Inquiry is a fundamental building block of teaching and learning that empowers students to follow their sense of wonder into new discoveries and insights about the way the world works.
The empowered learner calls upon information/inquiry skills to connect with what he or she knows, ask intriguing questions about what is not known, investigate the answers, construct new understandings, and communicate to share those understandings with others.
Students need to use the skills of inquiry to learn. Developing these skills must follow a coherent spiral of instruction and practice throughout the years of schooling, Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12, to enable all our children to become independent life-long learners.
The Empire State Information Fluency Continuum (ESIFC) was originally developed by the New York City School Library System and published in 2009 to provide a substantive guide for educators and librarians seeking to develop those essential information and inquiry skills for students in kindergarten through grade 12.
The ESIFC has now been reimagined to respond to changes in the information and learning environment and to the increasing diversity in our students. This ESIFC reflects several new aspects that will enable librarians and classroom teachers to integrate the teaching of information fluency skills across the curriculum and across all grade levels as they empower students to develop confidence and agency to pursue their own paths to personal and academic success.
The reimagining of the ESIFC has been guided by the following parameters:
The Empire State Information Fluency Continuum documents are written and organized to enable educators to start with a broad framework (the Anchor Standards and Indicators) and then move progressively to more specific and detailed views. The following Table of Contents lays out the organization of the whole ESIFC and provides suggestions about the situations in which each section might be most useful.