Are you an A+ Educator?

“What we find changes who we become.”
Peter Morville

Past searches such as Google were known data bases where I was able to successfully, easily and quickly find a vast array of information. In a way, you were immersed in a wide variety of information and needed to sift through and explore, which was overwhelming for me personally. Using the A+ Education data base was something new. I found myself exploring different search terms and found the thesaurus feature useful in helping me refine the relevant search terms.The use of the thesauri tab in A+ Education enabled me to think of synonyms for science. This led to recognition of some more curriculum based terminology for my expert searches.

As Kuhlthau reminds me “research matters.” This mind map is reminiscent of the deeper thinking about Guided Inquiry. I have been trying to identify and decide which direction to take when reading, sifting and sorting articles found when conducting these expert searches. Some other related terms that could have been considered are problem-based learning, research-based practice and synonyms such as curious minds.

Figure 1: The Mind Mess Map

Figure 1: The Mind Mess Map

Kuhlthau writes about the Guided Inquiry Process and uses the image below to help explain the phases. I find myself in the explore stage ready to move into the identify stage of the Guided Inquiry Process. The need to redefine and question my searches and reasoning in order to “go deep” and as Kuhlthau states “choose the most useful sources to read closely as they find connections and gain personal understanding” (2012, p. 4) has been achieved through using A+ Education.

Figure 2: The Guided Inquiry Process

Figure 2: The Guided Inquiry Process

The Expert Search

As can be seen in the table below the use of previously used search strings and Boolean operators was in some cases unsuccessful. In reflection it is important to know and understand the nuancesof each database. This is an important learning moment as this added additional frustration to me during this time of exploring and is one reason as to why I spent so much time in this one phase.

Figure 3: Expert Search using A+ Education Database

Figure 3: Expert Search using A+ Education Database

The following four articles will be used in the Annotated Bibliography due to the connections they made with the inquiry process and curriculum subject areas. Articles that have references to known Guided Inquiry researchers such as Dr Ross Todd held greater value than others, hence their inclusion. The Five W’s of web site evaluation and aspects of the CARS model were being used concurrently when scanning and sorting the information during this phase. Dr Ross Todd gave credibility due to his reputation. The date of publication was also important as it demonstrated up to date and current information. Due to this database being used by a tertiary institution, it made me feel that there was a higher level of accuracy, I felt supported by QUT, making me think these sources were more objective than those found via Google.

Green, Gary. Inquiry and learning : what can IB show us about inquiry? [online]. Access; v.26 n.2 p.19-21; June 2012. Availability: <;dn=193381;res=AEIPT&gt; ISSN: 1030-0155. [cited 28 Aug 13].

McLean, Ian. Taking the plunge : guided inquiry, persuasion and the research river at Penrith Public School. [online]. Scan; v.30 n.4 p.26-35; November 2011. Availability: <;dn=189318;res=AEIPT&gt; ISSN: 0726-4127. [cited 28 Aug 13].

Purnell, Ken and Harrison, Allan. Inquiry in geography and science : can it work? [online]. Geographical Education; v.24 p.34-40; 2011. Availability: <;dn=191137;res=AEIPT&gt; ISSN: 0085-0969. [cited 28 Aug 13].

Sheerman, Alinda. Accepting the challenge : evidence based practice at Broughton Anglican College. [online]. Scan; v.30 n.2 p.24-33; May 2011. Availability: <;dn=189075;res=AEIPT&gt; ISSN: 0726-4127. [cited 28 Aug 13].


Kuhlthau, C.; Maniotes, L. and Caspari, A, (2012). Chapter 1 : Guided Inquiry Design: The Process, the Learning, and the Team. In Kuhlthau, C.; Maniotes, L. and Caspari, A, Guided inquiry design : a framework for inquiry in your school, (pp.1 – 15). Santa Barbara: Libraries Unlimited.


3 thoughts on “Are you an A+ Educator?

  1. Michelle I love the mind map you have here! The way you have linked all the terms has proven to be affective with the use of colour. Great work!!

    I have some suggestions for you. It is up to you if you would like to take these and make alterations.
    -1st Para, 2nd sentence: You may like to add a comma after way and explore. When I read this I pause after these two words. It could be just me though.
    -1st Para, 2nd last sentence: You might like to delete the was.
    -2nd Para, 1st sentence: full stop after matter.
    -3rd Para, 1st sentence: change above to below.
    -3rd Para, last sentence: You may want to change the wording at the beginning and the end. Suggestion would be ‘The need to redefine and question my searches’ and ‘is what has been achieved when I used A+ Education.’
    -4th Para, 2nd sentence: know needs to be changed to known. other needs to be changed to others. And you may want to put a comma in there to break it up a bit. Maybe after others.
    -And last one. 4th Para, last sentence: Maybe you might want to add a comma or two after institution and QUT.

    Overall Michelle you have performed a thorough search using A+ Education. Some of the resources that you have selected for your annotated bibliography are great and it is evident they have assisted you in your understanding of Inquiry Learning in a Primary School Science Classroom.

    You have also provided me with some useful ways of presenting tables and mind maps that I know will assist me in my understanding of Inquiry Learning. So thank you.

  2. Hi Michelle, I tried clicking on your highlighted A+ Education but it did not take me anywhere. Thought you might like to know so you can make changes if needed. Sounds like a great database. Great article.

  3. Michelle, I really like the layout and design of your blog overall, I found it easy to navigate through this site and the relevant links to other pages is an excellent use of one of the main benefits of blogging. I hadn’t thought of creating categories for each requirement, I think this is a really effective way of providing fast links for the marker and reader to find the relevant posts.

    I have made a similar suggestion to Stacey in using links within the page. Your external links open within the same page; this means that your reader leaves your blog to explore the link and they may have trouble getting back to you. If you want your links to open in a new tab or window, highlight the link in the editing page in the Dashboard, click on the link icon in the tools area, and in the pop-up window check the box next to “Open link in new window/tab”. This way your reader can open your links in a new tab, but your post stays open and you don’t lose their readership.

    Your writing style and introduction work well to present complex analyses in a succinct and clear way for the benefit of the reader. It displays a consideration of the reader, and allows for a wider readership. It’s also great to follow your thought processes which help guide the reader through each section of your post. I wish I had the same skill as you in presenting academic ideas in an easy-to-read style and language.
    Thanks for sharing a fantastic post!

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