Inquiry and Research: A Relational Approach in the Classroom

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In our technology-saturated world, all the answers we seek are at our fingertips. Right? Though students might think so, educators know otherwise. But beyond merely helping students find answers to questions, information literacy instruction ought to ignite within students a spirit of inquiry: a discerning curiosity that will spur them to dig deeper when conducting research. Here, Reale outlines such an approach. Showing how to deprioritize tools-based research in favor of encouraging critical thinking, in this book she

  • demonstrates why inquiry is the first step towards deep learning, and why it should begin with asking the right questions rather than finding the right answers;
  • presents strategies for viewing curiosity as a process;
  • shares methods and techniques that will kindle a spirit of inquiry, from discussion questions and reflective journals to one-on-one consultations and classroom workshops;
  • shows how I-Search assignments can offer students valuable guidance and encouragement to think; and
  • discusses how collaboration and communication with faculty can help lead to information literacy instruction that focuses on the conceptual rather than tools.

Filled with numerous examples of inquiry in action drawn from Reale’s own experiences, her book can be a catalyst for cultivating curiosity and enthusiasm in student researchers.


Introduction    Igniting a Spark of Inquiry

Chapter 1    Inquiry Is the First Step
Chapter 2    First, Question
Chapter 3    Inquiry as Stance
Chapter 4    Curiosity as Process
Chapter 5    Inquiry and the I-Search
Chapter 6    Inquiry and Cognitive Apprenticeship
Chapter 7    Inquiry and Learner-Centered Learning
Chapter 8    Inquiry and Reflective Journals
Chapter 9    Inquiry and the One-on-One Consultation
Chapter 10    Inquiry and the Classroom Workshop

Conclusion    Wide-Open Wonder

Michelle Reale

Michelle Reale is a professor and access services and outreach librarian at Arcadia University. Her books include Inquiry and Research: A Relational Approach in the Classroom, The Indispensable Academic Librarian: Teaching and Collaborating for Change, Mentoring and Managing Students in the Academic Library, Becoming an Embedded Librarian, and Becoming a Reflective Librarian and Teacher: Strategies for Mindful Academic Practice. Her research interests are embedded librarianship, mentoring, narrative inquiry, poetic inquiry, and reflective practice.

"[Reale] has written a thoughtful, personal, and practical foundation on which librarians can base their teaching activities and align them with the new conceptualization of information literacy ... An excellent resource for considering the roles of librarians in developing students’ critical thinking skills, sparking curiosity and constructing knowledge, and refreshing librarians’ teaching practices and collaborations with faculty."
— Library Journal (starred review)