Annotated Bibliography



1. Australian Geography Teachers Association (2013). GeogSpace. Retrieved from

I found this site extremely useful, especially the pages “Professional Practice” and “Geographical Inquiry” in the “Support Units” section.  Here, the authors show how Inquiry is interpreted in relation to Geography in the Australian Curriculum, explain the specific nature of “geographical inquiry,” and give many relevant resource links.


2. Australian Library and Information Association, & Australian School Library Association (2009). ALIA/ASLA policy on guided inquiry and the curriculum. Retrieved from

This 2009 policy document, produced by ALIA/ASLA, outlines purpose, principles and vision statements for the use of guided inquiry in Australian schools.  It emphasises the role of the school library and teacher librarian, and is a useful and important reference for planning and promoting guided inquiry within a school.


3. Branch, J. L. (2003). Instructional intervention is the key: Supporting adolescent information seeking. School Libraries Worldwide, 9(2), 47-61.

This resource contains a study of two junior high classes in Canada, each being guided through the information search process.  I chose it because it gives a practical example of how to successfully facilitate guided inquiry, and follows Kuhlthau’s ISP, focussing on cognitive as well as affective behaviours.  The author argues that a certain amount of instruction is needed when guiding adolescents through the ISP, and gives examples of how this can be done in a scaffolded way.


4. Carruthers, C., & Lampe, K. (2011). Taking on inquiry in Iowa. School Library Monthly, 28(1), 14-16.

I chose this resource because it gives examples of how teacher librarians have effectively collaborated with class teachers to give pre-existing units more of an inquiry focus.  The promotion of higher-order thinking through the inquiry process is also discussed, as well as the importance of students developing their own essential questions, and creating authentic projects and/or solving real-world problems.


5. Fitzgerald, L. (2011). The twin purposes of Guided Inquiry: Guiding student inquiry and evidence based practice. Scan, 30(1), 26-41.

This article contains reflections from many NSW teachers about their experiences with guided inquiry.  Apart from these useful summaries, I selected this article as it contains a detailed case study of a guided inquiry with a Year 11 History class.  As well as explaining the stages of the process, the author also evaluated several aspects of the guided inquiry, through observation and use of the SLIM toolkit with students.  Her findings include a need for students to obtain a general overview of a topic, before burrowing through detailed information, as well as a need for further experience in developing their own questions, and dealing with information overload and underload.


6. Kidman, G. (2012). Geographical inquiry in Australian schools: a retrospective analysis. International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 21(4), 311-319.

Kidman points out that, although inquiry learning may be and has been advocated in state and/or national curriculum documents for some time, in reality it has not been commonly practised in Australian schools.  She argues that a major reason for this is the lack of teacher knowledge and interest.  Partially, this is due to Geography not always being taught by specialist Geography teachers, and more importantly, due to lack of training in inquiry learning.  To me, this is further evidence of the importance of class teachers working in collaboration with teacher librarians / inquiry experts.


7. Kinniburgh, J. (2010). A constructivist approach to using GIS in the New Zealand classroom. New Zealand Geographer, 66, 74-84.

This is one of several articles I found relating to inquiry learning in Geography, utilising the Geographic Information System (GIS).  The author explains that although not originally intended as an inquiry tool, this powerful, interactive technology can, however, be adapted well to fit into inquiry learning, as it encourages the construction of meaning and communication through multidimensional interactions.


8. Meyerson, P., & Secules, T. (2001). Inquiry cycles can make social studies meaningful: Learning about the controversy in Kosovo. The Social Studies, 92(6), 267-271.

I found this article very interesting, as it examines a professional development program for teachers, which introduces them to inquiry learning through exploring controversial issues.  Teachers who participated gained a new understanding of inquiry learning from a student perspective, and more fully appreciated the engagement and deep understandings possible.  This kind of program would be a useful,  fun and meaningful way to promote inquiry learning to teachers


9. Roberts, M. (2007). Geographical inquiry: an approach to teaching and learning geography. Interaction, 35(3), 21-23.

Roberts presents her own 4-stage, cyclical model of inquiry related to geography, focussing on: creating a need to know, using data, making sense of data, and reflecting on learning.  She also compares teaching geography in a traditional, transmission approach, with an inquiry approach, at each of these stages, by way of descriptions and a table.  The author emphasises how students are more active in the construction of knowledge, and learn information skills as well as knowledge, through inquiry learning.  This is a particularly useful article for me, as it directly applies inquiry learning to geographical skills and understanding.


10. Sharp, A. (2007). Education of the emotions in the classroom community of inquiry. Gifted Education International, 22, 248-257.

This article is an important reminder of the importance of emotions in inquiry learning.  The author argues that emotions are not only an important aspect of the information seeking process, but that inquiry learning actually helps to develop students’ emotional intelligence.