Carol Kuhlthau’s Information Search Process (ISP) is a useful framework for reflection. As I progressed through the stages I found myself becoming more confident in my searching ability and refinement of questions. Having never critically reflected on how I search for information, it was interesting to see that my feelings through the process changed and evolved. When the task was initiated through my enrolment in Inquiry learning as part of my Masters of Education, I was very apprehensive and unclear how I could undertake the task. My main focus was on the requirement to create a public blog to share with my colleagues. The cognitive load of this task overtook my ability to clarify and create my inquiry questions. The task initiation stage left me feeling apprehensive and out of my depth, making it difficult for me to engage in the task. I needed to research creating a blog before I could begin to contemplate selecting my inquiry questions.
When I developed my initial search questions, I choose questions that were pertinent to my current professional situation and were questions that would support the development of my teaching practice. Selecting the most relevant question to my current situation helped me become more connected to the task and allowed me to start taking actions to move through the search. Searching evolved during the journey and I found that during my exploration, there were links between all of my primary questions and I refined my question to incorporate aspects of each. The Information Search Process was not linear but rather a cyclical model where I moved back and forth through the stages. After going back and forth between selection and exploration, I was confident when I arrived at my final inquiry question; ‘How can early childhood pedagogy support inquiry learning in multi-age classrooms?’.
During the collection and presentation stage, I was more engaged and driven in my search and actually started to enjoy the information search process as well as developing my understanding of inquiry learning. I was getting practical solutions to my search question and this made me reflect on my inquiry journey and understand that I may not get to the end of the long and winding road because learning in never final but that I had found information that had extended my learning and developed my interest. Extending my inquiry, I would like to further investigate the inquiry learning framework and see how it is represented within the Australian Curriculum. Developing this deep knowledge would further support my deep curriculum knowledge and effective pedagogical practices. Inquiry learning has developed my curiosity and I look forward to continuing to navigate the long and winding inquiry road.