Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Whole School Information Literacy asking a 'good' question

I now have 5 teachers signed up to use the CWICER framework. English, Art, Music, History and ICT. We have had the approval of the Senior Management Team and my colleague has spoken to Head of Departments about it. We have had a little resistance, mainly from teachers who do not use the library correctly or who do not see the benefit of it. I am hoping that the enthusiasm of the teachers who will be using the framework will rub off on the the others.

The next stage is to meet with all the signed up teachers and find out which project they are planning to use and help them to create a good research question. This will enable me to:-
·  Find out what resources the teachers already have and hopefully add them to the library catalogue.
·  Tell them about resources we already have that they did not know about.
·  Be more involved with the students in helping them find the resources that will be useful.


Creating the 'good research question' has been really enlightening to me. I have always taught that the students need to pose a question rather than just have a broad subject but since having a conversation with Darryl Toerien from Oakham School I have begun to realise how important it really is. It made me start thinking about Googlable and Non- Googleable questions.

Examples of what makes a good question:-

Who is Charles Darwin? - A very open question that is very difficult to answer.  The answer will be cut and pasted from Google as the question can be put into Google.

What does .....Journal tell us about Charles Darwin? - A better question as the student at least has to go and find the journal that was asked about in the question but it does not make the student think for themselves.

Does .....article prove that Charles Darwin was an Atheist?  This question does not only make the student read the article in the question but also makes them look for other evidence to prove or disprove that Darwin was an Atheist.

I like thinking about good research questions, it’s difficult but if there are any good examples for younger students out there then let me know.