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ERIC Number: EJ783559
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan
Pages: 16
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 51
ISSN: ISSN-0309-8265
Where Might Sand Dunes Be on Mars? Engaging Students through Inquiry-Based Learning in Geography
Spronken-Smith, Rachel; Bullard, Jo; Ray, Waverly; Roberts, Carolyn; Keiffer, Artimus
Journal of Geography in Higher Education, v32 n1 p71-86 Jan 2008
This paper encourages readers to experiment with inquiry-based learning (IBL) in their courses in the interest of identifying more diverse styles of instruction, and developing a wider understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of the methodology. The aims of the paper are to unpack the meanings of IBL, describe some uses of IBL in geography, and discuss their benefits and challenges for students and teachers. IBL is essentially a question-driven, philosophical approach to teaching that involves active, student-centred learning. The teacher acts principally as a facilitator or mentor, guiding and encouraging students through the inquiry process. Examples of IBL are presented, ranging from questioning exercises embedded in the class, through to entire courses or degrees using an inquiry-based approach. Students can benefit greatly from IBL since they are active in the learning process, can have improved understanding, more enjoyable learning, develop valuable research skills, achieve higher-order learning outcomes and perform better academically. Teachers can also benefit through a strengthening of teaching-research links and the clear gains in student engagement and learning. However, in order for IBL to be effective, teachers must be encouraged and supported to take on this facilitating role. When IBL elements are embedded in a more traditional curriculum, particular care needs to be taken so that students and teachers are carefully oriented to the expectations regarding the outcome of learning and teaching in this mode. (Contains 1 table and 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A