1. Take some time to think about your topic. Now write down what you know about it.
- Inquiry learning is an essential element of the Australian Curriculum subject of History. Students need to investigate and engage with historical knowledge, understandings and skills, not just rehash facts provided by a teacher.
- The teaching of history in a primary school classroom has a history of it’ own in terms of approach (from rote learning to inquiry based learning)
- The teaching of inquiry based units of work are influenced by the many interruptions and time constraints within a classroom.
- Teachers need to be supported to step outside their comfort zone, (through professional development and mentoring) and encourage students to take control of their investigations (acting as a guide and facilitator)
- There is debate about the advantages and disadvantages of single disciplines within a curriculum as opposed to integrated units of work (eg The new History curriculum verses SOSE)
- Within an early years history classroom the teacher needs to act as a guide to ensure that students are working towards a deep understanding of given topics.
- Students need to be provided with opportunities to gain information from a variety of different sources. Students should be encouraged to take ownership of learning through development of questioning techniques, and providing them with opportunities to develop skills regarding searching, collection, organisation, and presentation of information on given topics.
2. How interested are you in this topic? Check (ü) one box that best matches your interest.
Not at all ☐ not much ☐ quite a bit ☐ a great deal
3. How much do you know about this topic? Check (ü) one box that best matches how much you know.
Nothing ☐ not much ☐ quite a bit a great deal ☐
4. Thinking of your research so far – what did you find easy to do? Please mention as many things as you like.
- Anything I mention here is still part of a journey of development in terms of my information gathering skills (Don’t think the journey will ever end)
- Using Google and Google Scholar (particularly when I discovered that I should link my Google Scholar settings to include QUT databases.)
- Once I started to research using the databases I became more confident. I started to build up lots of resources
- Gaining confidence in exploring a broader range of databases (particularly those specifically for the education sector. Through this I have discovered resources more specific to my context.
- Gaining confidence in having a go at different ways of searching, using mind maps, and wordles to analysis my search processes.
- Gaining skills in the use of Boolean operators to gain more relevant information
- Finding common links/information in resources collected.
5. Thinking of your research so far – what did you find difficult to do? Please mention as many things as you like.
- Organising and sorting through the copious amount of information that I found. (using mind maps helped me with this however.)
- Having to work out which of the information sources that I have collected were truly the best ones for my purpose. I have concentrated so much on collecting different sources, that I had difficulties finding the time to really explore all that I have discovered (what am I missing out on)
- Concern that this has resulted in surface learning, trying to deepen my knowledge over the remainder of semester.
- Some difficulties finding information that was specific to Australian history curriculum approaches in the early years context. Lots of information related to older students and science.
- Remembering to record my sources as I discovered them (both from what databases and the bibliography details (this has always been a weaknesses) Although having to search for them again made me retrace my search techniques.
6. How do you feel about your research so far? Check (ü) one box that best matches how you feel.
Frustrated – I can’t find what I want☐
Overwhelmed – I’m finding it hard to sort through the information
Confused – I don’t really know what I’m looking for ☐
Confident – I think I know where I’m heading ☐