I am now moving on to attempt and analyse some searches using different databases available. I commence my search with the familiar “Google Scholar”. I decided to start with a simple search history education and inquiry. This search resulted in a plethora of subjects from a history of American higher education to Korean history to The ‘Document-Based Lesson’: Bringing disciplinary inquiry into high school history classrooms with adolescent struggling readersOne article which initially seemed promising in relation to my chosen context was Enabling Students to Read Historical Images: The Value of the Three-Level Guide for Historical Inquiry. Given that one of our information search strategies for my inquiry unit is using Historical Images, I got excited. However further investigation of this led me to the Eric Education Resource Information Centre, however the link turned out to be invalid.
Another link EDUCATION INQUIRY seemed more promising This hit provided me with a link to an educational journal entitled “Education Inquiry”. Although specifically for a science journal, this online journal focuses on educational research in the area of inquiry. The particular issue of this journal that I explored looked at the progression of education through the 19th, 20th and 21st century, both in terms of theory and practice. A thought provoking article, although not directly linked to history inquiry.
My key search terms were History and education and inquiry and learning. This search resulted in gave me some significant information in regards to inquiry based learning and the history curriculum.
It was at this point that I first came across Dr.Brian Hoepper, a past lecturer at the Queensland University of Technology. His article “Who says you can’t change history” provided fantastic insight into my area of focus. During my time as a classroom teacher I have taught social studies and Study of society and the environment, and am only just exploring the curriculum area of “history” as a standalone subject this semester. It was interesting to read that change in the curriculum area of history is not new, “that dramatic changes in teaching and learning of history began in the 1970’s.” (Hoepper, 2011, p 1) Known as New history, it was the first time that historical knowledge was viewed as debateable, and students were encouraged to question and create their own knowledge through the use of inquiry. I personally feel that although history was “given an explicit place in the subject of SOSE” (Hoepper, 2011, p 3) , through the strand “time, Continuity and Change”, inquiry based units relating to historical data tended to have weak connections. The new Australian Curriculum history curriculum provides a practical framework which history teachers can use to explore topics, “encouraging students to empathise, to experience something through another’s eyes.” Surely this is an ultimate goal of this subject area. Due to the nature of Hoepper’s work, and relevance to my context, I will endeavour to search specifically for more of his work at a later time.
In my search on A+Education I came across an article entitled ‘The heart of history’ . This article, while clearly an advertisement for the Australian National Museum, provided examples of how “education programs can offer students a deeper engagement with history, as they handle historical objects and form connections between things in the museum and aspects of their own lives.” (Casey, 2011, p 38) This article provided me with timely information given that my class will be conducting an information gathering session at a pioneer village next week. “A visit to a museum or outside venue can offer students with a firsthand learning experience, an engagement with the world beyond textbooks and beyond television screens.(Casey, 2011, p 38) In addition “if students can make connections between their own lives and that of the past, through a meaningful excursion, they can then begin to think critically with deeper understanding.” (Casey, 2011, p 38)
I used the same search terms in A+Education that I used in Google and I found that the resources through A+ education provided me with a lot of relevant sources on my search for history in the classroom. It also provided me with further connections between the new history curriculum and the inquiry process.
My next search data base I attempted was using Pro quest Education for history education and inquiry learning. This search gave me a practical example of using inquiry learning within a classroom setting. One particular link, “Inquiry Learning, a narrative inquiry gave practical insight into teaching and learning inquiry frameworks from three different perspectives.
I refined my search on Pro quest education further by using “history curriculum” and “inquiry learning” There were 9 results, and although most were not related to my context I came across the following article particularly related to the learning task that my students will be undertaking
It was encouraging to read that although the Australian History Curriculum is largely unfamiliar to classroom teachers, the unit we have developed is in line with effective inquiry processes. In particular we have provided children with opportunities to explore different sources of information. It needs to be remembered that children “need to be given opportunities to work with various forms of evidence, and deal with issues of interpretation, and ask questions about these sources.” (VanSledright, 2002)
While my information seeking session took a lot longer than I had envisaged, through this activity I am already seeing a development in my information searching skills.
Hoepper, B., 2004,Who says you can’t change history? EQA archives, Winter 2004 edition, Retrieved on 7 August 2012 from http://www.eqa.edu.au/site/whosaysyoucant.html
Hunsburger, Winifred Frances, 2008, “Inquiry learning: A narrative inquiry into the experiences of three teachers” Retrieved on 7 August 2012 from http://search.proquest.com.ezp01.library.qut.edu.au/docview/304339271
McCormick, T, Hubbard, J, 2011 “Every Picture Tells a Story: A Study of Teaching Methods Using Historical Photographs with Elementary Students: Journal of Social Studies Research35. 1 (Spring 2011): 80-94, retrieved 7 August 2012 from http://search.proquest.com.ezp01.library.qut.edu.au/education/docview/866771228/fulltextPDF/1384C8D59AD108BFBA6/7?accountid=13380
Umea School of Education, 2011, “Education Inquiry, Vol. 2, No.2., retrieved 7 August 2012 from http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/715/1/110608_Education_for_a_Better_World_Education_Inquiry.pdf
VanSledright, B., 2002, “Confronting history’s interpretive paradox while teaching fifth graders to investigate the past. American Educational Research Journal, 39,1089-115