When? What? Where? Why? How? What might? What ought? Structure questioning using 7 Ws and an H Who?
Who should? How could? What might? What ought? Structure questioning around geographical futures Borth, Wales
What are the causes of this issue? Why is this an issue? Who are the interested parties? Structure questioning around an issue Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Strategies to help students to structure questions An enquiry approach requires learners to be able to identify issues and pose geographical questions. The four postcards suggest four possible strategies to support this process. Traditionally questioning begins with one of the 5 Ws. Such questions can be used to stimulate useful if, perhaps, rather limited enquiry of the field site. What, where, when and who will tend to prompt descriptive responses whereas why will elicit explanation. ‘Who’ is perhaps neglected but is a useful question opener. Who would be affected if this river floods? Who makes decisions about managing this river? In order to extend the 5 Ws we should prompt leaners to ask ‘How?’ How may lead to questions being asked about change over time. ‘How has this High Street changed?’ ‘How could it be improved for shoppers?’ This leads learners into thinking about alternative future geographies, as does ‘What might?’ Such questions result in a deeper level of enquiry than the traditional 5 Ws. The use of ‘What ought?’ opens another dynamic. It leads learners into considering the ethical dimensions of an issue. ‘What ought to be done to improve pedestrian safety and access for those with disabilities?’ The postcards of Borth and the Millennium stadium illustrate how an emphasis on geographical futures and geographical issues can be created through posing questions. Starter activity 1 Study each potential field study site, shown in the postcards, and suggest one or more enquiry question that could perhaps be investigated at the site. Record them as ‘initial questions’ in the table below. 2 Share your ideas for an enquiry question with the person sitting next to you. Agree on one question for each site that you would like to use as the basis for a fieldwork enquiry. Plenary 1 What are the wider geographical issues, concepts, theories or processes that underpin each of your agreed enquiries? Discuss the AO2 that lies behind each of your enquiries with the person sitting next to you and make notes in the right hand column. 2 One way for learners to show progress in fieldwork is to move from closed tasks to enquiries that demand greater independence. Put your four enquiries in rank order, starting with the one that you would use first and moving on to those that would require more independent learning.
Field siteInitial questionsAgreed questionApplication (AO2) River High street Coast, Borth Inner city, Millennium Stadium