Does Guided Inquiry enhance learning and metacognition?


  • Lee FitzGerald School of Information Studies Charles Sturt University



Guided Inquiry, Information Search Process, Guided Inquiry Design Process, metacognition


Research carried out at Loreto Kirribilli, a Catholic independent secondary school in Sydney, Australia, in 2014 demonstrates that Guided Inquiry scaffolding enhances learning and metacognition. Students undertaking the Historical Investigation in Year 11 develop an interest in an area of Ancient or Modern history, explore it, develop an inquiry question, and answer it in an essay. The Ancient History class was scaffolded by Guided Inquiry curriculum design and support, while the Modern History class conducted their investigation independently. Deep learning was evident in the questions asked and the answers written in the Ancient History essays. There is evidence of a difference in quality in the questions asked and answered by Modern Historians. It would appear that the scaffolding of Guided Inquiry has enhanced learning, while recognizing the effect an excellent teacher has on already high achieving students. Ancient history students also demonstrated a high level of metacognition in their reflections.

Author Biography

Lee FitzGerald, School of Information Studies Charles Sturt University

Sydney University: B.A. Dip. Ed. (English and Modern History) UTS, Sydney: Graduate Diploma in Library Science
Australian Catholic University: Master of Education (Curriculum)

Lee FitzGerald joined Charles Sturt University School of Information Studies in January, 2014, following a long career as a teacher librarian in school libraries. She has a passion for teacher librarianship and the burgeoning theory and practice of Guided Inquiry. Her research interest is to confirm the growth of deep learning through inquiry, as well as the transferability of the process from one subject area to another, which she is investigating with Dr. Kasey Garrison. He book for ABC Clio in the Guided Inquiry series, tentatively entitled: Implementing Guided Inquiry in a time of Global Curriculum Reform is due for publication in 2016.