ERIC Number: EJ1045932
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Reference Count: 0
Real-Life Research: Project Runway Makeover Model
Jaeger, Paige; Nesi, Olga M.
Knowledge Quest, v43 n2 p60-63 Nov-Dec 2014
Real-life research is incredibly varied. We research cars. We research lawn problems. We research child behavior problems, health issues, possible vacation destinations, and prices to stretch our budgets. No two scenarios are ever alike, and no two health issues should be assumed to be the same. That is reality, and that is a picture of what the Common Core State Standards call "real world problems." So if real-world problems are never the same, why are so many research activities designed in a one-size-fits-all fashion? Why do students have to fact-fetch for fill-in-the-blanks, when they have been asked to "solve real-world problems" and "research to build and present knowledge"? These low-level no-thought "research" tasks have got to go, and school librarians could be hosting lunchtime professional development shows dubbed "Research Project Runway Models--Let us make over your unit." School librarians should be in the transformation business. They should be transforming old information units into student-centered, inquiry-based learning adventures that encourage students to build knowledge, rather than merely collect information. The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) call for rigor and relevance, and fill-in-the blank research packets are neither rigorous nor relevant. A "packet" is a teacher's assignment and a teacher's creation. When teachers embark on student-centered inquiry-based research projects, assignments become learning adventures, rather than information packets that have to be completed for a grade. When research is performed with the goal of sharing knowledge, the purpose is more than a grade. Only through teachers' letting go will students be empowered to define direction and investigate. The authors provide five steps designed to help teachers make over their research packets.
Descriptors: Student Research, State Standards, Relevance (Education), Inquiry, College Readiness, Career Readiness, Educational Practices, Assignments, Educational Change
American Association of School Librarians. Available from: American Library Association. 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611. Tel: 1-800-545-2433; Web site: http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/aasl/aaslpubsandjournals/knowledgequest/knowledgequest.cfm
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A