A+ Education

 

a plus s s

Created by Author. (2016) CC by 2.0

A+ Education is another new database for me to explore. From living out of the country of Australia for the past 2 years, I must say I am interested to see what this Australian search engine is going to provide for me in my journey to find out more about all things inquiry.

As this database is Australian, it is assumed that there would be more information relating to the Australian School Curriculum. I used search terms with reference to Australian language e.g. primary instead of elementary as it would be more common on this database. For an Advanced Search there is no need to use the bracket boolean to highlight my search words for the system. I can enter them into their own search lines, (as seen in the screenshot below). Quotation marks are still used to join words together for a search. Another option that I like about A+ is that there is a Thesaurus tab which allows me to search more relevant terms. I can also add in a more concise year range if I so choose.

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 10.53.09 am

Screenshot and annotation by author.

 

For this search I continue to use my main keywords however, implement the Australian terms.

  1. How should a library be involved with all classes in their inquiries? Key words: inquiry and primary and library.

 

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Screenshot and Annotation by author.

From here I become more direct in my searches. It is already obvious that A+ provides a limited number of results compared to Google.  My search terms brought up more direct information compared to the other search engines I have used so far.

Search String Results My Thoughts/Comments
Inquiry learning AND primary AND library 53 results A range of relevant and interesting articles and research papers linked to my topic and own inquiry.
“inquiry learning” AND primary AND library. 11 results  I added in the quotation marks to ensure that inquiry learning is being put together for the search. See screenshot 1. below showing that A+ automatically put brackets to search for these together once I had added quotation marks.

Same article came up 4 times…from different sources. Good article relating to my question as to the perceived role of today’s librarian – Three in one : teacher, information specialist, leader.:Sheerman, Alinda Source:Access; v.27 n.2 p.4-7; June 2013

I note that articles can have “peer review” on them which gives the sense that they are good articles however there are some names of which I am unfamiliar.

Can read the “abstract” about the article. See screenshot 2. below

 

 

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Screenshot and Annotation by author. Screenshot 1.

 

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Screenshot and Annotation by author. – Screenshot 2.

 

The use of truncation * with the word librar is incorporated next to try to find any articles that may contain anything in relation to libraries, library or librarian. The total of articles found is only 13. Interesting to note that no duplicates of certain articles came up in this search, but there are really the same articles found from previous searches, so no new information provided.

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Screenshot and Annotation by author.

From here I then ventured using key words from questions that have since come up relating to curiosity and its relevance to inquiry learning in schools. I am doing this as I am wondering if there is a place for this “curiosity” in the role of the library and its functions. I completed many search strings but have supplied the most relevant to my topic of interest and articles that were the best for what I was wanting to know. It was interesting to note from this search that there are current studies or thought processes happening around this idea and topic, so my question is a relevant one.

Search String Results My Thoughts/Comments
(inquiry learning) AND curiosity AND schools 12 results I have changed my keywords to move to another line of thinking in my questions. A+ automatically put the brackets around my first words in its search. Again some interesting articles to read. Some articles were unable to access the full text. Reggio Emilia approach coming up along with other case studies.

 

(inquiry learning) AND curiosity AND curriculum 9 results Changed from the broad term of school to “primary curriculum”. There were no results so took out the word primary and just had curriculum. Reggio Emilia and some more case studies from previous search appeared.

To try to vary “curiosity” searches I used the Thesaurus tab.

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Screenshot and Annotation by author.

Please note that the screenshot is taken after the search words were put into the thesaurus. The Thesaurus provided me with terms to further explore but seemed to just search these terms even though I had still entered “inquiry learning” and library. The search strings noted in the tables above provided the best results for me.

Overall: 

A+ Education was a search engine that was relatively easy to use. I think there are definately more techniques that I need to master to be a true researcher using this tool. However, I enjoyed the searching process as the articles I found relating to my questions were easier to identify in a more time efficient way, and they were very relevant to answering my questions.  The Thesaurus option worked for me searching words and other options but I feel I was yet to master utilising this effectively.

Advantages: easy to use; Australian relevant; once you click on an article you get to read an “abstract” about the piece – this makes it easy to see the relevance for the information that I was wanting, without having to read the whole piece; thesaurus option.

Disadvantages: times out after a certain time; not all articles open to view the full content;

My new question:

  1. Student motivation vs curiosity, is there a difference when it comes to teaching in an inquiry classroom?

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