Foundational Concepts

  • Elementary student writing at a desk.

    Conceptual Knowledge Necessary to Implement GID + Making

    Educators and school librarians participating in this grant identified that an understanding of the six foundational concepts described below is foundational to the successful implementation of GID + Making.

    1. Learner-Centered Inquiry

    In a Guided Inquiry Design® unit, each learner develops a unique inquiry question that connects their personal interests to the established classroom curriculum. Learners may progress through the inquiry process at varying speeds and may need to revisit previous phases of the process as their knowledge expands. It is imperative that all educators be thoroughly trained to implement the inquiry process.  Prior to embarking on a GID + Making unit, Norman Public Schools educators learn the inquiry process in an intense 3-day training. This professional development is foundational to ensuring success when Making is added to the learning environment.

    Student using a 3D pen to create a skyscraper model. 2. Learner Voice and Choice

    Learners’ personal experiences, perspectives, learning preferences, interests, and passions are encouraged and valued. Learners have options regarding how they meet learning standards. A focus on individual learner voice and choice promotes an inclusive learning community that values input from all participants. 

    Three teachers at a table, collaborating on an instructional unit.

    3. Collaboration and Co-teaching

    Collaboration and co-teaching involves mutual responsibility for instruction and assessment with the learning team actively planning, preparing, and reflecting on learner needs and the learning process. In a co-taught unit, all educators are accountable to all learners.

    4. Makinghigh school girl measuring wood and using a calculator in a makerspace

    In this framework, Making is a process in which learners design a unique product that integrates personal interest with their inquiry study. It is iterative, requires problem solving and risk taking, and can include a variety of low and high tech mediums. Making is inclusive and gives all types of learners the opportunity to stretch themselves and provides new avenues to success.

    boy looking for electronic parts in a drawer

    5. Exploring and Tinkering

    When learners have time to experiment and play with Maker tools before they begin a project it reduces cognitive load and allows them to focus on their inquiry, rather than the tools themself. Educators should not assume that learners will have experience with even common materials, such as Legos or clay. Learners of all ages need time to explore not only the potential, but also the limitations of different media. Educators also need opportunities for Maker learning where they experience disequilibrium, explore, and tinker.

    Teacher conferencing with a student as they look at a laptop screen. 6. Learner Conferencing

    Conferencing with learners is critical when assisting learners as they navigate GID + Making. Teacher-student conferencing is beneficial as learners gather information, as they identify their question, and as they determine how they will demonstrate their learning through Making. During conferencing teachers probe student thinking, discover problems and misconceptions, and offer specific and personalized feedback. Conferencing works best when it is a shared responsibility between all educators on the inquiry and making team. With appropriate scaffolding, student peer conferencing can also provide valuable insight for learners.