On this page, we review three frameworks that will support our work this week.

Framework #1: Project-Based Inquiry (PBI)

PBI is a process for posing and responding to questions. At the heart of the PBI process is inquiry. The PBI model we are featuring in the Institute focuses on questioning, gathering information, creatively synthesizing information, evaluating, and finally sharing their product of learning.

The starting point is developing a compelling question. So, what makes a question a good question?

Why use PBI?

The aim of the project-based approach is to provide the opportunity for students to engage in what Newman, Bryck, and Nagaoka (2001) describe as authentic intellectual work. They describe the distinctive characteristics of authentic intellectual work as the “construction of knowledge through disciplined inquiry in order to produce products that have value beyond school” (p. 14). Through a focus on authentic intellectual work, we aim to engage students in learning opportunities that connect to their world. Likewise, elements of project-based inquiry possess what John Dewey referred to as productive inquiry, which is "that aspect of any activity where we are deliberately (although not always consciously) seeking what we need in order to do what we want to do” (Cook and Brown, 2005, p. 62). Our aims are to engage students in intellectual work that has depth, duration, and complexity, and to challenge and motivate students toward knowledge creation that is creative and innovative.

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Framework #2: Cognitive Theory

This week we are using Lorin Anderson's revised Bloom's taxonomy for classifying thinking according to cognitive complexity.

PBI and Cognition
PBI encourages students to think at multiple levels across the levels of Bloom's taxonomy, but ultimately privileges the highest order thinking in the creative process.

Framework #3: TPACK


In the diagram above, notice how PBI is connected to pedagogical knowledge. During the Institute you will be using PBI as the primary pedagogical approach for the plan you will develop. You will bring your content knowledge to the process of planning. Finally, we will model the use of a variety of technology tools that can be used to support communication and creativity in your plan. You will make decisions about which tools to include in your plan based on your content and pedagogical goals.


Connections between the Frameworks

PBI, Cognition, TPACK, and New Literacies

  • PBI provides a useful instructional context to help students develop new literacies as well as use new literacies to learn challenging content (e.g., science, math, language, history, etc.).
  • New frameworks for describing Cognition or the way students think suggest that we should move toward more original content creation.
  • TPACK provides teacher a useful framework for reasoning through the development of instructional ideas to support students development of new literacies skills and dispositions.
  • The New Literacies include ways of thinking that have emerged from changes in how information is created, shared, and retrieved. These changes have been driven in part by emerging technologies and interaction with digital content.


This week you will be conducting a project-based inquiry (PBI) process to create an instructional plan in which you engage your students in a content-based project-based inquiry themselves. Along with creating a PBI Instructional Plan, you will also create a technology product that either a) supports the teaching of the content in your instructional plan, or b) serves as a model or example of the type of technology product you want students to create as a part of the instructional plan.

[Note: ECI 509 students will create both products, a and b.]

Scaffolds and Resources to support your work

A light scaffold to support the inquiry process suggests some questions to support inquiry using our Design Studio approach.

A more specific scaffold to support your inquiry work this week.

Buck Institue for Education online at http://www.bie.org/

Spires, H., Hervey, L., & Watson, T. (in press). Scaffolding the TPACK framework with literacy teachers: New literacies, new minds. In S. Kajder's and C.A. Young (Eds.). Research on English language arts and technology. Greenwich, CN: Information Age Press.

Spires, H., Hervey, L., Morris, G., & Stelpflug, C. (in press). Energizing project-based inquiry: Middle grade students read, write, and create videos. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy.

Spires, H., Wiebe, E., Young, C., Hollebrands, K., & Lee, J. (2009). Toward a new learning ecology: Teaching and learning in 1:1 learning environments. Friday Institute White Paper Series. NC State University: Raleigh, NC.

Leo Casey and Bertram Bruce on digital technologies and inquiry
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For more on Anderson's revised Bloom's taxonomy see http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Bloom%27s_Taxonomy