After spending the last two years teaching children through a Guided Inquiry approach for the first time I feel like I am actually working through the Inquiry Cycle myself. As part of my TL course I will eventually have to analyse my growth and reflect on how my beliefs have changed.
The more I read the more I realise that I am moving through the cycle and experiencing feelings, thoughts and actions that the children in my class were participating in whilst they were trying to construct meaning. To help explain this I have used Kuhlthau‘s Information Search Model which provides a framework upon which to scaffold my development so far. Within this model there are 7 process stages; initiation, selection, exploration, formulation, collection, presentation, and assessment.
Initiation. My initiation was on going for quite some time. I was very keen to become our school’s TL but knew that I did not initially have the knowledge or skills to take the role on. Being lucky, my Head Teacher and Senior Leadership Team offered me the chance to take on the role even though I was not qualified or have/had the slightest idea what the role really involved. I think I probably had quite a romantic view…. stacks of beautiful children’s books, keen readers, story times and a quiet working environment with autonomy. It was at this point that I initiated further study. If I was to be a great TL then I needed to be qualified and able to affect the teaching and learning within our school. After all if the main job of a school is learning then the main job of the TL is to positively affect that learning in a variety of ways. At this point I felt uncertain in my own capabilities and uncertain as to what might be required from me. The last time I had taken on a course of this magnitude I had failed the first assignment and then decided it was not for me…I was determined that this was not going to happen this time around. I opted for 2 modules not really realising what the work load whould be.
As the first assignments and modules became available, although I still wanted to continue with the course and really wanted to be a TL I began to lose sleep over the work and felt anxious. My thoughts remained vague and as I read through the forums I became more worried. Everyone seemed to be more knowledgeable and eloquent than me. My views appeared to be simplistic and that the other students were much more sophisticated in their thinking than I was.
The modules and assignments had been selected for me, however I did feel that I had selected too much. I had initially selected 2 modules to begin with.
I am already getting anxious about these as I feel it will be too much work because of the new job and time constraints. I have inquired into halting one module and picking it up next semester…watch this space! Kuhlthau claims that students feel optimism around this stage. I am not feeling optimistic but still feel over whelmed and anxious. Perhaps this is because I feel I have selected too much and don’t really have any selection over the assignments or modules. I have been seeking relevant information,just as the students in her studies did and hopefully whilst this exploring is taking place I will see and feel a change in myself over the coming weeks.
Just starting. I’m confused and full of doubt but need to find a focus and start making sure that I am up to date with all the modules. Up dates to follow.