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Enquiry as a Pedagogical Approach within the Context of Primary Geography Wendy Garner Senior Lecturer in Geographical and Historical Education University.

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Presentation on theme: "Enquiry as a Pedagogical Approach within the Context of Primary Geography Wendy Garner Senior Lecturer in Geographical and Historical Education University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Enquiry as a Pedagogical Approach within the Context of Primary Geography Wendy Garner Senior Lecturer in Geographical and Historical Education University of Chester

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5 Why Enquiry?

6 Outline of Presentation Aims Research Design Summary of Findings Conclusions and Recommendations

7 Aims of Study Analyse archival and policy documentation Relate 'geographical enquiry' to key philosophical and pedagogical movements and theory Explore Primary School Teachers' (PS Teachers) ideas about geographical enquiry Explore Initial Teacher Training Tutors' (ITT Tutors) ideas about geographical enquiry Consider implications in relation to policy formulation and classroom practice Image of Victorian classroom removed for copyright reasons

8 Research Design Policy documentation Archival evidence PS Teachers ideas ITT Tutors ideas Relate to key philosophical/ pedagogical movements and theory

9 The Ideal Enquiry-based Learning Task Inventory (IELTI) Academics version RankAn Ideal Enquiry-based Learning Task:A Not ideal Enquiry-based Learning Task: An adaptation of the Ideal Self Inventory (ISI) (Norton, Morgan & Thomas 1995; Tilley and Norton, 1998) and Ideal Distance Learning Task Inventory (IDLTI) (Garner, Norton et al. 2001).

10 Summary of Findings (1) ITT Tutors – Composite View Rank order An Ideal Enquiry-based Learning Task: A Not Ideal Enquiry-based Learning Task: 1the task facilitates autonomous learning - opportunities to ask and answer geographical questions/ fosters creativity the task is controlled and directed by the teacher – teacher as provider of closed questions and predetermined answers 2the task is based on the traditional enquiry cycle ie. ask, plan, collect/ record/ analyse/ discuss data, draw conclusions, evaluate, long term proposals for action etc. (comprising some higher order thinking skills/ reflection) the task is not based on an enquiry cycle, when teacher or pupil planning 3the task has a clear purpose which is meaningful and motivating to pupils the task has no clear purpose and is unrelated to pupils interests

11 Summary of Findings (2) ITT Tutors – Composite View Rank orderAn Ideal Enquiry-based Learning Task:A Not Ideal Enquiry-based Learning Task: = 4the task connects with other geographical and cross-curricular concepts and skills - including development of attitudes and values the task fails to make good links with other geographical and cross curricular concepts, skills, attitudes and values. = 4the task involves the use of a wide range of good quality geographical resources the task involves the use of a limited range of resources, not always relevant to geographical enquiry = 4the task involves field workthe task is classroom-based 5the task is organized as a collaborative group activity the task is organized as an individual task 6the task takes prior geographical knowledge into consideration and differentiation is appropriate the task does not take prior learning into account and differentiation is not clearly evident

12 Summary of Findings (3) PS Teachers – Composite View Rank order An Ideal Enquiry-based Learning Task: 1 No response 2 the task involves field work 3 the task facilitates autonomous learning - opportunities to ask and answer geographical questions/ fosters creativity 4 the task involves the use of a wide range of good quality geographical resources 5 the task is based on the traditional enquiry cycle ie. ask, plan, collect/ record/ analyse/ discuss data, draw conclusions, evaluate, long term proposals for action etc. (comprising some higher order thinking skills/ reflection)

13 Summary of Findings (4) PS Teachers – Composite View 6 the task connects with other geographical and cross-curricular concepts and skills - including development of attitudes and values 7 the task has a clear purpose which is meaningful and motivating to pupils 8 the task features effective questioning by the teacher 9 the task is organized as a collaborative group activity 10 the task takes prior geographical knowledge into consideration and differentiation is appropriate 9/ 23 agree to feeling confident = frequency of 39% 14/ 23 not sure or disagree that feeling confident = frequency of 61%

14 Conclusions (1) Historically a lack of consensus about nature of geography and how to teach effectively ~ searches dating back to 1900 reveal significant evidence of enquiry based approaches Recent research (Roberts 1998, 1999, 2003 and Garner 2002, 2007) suggests that the interpretation and construction of geographical enquiry varies at classroom level

15 Conclusions (2) Analysis of statutory and non-statutory guidance ~ need for more detailed rationale/ justification of enquiry based approach, improved clarity with respect to progression, clearer guidance on how to implement at classroom level An enquiry approach can be justified in relation to theories of learning ~ constructivism/ socio constructivism

16 Conclusions (3) IELTI (ITT Tutors) – links to historical dimension, relates closely to learning theory and develops ideas about enquiry identified within the NC IELTI (PS Teachers) – similar with additional category of effective teacher questioning ~ plus lower response rate and lower confidence levels (CPD seems to positively impact on this)

17 Ways forward? Geography survey inspections between 2005 and 2007 continue to show that many primary teachers are still not confident in teaching geography and have little or no opportunity to improve their knowledge of how to teach it. (photographs reproduced with kind permission of Overleigh St. Mary's CE Primary School) Overleigh St. Mary's CE Primary School


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