Tag Archives: Kuhlthau

Guided Inquiry


I really like Kuhlthau’s approach to teaching 21st century learners through guided inquiry, particularly the instructional team approach. Including and making the most of all the expertise in the school community enriches and adds value  to the teaching and learning process. Working in an IB school, I see this practice occurring to a degree.  Teamwork and collaboration is encouraged between teachers and curriculum coordinators, parents and community members when working on given units of inquiry. Unfortunately, these instructional teams don’t always include library staff, but when they do there is great success. Each year, in one school, librarians work with year 7, 8 & 10 teachers on, what Eisenberg would call “Big Juicies”, information rich research projects.

Although the idea of extended teams assisting students with guided inquiry is excellent, I can see how the practical application can be fraught with issues e.g., clashing time tables, time poor teaching staff, under staffed and under resourced,  if collaborative practice isn’t supported or endorsed by the school.

Kulthau’s Information Search Process (ISP) really resonates with me particularly as I feel I am “living the experience” doing this course. I know how I feel at the beginning of an assignment, how daunting all the information is, how overwhelming it can be and I can understand how some students would, like me, want to give up or lose interest. It is important to have a scaffold to guide you through the learning process and it is encouraging to know that feelings and thoughts experienced are normal. I feel I have consolidated my understanding of the learning process. Learning is individual and personal, we construct knowledge at our own pace and we go through highs and lows in the process. As a novice teacher, I am beginning to realise the importance of capturing students during these moments or stages, to guide and get them back on track. I like the approach of regular intervention, continual self assessment and evaluation and can see great value in the implementation of the SLIM survey toolkit.


Kuhlthau, C. C. (2004). Learning as a process. In Seeking meaning: a process approach to
library and information services (2nd ed.) (pp. 13-27). Westport, Connecticut: Libraries Unlimited.

Kuhlthau, C. C. (2012). Information Search Process. In Carol Collier Kuhlthau. Retrieved from http://comminfo.rutgers.edu/~kuhlthau/information_search_process.htm

Kuhlthau, C.C & Maniotes, L. K. (2010). Building guided inquiry teams for 21st-century learners. School Library Monthly, 5, 18-21