ERIC Number: EJ900966
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Reference Count: 3
Nudging toward Inquiry: Awakening and Building upon Prior Knowledge
Fontichiaro, Kristin, Comp.
School Library Monthly, v27 n1 p12-13 Sep-Oct 2010
"Prior knowledge" (sometimes called schema or background knowledge) is information one already knows that helps him/her make sense of new information. New learning builds on existing prior knowledge. In traditional reporting-style research projects, students bypass this crucial step and plow right into answer-finding. It's no wonder that many adults--including many librarians--harbor memories of "boring research." Research is boring when it is disconnected from students' lives, yet utterly fascinating when it connects to what they know. In some schools, it will be effective to awaken existing prior knowledge by reminding students of what they already know. KWL charts, created by Ogle (1986), are the best-known method of awakening existing knowledge. Often, it cannot be assumed that prior knowledge exists. Building prior knowledge--creating intentional learning activities that can give that strong foundation and level the playing field for all learners--then becomes imperative. Building prior knowledge can also help identify flawed assumptions or misconceptions. In this article, librarians, educators, and readers share their strategies for developing and assessing prior knowledge in their students.
Descriptors: Prior Learning, Intentional Learning, Student Research, Motivation Techniques, Learner Engagement, Learning Strategies, Learning Activities, Inquiry
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A