The inquiry cycle

Kath Murdoch's 'phases of inquiry' (see Murdoch's website) has inspired the development of an 'inquiry' cycle for teaching and learning through inquiry. While there are many variations of this cycle, they all feature the same broad elements:

Tuning In
The 'tuning in' or 'preparing to find out' phase is where connections to the subject matter are first made. At this stage, teachers will aim to find out what children already know, what their previous experiences are and even any initial questions they have.

Finding Out
At the finding out stage, children are engaged in research around the area of inquiry. A research cycle, or other information literacy approach may be incorporated into this section.

Sorting Out
reviewing information, analysing information, looking for patterns and generalisations,

Going Further
Planning further inquiries, searching for more information,

Drawing Conclusions
Sythesising and reflecting

Taking Action
Sharing and presenting findings, teaching others, taking action based on what has been learned to make a difference.

Futher Reading
Murdoch - What makes a good inquiry?
An overview of the Integrated Inquiry planning model (Kath Murdoch)