After reviewing the plethora of information process models I am finding myself going through the same process as our students! The uncertainty that Kuhlthau asserts is necessary for the construction of personal knowledge is being evidenced first hand. Unfortunately I do not have a kindly teacher to be my soundboard, to make things clearer and guide my approach as I refine my practice.
Nevertheless, I have found that all of these models have merit and some make more sense than others in particular contexts. The Research Cycle, Focus on Reading, Guided Inquiry, Big6 and all the other variations have many similarities. The old cliche is true – the devil is in the detail. I think that there is great merit in the emphasis of metacognition in the information seeking process. This reflects the new Australian Curriculum’s focus on thinking about thinking and thinking about learning. It also marries well with my current Primary School’s Focus on Reading strategies; Comprehension, Reading and Vocabulary Enrichment (CRAVE) strategies and Mathematical Problem Solving Strategies.
For me, in my current context as a Teacher Librarian, attempting to implement collaborative programming where possible, where teachers are willing to collaborate on shared programs, the simplicity of the Big6 and the revised, Super3 appeals. Like most models, it has a sound metacognitive development framework and can easily incorporate more affective dimensions, similar to Guided Inquiry. Big6 and Super3 require the TL to explicitly instruct students at their zone of proximal development. It is also non-linear which means that specific steps in the process can become a focus if there is an identified need. This approach is also consistent with the New South Wales Department of Education and Training’s, Information Process Model.
The simplicity of Big6 and Super3 means that I may be able to extend collaborative programming beyond those few teachers who are willing to collaborate on research-based projects. I think that the principles are easy to promote to the Principal and other teachers and tracking transference of skills can be achieved. By showing teachers (through action research), the contributions that Big6 and Super3 can make in student writing, planning and organising throughout school learning, enough evidence should be gained to implement it inside AND outside of the library.