Models, Models & More Models

To try and make sense of all my searching experience  I have collated all the information and inquiry models I encountered:

From Meehan and Petriwskyj’s (2007)  article Investigating Science and Technology



From Kuhlthau, Maniotes & Caspari’s Guided Inquiry: Learning in the 21st Century

From Heider’s (2009) article Information Literacy: The Missing Link in Early Childhood Education, accessed through the QUT library

From Morris (2004) article Interacting in Science in Early Childhood – A ‘Project’ Approach, accessed though the QUT Library.



  • Lind’s (1998) Naturalistic Experiences, Informal Experiences and Structured Experiences.
  • Metz’s (2011) scientific design principles from her article Young Children Can Be Sophisticated Scientists accessed from the QUT Library:

1. Scaffold relatively rich knowledge, emphasizing big ideas that transcend the topic being studied.

2. Engage children in purposeful scientific inquiry, with the goal of discovery and understanding.

3. Teach science processes and methods in the context of “doing” real science.

4. Manipulate both the size of the student groups working on scientific inquiry and the extent to which the curriculum presents the inquiry in “well-structured” form instead of asking students to undertake the design themselves.

5. Build knowledge and responsibility to the point where pairs of students who are at the same level academically assume primary responsibility for their own investigations.

And scale of reasoning:

Phenomenon-based reasoning, the most naive level, consists of simply “making observations about the world, either looking carefully at things or trying to see what happens.”

Relation-based reasoning, the next level, means reasoning about correlations among variables, though it assumes a straightforward, one-to-one relationship between outcome and cause and thus does not consider the possibility that more than one factor could affect the situation.

Model-based reasoning, the highest level, entails developing theoretical models or systems that aren’t limited to actual observations or variables.

And lastly a link to many, many, many more models…


While in comparison the models include many of the same elements, I believe my own searching experience mirrors most closely that supplied by Morris in her article. Particularly the detail about reflecting on what I knew before the exploration and specific teacher/class discussions and interactions. I also sought the “view of experts”; in this case one of my school’s teacher librarians and was able find three relevant books to add to my collection of resources. Also, interestingly, while I usually search for current literature from about 1995 to the present, the model that Morris shows is adapted  from an 1984 model. Perhaps, in some cases, quite old information can be relevant when it is built upon to improve our understanding about the past, present and the future.

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