Skip to Main Content

NYC School Librarian Guidebook: Stripling Model of Inquiry

Resources to examine our inherent bias, promote personal awareness, and help us build collections for our students that reflect themselves and the world around them.

What is Inquiry?

Inquiry engenders a strong commitment to learning.  By creating a culture of inquiry in our schools, teachers build solid connections between inquiry and literacy, as literacy skills are aligned with the essential skills of inquiry.  Through inquiry, teachers and librarians transform alienated or apatheic students into engages and empowered inquirers. 

What is Inquiry? 

Inquiry places students at the heart of learning by empowering them to follow their sense of wonder into new discoveries and insights about the way the world works.

Inquiry requires active engagement.  The learner identifies what he/she already knows, asks intriguing questions about what he/she does not know, investigates the answers, constructs new understandings and shares those understandings with others. 

The Stripling Model of Inquiry

The iterative process of inquiry is most accurately depicted by a spiral or a cycle. Inquiry is not a linear progression, but is messy and recursive. Inquiry does, however, generally progress through phases. Each phase involves critical thinking skills that empower young people to learn on their own. 

NYCPS is committed to creating and supporting learning environments that reflect the diversity of New York City. To ensure that our website serves the needs of everyone, it follows the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, Level AA. That means the sites work for people with disabilities, including those who are blind and partially sighted. We are committed to creating accessible digital experiences for all website visitors. If you require assistance with any documents on our site, please email