Stage 3: Doing and making
Having focused the enquiry to something that is meaningful and relevant to students, Stage 3 is the doing and making stage, where students research, design and construct in order to make a contribution in their chosen enquiry. This may be the longest stage of an enquiry project, during which students will be engaged in a variety of tasks depending on the nature of their enquiry. It is important to stress the role of the teacher in providing structure and support for students at this stage. The range of tasks and volume of work involved may be daunting, and the teacher can help students develop a plan so that the research is divided into manageable steps. There is a risk of momentum waning if there is not sufficient structure or support for their projects. Encouraging students to manage their time, review the resources available to them, identify goals and monitor their own progress is critical to ensuring the success of this phase.
In the doing stage students are both making sense of things - making their own knowledge - and having an impact on the wider world, whether this is through consulting with others, conducting research or taking action.
At this stage, it is important to talk with students about why what they are doing matters. There may be a variety of reasons for doing the enquiry. Often the reason for doing any type of school work is to satisfy the requirements of the teacher or the exam specification. The teacher is the sole audience. One of the challenges of the Enquiring Minds approach is to encourage the belief that students’ interests and the research they do are of value. Teachers may need to encourage students to be ambitious in what they hope their work can achieve.
Some of the things students and teachers might be doing at this stage include:
- consulting with others - talking with peers, parents, teachers or experts, conducting surveys/interviews, or requesting information
- keeping a log of findings, research evidence, collating the knowledge and understanding being acquired/constructed
- trying things out for real, prototyping, iterative design, scientific experimentation
- identifying a plan of action, or the format/audience for output (video, pamphlet, report) etc
- searching different sources for evidence - books, internet, TV programmes, videos, radio broadcasts
- working together and collaborating on each others’ projects
- reflecting on progress and planning next stage.
During this stage of enquiry it is important for students to do some of the following in order to critique and contribute to knowledge through their enquiry:
illustrate, write, study, outline
record, examine, compute, research
analyse, interview, experiment, interpret
assess, decide, test, advise
appraise, criticise, verify, support
investigate, evaluate, invent, construct
produce, make, solve, use
compose, create, devise, design