The three librarians at my school (ES/MS/HS) spent the last few months thinking about the research process, what it looks like at the school (kind of a mess), and how we can improve it.
Our biggest problems:
Each of the libraries takes a slightly different approach (mostly variations of the Big 6)
Just because the library has a process, doesn't mean teachers are using it.
Thus, students are getting conflicting messages/approaches to research (when they get one at all). I wouldn't say confusion reigns, but it's definitely mounting a campaign.
As a bit more background, the tech integrator and I ran a prototype of a collaboratively planned unit with the grade 9 science team last spring (Prototype: 90% sure it's not what the final will look like; Pilot: 90% sure it is). The planning team involved all the grade 9 science teachers, me, the integrator, learning support and the enrichment coordinator. As you can guess, it grew a bit unwieldy with so many people, and we had WAY too many meetings, but some good things came out of it and next year, as a pilot, each department is mandated to plan one unit a year with the entire support team.
What does that have to do with our research problems?
We took a long, hard look at Carol Kuhlthau's Guided Inquiry model, a key element of which is using learning teams of three to guide students through the inquiry process. It seemed like a natural fit!
Thus, beginning in fall, the three libraries will concurrently run a formal action-research pilot of what the guided inquiry process would look like at our school, then use those findings (presumably!) to push for school-wide adoption of the model.
Since this is action research, we need to document the planning and the process, which seems as good a reason as any to start blogging again after my overly-long hiatus!