By Judith Wells Lindfors

This exploration of kid's "inquiry" - what it's, the way it develops, and the way it contributes to kid's studying - will help easy and language academics to appreciate, have fun with, and foster kid's inquiry in school rooms. during this quantity, the writer introduces a theoretical framework for knowing kid's "inquiry" language, now not as linguistic varieties (questions), yet as verbal exchange acts during which the kid brings one other into the act of sense-making. by way of studying those "inquiry acts", the writer goals to discover new percentages for the certainty of the way little ones study and the way tachers can foster their studying in study rooms, category routines, examine findings, lecture room episodes, and the author's personal reflections.

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Extra resources for Children's Inquiry: Using Language to Make Sense of the World (Language and Literacy Series (Teachers College Pr))

Example text

Jill and her mother also express relationshipsto each other and to the construction of knowledge. Their experience of many similar inquiry conversations in the past has built shared expectationsabout their respective roles as inquirer and inquirer's helper in inquiry events such as this one, about how certainty and tentativeness are expressed, about how initiating and responding moves are carried out. Notice that although Jill is the partner with lower status in this asymmetrical relationship, in this kind of situation it is accepted as appropriate that she assume a dominant role, directing the discourse and vehemently rejecting her mother's information.

It is possible to consider the expressive forms Jill and her mother use. Our usual expectation is that inquiry acts will be in question (interrogative) form. Often they are, as in many of Jill's turns in this conversation. But often they are not, as in Jill's #14, #16, and #20. As is so often the case with children's inquiry, Jill's expression of what she knows is certainly as impressive as her expression of what it is that she is trying to figure out. Her inquiry acts are possible because of what she knows already.

Turtles lay eggs. 20. JILL: Nuh uh! 21. MOTHER: They do. Go ask Daddy. They do! Purpose. Clearly a major purpose for Jill throughout this episode is inquiry: to engage her mother's participation in her own attempt to understand her world. Jill's overarching purpose is to find out more about the "home life" of various animals she is familiar with. Each turn is slightly different in its specific purpose and advances the conversation in a slightly different way. Jill's purpose in #2 seems to be to resolve a sensed contradiction between the imaginative situation pictured in the book and the real-world situation she knows.

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