• Enquiry as a pedagogical approach within the context of primary geography

      Pickford, Anthony; Garner, Wendy P. (University of Chester, 2007-07)
      This dissertation explores interpretations of enquiry within the context of primary geography and aims to justify it as a pedagogical approach. The study aimed to: analyse archival and policy documentation relating to geographical enquiry; relate 'geographical enquiry' to key philosophical and pedagogical movements and theory; explore Primary School Teachers' (PS Teachers) ideas about geographical enquiry at Key Stages 1 and 2; explore Initial Teacher Training Tutors' (ITT Tutors) ideas about geographical enquiry at Key Stages 1 and 2; consider implications in relation to policy formulation and classroom practice at Key Stages 1 and 2. Archival searches dating back to 1900 and a review of the literature revealed considerable evidence of enquiry-based approaches to teaching and learning in school geography. From the late 1960s, the notion of 'geographical enquiry' became more widely recognised and accepted as a pedagogical term. Despite 'geographical enquiry' featuring within government documentation since the advent of the National Curriculum, the literature suggests varying interpretations and constructs of enquiry at classroom level. It was found that references to 'geographical enquiry' within government documentation were not always clear or consistent. It was also found that the enquiry approach can be justified in relation to theories of learning such as constructivism and socio-constructivism. The composite view of an Ideal Enquiry -based Learning Task (IELT), based on the responses of both ITT Tutors and PS Teachers, presents a definition of enquiry which can be justified in relation to the literature and which relates to the findings outlined above. The significant difference between the two user groups, relates to the PS Teachers' lower response rates and confidence levels when asked about 'geographical enquiry' compared with the ITT Tutors. This study has important implications for policy documentation and classroom practice. There is a need for clarity with respect to the meaning and justification of enquiry as a pedagogical approach, in addition to more detailed guidance on how it can be effectively constructed and managed at classroom level.