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4 Generative Questioning Frameworks: Teaching Strategies and Techniques

4 Generative Questioning Frameworks: Teaching Strategies and Techniques

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38



Pathways into Information Literacy and Communities of Practice



Table 2.4 Generic questioning frameworks

7 Ws and H

KWL (Barell, 2008, p. 72)



Why?

Which?

When?

Where?

Who?

What?

What if?

How?



KWHLAQ (Ogle, 1986)



What do I know?

What do I want to know?



What do I know?

What do I want to know?



What have I learned?



How do I find out?

What have I learned?

What action will I take?

What new questions do I have?



An inquiry can be initiated by posing an essential or big question. A

question is essential when it:

• causes genuine and relevant inquiry into the big ideas and core content;

• provokes deep thought, lively discussion, sustained inquiry, and new

understanding as well as more questions;

• requires students to consider alternatives, weigh evidence, support

their ideas, and justify their answers;

• stimulates vital, ongoing rethinking of big ideas, assumptions, and

prior lessons;

• sparks meaningful connections with prior learning and personal

experiences;

• naturally recurs, creating opportunities for transfer to other situations

and subjects. (Wiggins, 2007)

Examples of essential questions that address the human condition

include:

• What is a true friend?

• Who is entitled to own what?

• What should we fear?

• Must heroes be flawless? (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005, pp. 105À106)

Often these types of essential questions are posed by the teacher to

initiate the inquiry; however, Jackson (2013) in a KÀ12 context advocates

for the generation of questions by students. She calls the types of essential

questions above as “heart wonders,” i.e., questions you can answer with

your heart and mind. She contrasts “heart wonders” with “research wonders,” i.e., questions that you can look up in books, magazines, on the

computer, or by observing. She makes a further distinction between selfquestions (e.g., Shall I get another pet?) and world questions (e.g., What

can I do about global warming?).



Inquiry Learning: A Pedagogical and Curriculum Framework for Information Literacy



39



Wiggins and McTighe (2005, pp. 105À106) also suggest a range of

essential questions that address disciplinary topics, such as:

• In what ways is algebra real and in what ways is it unreal?

• What is the difference between a scientific fact, a scientific theory, and

a strong opinion?

• To what extent is US history a history of progress?

• To what extent does art reflect culture or shape it?

Particular disciplines have subdomains that generate questions; for

instance, in geography, a range of questions can be asked that relate to different perspectives:

• spatial (e.g., What are the consequences of its location and

associations?)

• humanistic (e.g., What are my perceptions of this place?)

• environmental (e.g., How suitable are current management practices

in caring for this environment?)

• cartographic (e.g., What is the intent of the cartographer in producing

the map?)

• global (e.g., How is my world interlinked by economic, social, political, cultural, and environmental factors?)

• political (e.g., Who has power in a particular place?) (ACARA, 2011,

pp. 121À122)

Other disciplinary questions relate to the ways that information and

data are gathered and evaluated. The disciplinary questions can incorporate the generic frameworks (e.g., 7 Ws and H). For instance, in history,

documentary sources are interrogated by asking questions such as:

• What is this document?

• What does it show/say?

• Who created this document?

• When was the document made?

• How is the document being used?

• What event, issue, or decision is depicted or represented in the

documents?

• Who was involved in this event, issue, or decision?

• Why did this event happen?

• Why was this decision made?

• Was the issue resolved?

• What impact did the event, issue, or decision have? (Library of

Congress, nd).



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Pathways into Information Literacy and Communities of Practice



Some questions are underpinned by critical information literacy. They

interrogate the power relations, assumptions, and ideology behind the

source by asking questions such as “Who benefits?”, “Who is silenced?”,

and “What are alternative arguments?” (Mills, 2016). For instance,

Lowen (1999, p. 428), presents 10 questions to ask at an historic site that

take a critical perspective:

1. When did this site become a historic site? (When was the marker or

monument put up? or the house “interpreted”?) How did that time

differ from ours? From the time of the event or person

commemorated?

2. Who sponsored it? Representing which participant group’s point of

view? What was their position in social structure when the event

occurred? When the site went “up?”

3. Why? What were their ideological needs and social purposes when

the site went “up?” What were their values?

4. Who was/is the intended audience for the site? What values were

they trying to leave for us today? What does the site ask us to go and

do?

5. Did they have government support? At what level? Who was ruling

the government at the time? What ideological arguments were used

to get the government to acquiesce?

6. Who is left out? What points of view go largely unheard? How

would the story differ if a different group had told it? Another political party? Race? Sex? Class? Religious group?

7. Are there problematic words or symbols that would not have been

used today or by other groups?

8. How is the site used today? Do continuing rituals connect today’s

public to it? Or is it ignored? Why?

9. Is the presentation accurate? What actually happened? What historical sources tell of the event, people, or period commemorated at the

site?

10. How does this site fit with others that treat its era? What other people and events happened then but are not commemorated on the

landscape? Why not?

A further set of questioning frameworks help guide the stages of the

inquiry process. Table 2.5 outlines the questions that are asked at each

stage of the inquiry in the information process (NSW Department of

Education and Training, 2007), the inquiry process (Brunner, nd), and

the inquiry circle (Gourley, 2008). The questions relate to the topic of



Table 2.5 Inquiry learning questioning frameworks

Information process (Brunner, nd)

Inquiry process (NSW Department of

Education and Training, 2007)



Inquiry circle (Gourley, 2008)



Defining

What do I really want to find out?



Tuning in

What do I know about this topic?



What is my purpose?

Why do I need to find this out?

What are the keywords and ideas of

the task?

What do I need to do?



Locating

Where can I find the information I

need?

What do I already know?

What do I still need to find out?

What sources and equipment can I

use?



Pose real questions

What do I want to know about this

topic?

What do I know about my question?

How do I know it?

What do I need to know?

What could an answer be?



Find resources

What kinds of resources might help?



What do I know about my question?

What do I need to know?

What could an answer be?

What are the phases of the inquiry process?

What are some of the possible ideas about the

topic that I am interested in?

How do I know it?

What am I feeling?

How are my feelings likely to change during

the inquiry process?

Finding out

What kinds of resources might help?



Where do I find them?

How do I know the information is

valid?

Who is responsible for the information?



Where do I find them?

How do I know the information is valid?

Who is responsible for the information?



What other information is there?



What other information is there?

(Continued)



Table 2.5 (Continued)

Information process (Brunner, nd)



Selecting

What information do I really need

to use?

What information can I leave out?

How relevant is the information I

have found?

How credible is the information I

have found?

How will I record the information I

have found?



Inquiry process (NSW Department of

Education and Training, 2007)



Inquiry circle (Gourley, 2008)



Interpret information

How is this relevant to my question?



What search words/approaches are most

useful?

What am I feeling at this phase about my

inquiry?

How can I deal with these feelings in ways

that will enhance my success?

Sorting out

What information is relevant to my questions?



What parts support my answer?

How does it relate to what else I know?



What parts support my answers?

How does it relate to what else I know?



What parts do not support my answer?



What parts do not support my answer?



Does it raise new questions?



Does it raise new questions?

What am I feeling about my inquiry at this

phase?

How have my feelings changed since

beginning my research?



Organizing

How can I use this information?

Have I enough information for my

process?

Do I need to use all this

information?

How can I best combine

information from different

sources?

Presenting

How can I present this information?

What will I do with this

information?

With whom will I share this

information?



Report findings

What is my main point?

Who is my audience?

What else is important?

How does it connect?

How do I use media to express my

message?



Going further

How might I organize my information and

ideas?

What is important to know about the

presentation format I am using?

How do I know when my research is

finished?

How do I feel about the amount of

information I have collected?

What am I feeling now that I must create a

product to share?

Am I satisfied with my creation?

Making conclusions

What is the main point I wish to make?

Who is my audience?

(Continued)



Table 2.5 (Continued)

Information process (Brunner, nd)



Assessing

What did I learn from this?

Did I fulfill my purpose?

How did I go with each step of the

information process?

How did I go presenting the

information?

Where do I go from here?



Inquiry process (NSW Department of

Education and Training, 2007)



Inquiry circle (Gourley, 2008)



How does it connect to what we are

studying?

How do I use media to express my message?

What would I do differently in my next

presentation?

What am I feeling at this phase?

How do I feel about my audience’s response?

Taking action

What have I learned about my topic?

Why is it important to engage in inquiry

activities?

What have I learned that I can use elsewhere?

How have my feelings changed throughout

the inquiry process?

What was the highlight of this inquiry?



Inquiry Learning: A Pedagogical and Curriculum Framework for Information Literacy



45



the inquiry, selection, and evaluation of information, evaluation of each

stage of the process, and reflection on the feelings experienced at each

stage. The inquiry cycle is the most holistic model as it incorporates the

largest variety of questions.

The questions relating to information literacy relate to finding, selecting, analyzing, and evaluating information, e.g.,:

• Topic analysis: What are the key words and ideas?

• Locating: Where can I find the information I need?

• Searching: What search terms are useful?

• Evaluating: Is the information relevant, valid, reliable, credible?

• Interpreting: What parts support/don’t support my answers?

• Organizing: How will I record the information? How might I organize the information?

One limitation of the question frameworks outlined in Table 2.5 is

that they are not comprehensive in relation to information literacy. For

instance, they should be augmented with concepts such as the ethical use

of information and conventions regarding referencing and citing.



2.5 GENERIC, SITUATED, TRANSFORMATIVE, AND

EXPRESSIVE WINDOWS

Inquiry learning and information literacy can be framed within four windows: generic, situated, transformative, and expressive (Lupton, 2008;

Lupton & Bruce, 2010). The inquiry questioning frameworks, process

models, and information literacy standards and frameworks fit within the

windows. The windows can be used to explicitly design curricula that

encompass each of the windows.

Generic: The generic window sees inquiry and information literacy as

a set of neutral generic skills and processes that can be applied regardless

of the context. The information seeking, inquiry, and research process

models described in Table 2.1 are examples of a generic framework. The

information literacy standards models (AASL, 2007; ACRL, 2000) are

examples of a generic approach that sees information literacy as a set

skills, abilities, and characteristics of the learner.

Situated: The situated window sees inquiry and information literacy as

situated in social, cultural, and disciplinary contexts. Disciplinary

approaches to inquiry learning influences the type of research questions

and hypotheses that are posed, the research methodology, the nature of

the data and information gathered, and the critically evaluative questions



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Pathways into Information Literacy and Communities of Practice



used to interrogate data, information, and methodological processes. For

instance, in an analysis of disciplinary differences in inquiry in KÀ12 curricula (Lupton, 2012), I found that scientific inquiry involves gathering

data via experimental methods with the outcome of scientific inquiry

being the construction of evidence-based arguments. Historical inquiry

involves source work, where primary and secondary sources are gathered

and interrogated for accuracy, content, and perspective. The outcome of

historical inquiry is the construction of historical narratives. Geographical

inquiry involves a range of methodological approaches from science and

social science. It employs theoretical perspectives such as sociocultural

approaches. The outcome of geographical inquiry is to suggest and take

action. Thus, even at the KÀ12 level, each discipline used different methodological approaches, involved different epistemological approaches,

used different sources of data and information, and were aimed at a different outcome.

Transformative: The transformative window sees inquiry and information literacy as empowering and emancipatory. A transformative inquiry

curriculum is political and aimed at social action. Information is examined through questioning power and agency. Transformative inquiry is

commonly seen in geographical investigations that examine geopolitical

and environmental issues. An example is the case of fourth graders in the

US state of Kentucky who conducted a campaign to save Black

Mountain (Powell, Cantrell, & Adams, 2001). In history, information is

evaluated using critical perspectives such as those exemplified in the questions to ask at an historical site (Lowen, 1999). Feminist theory and queer

theory are other critical perspectives that inform transformative inquiry.

Expressive: The expressive window sees inquiry and information literacy as an expression of oneself and as developing self-awareness and identity. It is exemplified in the “heart wonders” and “self questions”

advocated by Jackson (2013). It incorporates using creative and artistic

formats to express personal learning (AASL, 2007).



2.6 IMPLEMENTING INQUIRY LEARNING

The components of the inquiry process (questioning, information literacy,

and research cycle) need to be carefully planned. The questioning process

is crucial to all stages of inquiry, as without the question frameworks,

inquiry can simply replicate traditional term papers. Likewise,

information-seeking tasks that are not situated within an inquiry



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