Sunday, September 25, 2016

Inquiring about inquiry


The questions are: 

On the ‘teller’/Inquiry spectrum I am …

To be successful Inquiry needs to be ...

What are the stages of Inquiry in the Australian Curriculum: Geography?
  
What are the stages of Inquiry in the Australian Curriculum: History?

What are the advantages for learning of the Inquiry approach?

What are some of the issues to keep in mind when planning an inquiry approach?

I think there is far too much emphasis on inquiry approaches in the classroom

Inquiry does not necessarily improve learning.

Why can it be said that Inquiry has the potential to be abused in the classroom.


Related sites to Humsteach blog

Australian Curriculum Portal
Geogaction
DECD Learning Resources for Australian Curriculum
DECD Achievement Standards Charts 
Australian Geography Teachers' Association website

Geography Teachers Association of South Australia
History Teachers Association of South Australia
History Teachers Association of Australia 

Scoop.it 



Email contact:
malcolm.mcinerney@flinders.edu.au    


* The FLO address for this course is https://flo.flinders.edu.au/course/view.php?id=37524


The FLO page for Middle Years HASS and the Generic specialisation is now ready for submission of assignments and other key information.



Teacher support for inquiry

In viewing numerous classroom scenarios on inquiry, we see the principle of inductive reasoning at the center of the teacher’s approach. Students begin with a source – a cup or a dress and their thinking and reasoning is guided to begin firstly with the particular and then branching out to the more general.

Inductive reasoning means restricting oneself to sources and then formulating statements based on them. Sources are used as a starting point to inquiry, - further research will hopefully result from this activity. The kind of research the students will be carrying out will be inductive as they will be establishing facts directly referred to by the sources and they will be making inferences from the sources they are working with and researching further.

Principle number 1. Start with the particular, move out to the general. Otherwise the opposite of this is deductive reasoning which consists in passing from the ‘the universal’ to ‘the particular’. It is less likely that a primary school student will know how to draw conclusions from certain general truths.

The second principle that underpins this type of inquiry is active, student centred learning – but well supported and scaffolded by the teacher. It’s what Webster calls “light assistance”. Pedagogically speaking the approach is robust – it sits very much within a context of social constructivism. The interaction between you and the student is crucial even though you may think this approach is all about handing over responsibility for learning to the student. Yes, that’s partly true. Good inquiry methodology results in the interaction between adult and student guiding student thinking (From Sage on the Stage to Guide on the Side). Teachers have a vital role to play developing effective inquiry learning which includes initiating good questions to research and to analyse and to come up with reasoned meaningful conclusions. By promoting active learning – that is not just doing but thinking-- in classrooms the learning outcomes are more likely to become intellectually embedded says Hutchings, “what we discover, we retain”

The third principle underpinning inquiry learning is the use of open ended questioning, resulting in deep levels of engagement with problems that are likely to be multifaceted and complex. Its nature is exploratory (Hutchings, 2007). Hutchings says that the core of inquiry is the question and it is in the formulation and ‘or the analysis of that question that the important initial intellectual activity takes place. Philosophically it is a Socratic based activity - Socratic perception that our knowledge is formed by questions.

Students participate in acts of discovery, grappling with different ways of looking at ideas and issues and thinking creatively about problems that do not necessarily have simple answers.

The 'Instructional Strategies online' site succinctly sums up inquiry methodology when it says:

Using inquiry, students become actively involved in the learning process as they:

* act upon their curiosity and interests;
* develop questions;
* think their way through controversies or dilemmas;
* look at problems analytically;
* inquire into their preconceptions and what they already know;
* develop, clarify, and test hypotheses; and,
* draw inferences and generate possible solutions.

Inquiring, not telling!



Related sites to Humsteach blog

Australian Curriculum Portal
Geogaction
DECD Learning Resources for Australian Curriculum
DECD Achievement Standards Charts 
Australian Geography Teachers' Association website

Geography Teachers Association of South Australia
History Teachers Association of South Australia
History Teachers Association of Australia 

Scoop.it 




Email contact:
malcolm.mcinerney@flinders.edu.au    


* The FLO address for this course is https://flo.flinders.edu.au/course/view.php?id=37524


The FLO page for Middle Years HASS and the Generic specialisation is now ready for submission of assignments and other key information.


Spatialworlds posting on inquiring to read
 
 * Inquiring about inquiry with the Australian Curriculum: Geography.


*  Back to the future with inquiry questions



It is more than telling!

Inquiry (in UK they talk about enquiry) is a word that is frequently thrown around when 21st Century curriculum is being developed.

The thinking is that students will be more connected to their learning and engaged to explore if they are stimulated to think via a range of inquiry questions on a topic/area of study:

"Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand." Joe Exline

Inquiry implies involvement that leads to understanding. Furthermore, involvement in learning implies possessing skills and attitudes that enable students to seek resolutions to questions and issues while constructing new knowledge. Useful application of inquiry learning involves several factors: a context for questions, a framework for questions, a focus for questions, and different levels of questions.

Inquiry Based Learning has fast become an accepted way for curriculum to be written, with student exploration, engagement and empowerment seen as positive outcomes.

However there needs to be a caveat to the use of Inquiry Based Learning in the curriculum. It is not a stand-alone approach but rather an approach which relies on an infrastructure of skills, thinking and foundation knowledge to ensure that the inquiry has rigour, veracity and sound conceptual understandings – it needs to be informed inquiry and not just ‘off-the top of the head emoting’ or ramblings based on minimal or uninformed, if not biased sources.

There is a potential for Inquiry Based Learning to be mis-used and abused by teachers without the skills, knowledge or understanding themselves on a particular geographical topic. 

‘Geographical inquiry refers to the methodologies that geographers use to find new knowledge, or knowledge that is new to them, and the ways that they attempt to understand and explain what they have observed’

Naturally technology has a huge part to play in the development of a rigorous and valid inquiry methodology in the humanities. http://www.edutopia.org/lesson-planning-inquiry-modeling

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The theories of learning



Related sites to Humsteach blog

Australian Curriculum Portal
Geogaction
DECD Learning Resources for Australian Curriculum
DECD Achievement Standards Charts 
Australian Geography Teachers' Association website

Geography Teachers Association of South Australia
History Teachers Association of South Australia
History Teachers Association of Australia 

Scoop.it 




Email contact:
malcolm.mcinerney@flinders.edu.au    


* The FLO address for this course is https://flo.flinders.edu.au/course/view.php?id=37524


The FLO page for Middle Years HASS and the Generic specialisation is now ready for submission of assignments and other key information.


The tutorial presentation on the Geography curriculum for Week 11 (week 5 of the course). Please go through during the weeks I am away so that you are prepared for the tutorial in week 11.



Let's talk theory for a while


It is important  in your rationale for your lesson plan and unit plan that you refer to learning theories. I know you have done a lot on learning theories during your studies but I thought it was worth reminding you about the importance of referencing them when you are designing the learning for students

A site too check out about learning theories is at http://www.learning-theories.com


In the Australian Curriculum you will see many learning theories in action via the inquiry model used in HaSS




Constructivism

The philosophy about learning, that proposes learners need to build their own understanding of new ideas, has been labelled constructivism.

Various educationalist have developed an instructional model for constructivism, called the "Five E’s"



Explore

Students carry out an activity/discussion in which they can explore the knowledge/concept/skill. This phase allows students to acquire a common set of experiences that they can use to help each other make sense of the new concept or skill.

Explain

Only after students have explored aspects of the knowledge/concept/skill does the teacher provide the explanations/learning stories to develop student understanding. The significant aspect of this phase is that explanation follows experience.

Elaborate

This phase provides opportunities for students to apply what they have learned to new situations and so develop a deeper understanding of the concept/understanding. It is important for students to discuss and compare their ideas with each other during this phase. 

Evaluate

The final phase provides an opportunity for students to review and reflect on their own learning and new understandings. It is also when students provide evidence for changes to their understanding, beliefs and skills. 

 Blooms taxonomy

Some other learning theories to refer to in HaSS:


·        Multiple Intelligences

·        Systems thinking

·        Experiential learning

Friday, September 9, 2016

Front-ending or Backward Planning?



Related sites to Humsteach blog

Australian Curriculum Portal
Geogaction
DECD Learning Resources for Australian Curriculum
DECD Achievement Standards Charts 
Australian Geography Teachers' Association website

Geography Teachers Association of South Australia
History Teachers Association of South Australia
History Teachers Association of Australia 

Scoop.it 




Email contact:
malcolm.mcinerney@flinders.edu.au    


* The FLO address for this course is https://flo.flinders.edu.au/course/view.php?id=37524


The FLO page for Middle Years HASS and the Generic specialisation is now ready for submission of assignments and other key information.



Teachers are designers. An essential act of our profession is the design of curriculum and learning experiences to meet specified purposes. We are also designers of assessments to diagnose student needs to guide our teaching and to enable us, our students, and others (parents and administrators) to determine whether our goals have been achieved, that is, did the students learn and understand the desired knowledge?
Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe



Understanding by Design, backward design!



In recent years the area of designing curriculum has become of prime importance in schools. This is particularly critical as schools begin to become familiar with and deconstruct the Australian Curriculum for the purpose of designing appropriate learning and teaching program for their students. The theory which has been adopted as the way to go is from the work of Wiggins and McTighe in the area of Backward Design. Everywhere one goes, where curriculum is being developed and implemented we hear the term UBD or rather Understanding By Design.

Backward Design planning is a rather logical and reasonable idea which has always been the way of operation for many teachers, but not all.

By clearly articulating the UBD process, Wiggins and McTighe have created a way of thinking which has had great penetration into the area of curriculum planning and in turn pedagogy.

Watch these short videos on Learning design

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4isSHf3SBuQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgNODvvsgxM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8F1SnWaIfE


A few observations and gems of comment from the readings on Wiggins and McTighe

• Teachers are designers.

• "Clarifying the desired results of our teaching, how will we ever know whether our designs are appropriate or arbitrary?"

• How will we distinguish merely interesting learning from effective learning?

• Good design, … is about learning to be more thoughtful and specific about our purposes and what they imply.

• The shift involves thinking a great deal, first, about the specific learnings sought, and the evidence of such learning, before thinking about what we as the teacher, will do or provide in teaching and learning activities.

"The challenge is to focus first on the desired learnings from which appropriate teaching will logically follow."

“...best designs derive backward from the learnings sought.”

“...too many teachers focus on the teaching and not the learning.”

• Content focused design versus results focused design.

• Answering the "why?" and "so what?" questions as the focus of curriculum planning.

• Twin sins:
* activity-oriented design might be called "hands-on without being minds-on" primary-middle years)
* aimless coverage (upper secondary)

• Students require clear purposes and explicit performance goals.

• Grasp the key idea that we are not coaches of their ability to play the "game" or performing with understanding, not tellers of our understanding to them on the sidelines.

• Three stages of Backward Design = Identify desired result - Determine acceptable evidence - Plan learning experience and instruction.



A related reading on progression

Here are some comments from the work of Hoodless: Planning for progression and opportunities for the development of key skills

• Long, medium and short term planning.

• Australian curriculum is taking care of the long term planning?

• Key questions to draw together medium term planning.

“...link the skills. concepts and factual content together around a central question, which is likely to interest the children.”

“Short-term planning refers to the planning of individual lessons by the class teacher.”

“Objectives, often expressed as key questions, are the knowledge, skills or understanding which you will want the children to have learned by the end of the lesson'

• Planning process = Previous knowledge and understanding - Specific learning intentions - Planned learning experience.

"Hierarchy of thinking skills, which interact with language, and also depend on maturation; learning is seen as a developmental process."

• The thinking skills listed:
* Information processing
* Reasoning
* Inquiry
* Creative thinking
* Evaluation

During the tutorials in Week 4 we will use the deconstructing triangle for HASS to start the exciting process of curriculum making within the context of backward designing the curriculum.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

ACSA HASS Webinar


Image above: The diversity of the subject content of HASS

Related sites to the Humsteach blog 
Spatialworlds
GeogSpace
AC History Units
Geogaction
DECD Learning Resources for Australian Curriculum
DECD Achievement Standards Charts 
Australian Geography Teachers' Association website

Geography Teachers Association of South Australia
History Teachers Association of South Australia
History Teachers Association of Australia
Business Educators Australia

Email contact:
malcolm.mcinerney@sa.gov.au


The ACSA Webinar presentation (click on links to visit showcased sites).

The HASS thinking handout


* The Australian Curriculum Portal



A selection of HASS resources and links

 * Being a Citizen: a resource developed from the Australia Geography Teachers Association (AGTA


  * Thinking Geographically resource from from the Australia Geography Teachers Association (AGTA)

 


South Australian Parliament teaching resources



Discovering Democracy resources 

* Parliamentary Education Office resources



AC History Units: the resource from HTAA and Education Services Australia (ESA) to support the Australian Curriculum: History


* Para Hills Primary School Economics and Business Weebly


* Para Hills Primary School Civics and Citizenship Weebly


* DECD Australian Curriculum: HASS resources 
The DECD "Making the Australian Curriculum work for us' resource has been designed  to support the teaching and learning of the Australian Curriculum: HASS.

As you can see below the resources includes a creative animation, sound bites and 'talking heads'.





The RSLSA Virtual War Memorial

A great resource for commemoration activities, historical research and work on Australian identity in the Civics and Citizenship curriculum.



Saturday, September 3, 2016

Curriculum Making


Image above: The Geography Association in the UK. An amazing resource and the leaders in the concept of curriculum making.


Related sites to Humsteach blog

Australian Curriculum Portal
Geogaction
DECD Learning Resources for Australian Curriculum
DECD Achievement Standards Charts 
Australian Geography Teachers' Association website

Geography Teachers Association of South Australia
History Teachers Association of South Australia
History Teachers Association of Australia

Scoop.it 




Email contact:
malcolm.mcinerney@flinders.edu.au    



* The FLO address for this course is https://flo.flinders.edu.au/course/view.php?id=37524

The FLO page for Middle Years HASS and the Generic specialisation is now ready for submission of assignments and other key information.

Week 3 Tutorial PowerPoint for Malcolm's Groups


What do you think?



The Bali 9 prisoners should have been executed

http://strawpoll.me/3843004 

I have read Backward Design articles

http://strawpoll.me/3843042 

I find education theory really

http://strawpoll.me/3843034 

The thought of teaching my first class by myself




Curriculum making


What is curriculum making?

Curriculum making is the creative act of interpreting a curriculum specification or scheme of work and turning it into a coherent, challenging, engaging and enjoyable scheme of work.
Curriculum making is a job that really never ends and lies at the heart of good teaching.
When educators talk about curriculum making we refer to the creation of interesting, engaging and challenging educational encounters which draw upon teacher knowledge and skills, the experiences of students and the valuable subject resources of the subject. Curriculum making is concerned with holding all this in balance and as a teacher you play a key role.

Why curriculum making? 
The potential and promise of a subject is compromised if it is seen only as an inert or static 'knowledge-to-be-delivered'. Covering the syllabus is just the mechanics of teaching and is not the same as making the curriculum.
Curriculum making is about bringing a curriculum alive. It is about enacting the curriculum and giving it purpose. Geography and history are resources that can enable students to better understand the world and their place in it. It aims for a deep understanding.
The inquiry-led approach lies at the heart of teaching and learning in the Australian Curriculum: geography and History. Humanities teachers perform a delicate balancing act, drawing upon the student's experiences, the subject resource and their own knowledge and craft skills.

The essence of curriculum making 
The following diagram captures the essence of curriculum making. Think of the diagram as a kind of 'corrective', always aiming for somewhere in the middle. Engage with the subject, listen to your students and question the value of what you are teaching.


Diagram from the Geography Association UK

The inquiry approach contains four central aspects including the creation of a 'need to know' through the use of an engaging stimulus. It then develops through the collection and use of data, processing and making sense of that data and finally reflecting on learning in order to apply it to future enquiries.
This process has been captured in a single diagram (adapted from Roberts, 2003).