be hefty, but the research time is invaluable for students to become more acclimated to the research process, research methods and progressing through a project with such freedom. Most importantly from this article is Rush’s point that librarians should take care to provide some structure, having at least one physical book pertaining to each topic a student chooses and having a plethora of resources that can advance research goals from a tech perspective too, that way students receive a blended exposure to investigating topics.

This particular article was incredibly important, in my eyes, and it seems to really provide a positive effect on professional goals. During this semester, a class booked the library for a week long project of investigating anxiety, explaining what respectively affects them and how to counteract it or what they do best to handle it. Their research immediately began with running to the stacks, but my library team scrambled together a listing of resources, including websites, apps and community peer support groups that allowed students to supplement their research and find ways to combat their own anxiety. Rush’s explanation is applicable in more ways than just my example, but it goes to show that providing a thin framework from a multitude of sources can go a long way.

The Effectiveness of Inquiry Based Science Education in Relation to the Learners’ Motivation Types

Elyssa Gooding


Škoda, J., Doulík, P., Bílek, M., & Šimonová, I. (2015). THE EFFECTIVENESS OF INQUIRY BASED SCIENCE EDUCATION IN RELATION TO THE LEARNERS’ MOTIVATION TYPES. Journal Of Baltic Science Education, 14(6), 791-803.
This article studies inquiry based learning in science education. The authors found that students fell into 4 different learning types: explorers, directors, coordinators, and accurators. The researchers tested the students before the lesson, after the lesson, and then four months later. The results of the research found that inquiry based learning does not work for all students. The recommendation of the authors is that teachers adjust their teaching to accommodate all four types of learners, which means that inquiry based learning is not the only method they recommend employing.
I found that the conclusions from this study are a little bit of an indictment of teachers who rely to heavily on any one form of teaching. Clearly, inquiry based learning is a helpful part of teaching, but it should not be the only method. If lessons are too heavily structured to inquiry based learning, a portion of the student body will not be successful.

Development of an Inquiry-Based Learning Support System Based on an Intelligent Knowledge Exploration Approach

Elyssa Gooding


Ji-Wei, W., Tseng, J. R., & Gwo-Jen, H. (2015). Development of an Inquiry-Based Learning Support System Based on an Intelligent Knowledge Exploration Approach. Journal Of Educational Technology & Society, 18(3), 282-300.
This article outlines two ways to facilitate Inquiry-Based Learning: the Q&A Model and the Segmented Supplemental Material Model. These models set up a scaffolding for students to improve their IBL through structured knowledge and targeting problems. The models are supported through three learning modules: a web module, Q&A module, and SSM module. The researchers conducted a field experiment testing the efficacy of these models and found that students learned more with the advanced models of Inquiry Based Learning.

The research and methods outlined in this article were well founded and scientifically supported. I found some of the literature review a little confusing and had to reread to understand because the “models” had the same names as two of the three “modules”. I suppose these naming issues could not be avoided, as the researchers were limited by the literature published.

Teaching to Interrogate –A Humanities Research Project


Schmidt, R. K., Giordano, E., Schmidt, G., & Kuhlthau, C. C. (2015.). A guided inquiry approach to    teaching the humanities research project. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.
Summary and Response:
This book is a really comprehensive guide towards introducing a humanities research project as a collaboration between TL and classroom teacher, whereby student, TL, and teacher are “each…a partner to the others” (p.8).  The students are guided through the process of understanding the purpose of the research paper – to draw their own  conclusions by looking at a variety sources from various formats.  Students are provided with a choice of pathways to hunt for information in which they may either begin with reference materials if they already have a  topic in mind or they can begin with magazine articles and examining their own interests in order  to identify a possible topic of cultural significance to research.
Students are guided through how to interrogate types of sources, including 11 questions to ask when looking at primary source, 11 more for a secondary source, and 11 for the tertiary source.  These questions aim to help students build a sense of how to locate bias, understand the influence of perspective, how inclusion or exclusion of information play a role in this, how to interpret user-generated comments, and more.  Ultimately students are also provided with a more extensive set of questions to use to interrogate 16 formats, including pottery, an allusion, a garment, graph, musical performance and so on.  Students are encouraged to look beyond print sources for their research, and they are also encouraged to write their own questions for these and other source formats.  I find these interrogations very helpful myself, and many of the questions they provide for a student examining a pottery sherd are questions I would have done well to consider years ago, not only as a student, but as a teacher.  Reading the questions they pose provides a paradigm for the types of questions one might ask in encountering a variety of artifacts and print genres.
As with the other two books by Schmidt I have read and reviewed here, students are carefully guided through the outlining and organizing of their information into a final product.  Even within this guidance, students are encourage to  find a system for tagging, sorting, and ultimately organizing information that makes the most sense to each individual student.  
Ultimately, the book paves the way for great collaboration between students, teachers, and librarians. There are many aspects of the research process that I recognize in my own process, but have never quite articulated so explicitly to myself.  Her work always strikes a balance between explicit guidance and freedom that I find nearly perfect.  The projects are time-consuming, but if I can find more teachers to collaborate on these projects, I feel it will be really transformative for all of us.

Teaching the Scientific Literature Review: Collaborative Lessons for Guided Inquiry

dTeaching the Scientific Literature Review: Collaborative Lessons for Guided Inquiry
by Randell K. Schmidt, Maureen M. Smyth, and Virginia K. Kowalski

While not the most important, I think my favorite line in the whole book is, “Don’t go crazy with the highlighter.”  Clearly written by people who actually teach kids, this book, like A Guided Inquiry Approach to High School Inquiry, provides an excellent balance between structure and freedom.  Students are guided through a process in which the first access general press article about a subject they are interested in researching.

Even after they have collected the six required gp articles, they are still not required to have defined their research question.  They use these articles to build background and to develop a vocabulary that will enable to navigate a search on a database.  I find this so satisfyingly brilliant after nearly a year and a half of watching teachers tell kids to, “Submit your research question, now!” after only a period of browsing.  We never expect this of ourselves.  Realistically, I frequently hit Wikipedia before engaging in formal or recreational research simply to gather search terms, including famous names in  a field, discoveries, significant historical events, and so forth.  Then I go about searching gp articles, and, if I am doing formal or professionally-oriented research, I will comb peer reviewed literature. They are guided through the process of highlighting, hence the exhortation at the beginning of this post, and annotating.  Using these articles, students are required to generate a reference list that is graded early on in the process, ensuring they understand how to use and double check EasyBib so they can continue adding to this list throughout the process.  In addition, students are required to keep track of search terms as they go.  I created a document to assist students in doing this as they go.

Students are guided through the process of writing an introduction, searching for and taking notes on peer-reviewed articles, researching in the collection stage and presentation stage, writing a methodology, creating a table, writing an abstract, crating a title and completing the cover page and much more.  A sample and an empty graphic, such as the one that follows helps students track studies for their methodology section:

 Study 1
 Study 2 
 Study 3
Study 4
 Study 5
 Study 6
 Questions driving study
 Groups studied
 Findings-Results of Each Study
 How was the study analyzed:  (Why did the  researchers think they found what they found?)
(include any omissions)

This graph is what students will use to analyze their research.
I love these books because they provide structure and guidance that allows students to teach themselves content and ready themselves for college.

Compassion and Structure

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Compassion and Structure


Tascha Folsoi

GIORDANO, E. E., & SCHMIDT, R. p. (2014). Structured Comprehensiveness and Compassion in Guided Inquiry. School Library Monthly30(7), 30-32. ISSN  2166160X
This article discusses the important roles both compassion and structure play in the teacher librarian’s work with students.  The authors of this piece discuss their work in guiding a group of ninth grade students through a year long Scientific Literature Review (SLR) Project using a highly structured curriculum, unstructured time, and compassionate relationship between librarian and student.  Their highly structured curriculum, comprised of 22 workshops, was designed using the Information Search Process model set forth by Carol Kuhlthau. The compassionate nature of the relationship was built by a consistent “trusting response to the student researcher’s needs.” A priority of this process was teaching students to identify how they learned best, so they could move from a utilizing dependent relationship with the librarian to becoming a confident, independent researcher who will ultimately present their expertise to others.

The authors noted that working together with a student on a research project has an equalizing effect between educator and student because they are often working together to discover information about a topic that they both need to learn more about.  Unlike the traditional classroom where a teacher has a set of standards or information over which they (believe they) have mastery, the student is not trying to catch up to the teacher or librarian.  The student is encouraged to develop his or her own expertise and to perceive the librarian as a compassionate guide in this process.

I am very drawn to this writer’s work.  I work really hard to make kids understand the spirit of compassion I feel towards them.  Sometimes other teachers will suggest that I am perhaps enabling students, that they have to learn to do these things for themselves.  I do think that it is hard to know how to balance being a source of compassionate help and having clear expectations that students develop the skills they need to execute the work independently.  Consequently, I purchased a book by this author as I am curious what these workshops entail.  I am hoping that they will provide ideas as to how to negotiate that balance, so I can provide the type of support that is valued but less needed by the students as time goes on.  I want to build relationships with these students while helping them to achieve independence so they can go to college and handle the work.  Students mentioned in this article stated that they had gone to college and in fact found themselves better prepared to handle the research demands than many of their peers.  They attributed their savior faire to the experience with this ninth grade SLR.  I hope to collaborate with teachers at my school to help our students achieve the same.