Effective learning teams
For inquiry and Making to be successful, multiple people need to be involved. Roles are fluid with every educator willing to be called upon to fill any role as needed.
School librarians play a critical role in the design and implementation of inquiry and Making units. Skilled at curating resources and conducting reference interviews, they act as coaches and guides as learners curate their own resources and develop their own inquiry questions. This makes the school librarian an essential co-teacher in the process as students explore content, ask questions, develop an inquiry question, and gather sources. In order to help educators and learners succeed, school librarians should be prepared to meet educators where they are with preparedness, enthusiasm, flexibility, and classroom management. With the inclusion of Making in the inquiry process, school librarians are an essential member of the instructional team as learners design and create artifacts.
Additional Team Members
The instructional team may also include others, such as counselors, special education and gifted educators, EL educators, administrators, district personnel, and community members. These individuals may work with small groups, present expert information, help scaffold for all learners, and provide feedback on learner presentations.
Classroom educators act as the learners’ guide through the inquiry and Making process. They bring grade specific content knowledge and expertise to the unit design, ensuring that standards and learner needs are met. They may also fill roles such as building background knowledge and addressing content gaps.
Each class has a unique culture and a set of norms that will affect the inquiry and Making process. Educators bring a knowledge of classroom dynamics, strategies, and responses to implementing this framework. Educators will approach inquiry and Making from varied backgrounds and perspectives.
The principal sets the tone for inquiry and Making by establishing expectations for participation and supporting success. They provide professional development resources, training for educators, and collaboration time with the school librarian. This ensures the structures needed for successful GID + Making, such as growth mindset and learner voice and choice, are valued within the school’s culture. The principal can also offer valuable insight into which educators to approach for an inquiry and Making team.