Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


This study describes best practices employed by successful teacher librarians in adopting and implementing an inquiry learning model within their schools and the obstacles overcome in doing so. It focuses on seven teacher librarians in the Grant Wood and Mississippi Bend Iowa Area Education Agencies who have completed their master's degrees or hold state licensure, and have at least one year of teaching experience. Participants took part in hour-long face-to-face, semi-structured interviews, and provided documentation of a lesson or a unit they have taught utilizing their school's inquiry learning model. After transcribing rich data from the interviews, the researcher coded it using the following themes derived from topics in the professional literature or emergent from the data: professional development, collaboration, practice, connection, schedule, support, flexibility, questions, relationships, communication, common language, curiosity, and Common Core. This range of themes illustrates the complexity involved in implementation of an inquiry model on a school or district-wide basis.

Teacher librarians at schools that gained the greatest benefits from implementing an inquiry learning model discussed the importance of support from their administration, flexibility in when they were willing to collaborate with teachers, using the model as a common language for research within their school, beginning inquiry research with higher order thinking questions, building positive relationships with classroom teachers and administrators, communicating to parents through websites and social media, and understanding the connection between the Common Core State Standards and inquiry based research. The majority of the teacher librarians interviewed found ways to work around barriers in order to successfully implement an inquiry learning model.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Joan Bessman Taylor


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (83 pages)



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