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What is Geographical

What do you understand by the term
enquiry in geography?
How does enquiry support learning in
What do you think are the characteristics of
geographical enquiry?

• Use Margaret Roberts framework to

explore your understanding of enquiry?
Think activity.
• Compare with your partner. Pair activity.
• Discuss in a four. Share activity.
• De brief: what are the possible influences
on your thinking?
• Why is a consideration of geographical
enquiry important?
What makes enquiry ‘geographical’
• Enquiry is referred to in a number of NC subjects: Citizenship, DT, geography, history, ICT,
maths and science.

• What makes an enquiry specifically ‘geographical’ is what is being investigated and the
kinds of questions asked. (Roberts, 2006)

• Neighbour (1992) identifies five questions: What is the phenomenon?

– Where is it located?
– Why is it located there?
– What impact does its’ location have?
– What changes should be made? What ought to be done?

• It is important to remember that what geographers study and the questions they ask
change over time, Neighbours questions do not consider different geographies and
perspectives such as how space and place is experienced and represented by different
groups of people. (Roberts 2006)
Why is geographical enquiry
• You can follow this up in the Secondary Geography
Handbook pages 94 -96. You will find this extremely
useful for assignment 1.

• The question I want to ask is how much teachers control

enquiry work? You may want to observe this on
placement A in your serial weeks and on your
observations. Barnes et al devised a framework which
provides a useful analytical structure. What are the
advantages and drawbacks of each approach?
'Effective questioning has
greater potential than any other
teaching method for stimulating
student thinking…' (Kissock &
Iyortsuun, 1982, p. ix)
Kissock, C. & Iyortsuun, P. (1982) A Guide to Questioning, London: Macmillan
'So, since the soul can never
die, and has been born over and
over again, and has already
seen what there is in this world,
and what there is in the world
beyond – i.e. absolutely
everything – there's nothing it
hasn't already learned about. So
it wouldn't be at all surprising if it
managed to remember things,
the things it used to know, either
about being good or about
anything else.' (Plato, 2005, p.
How might we develop enquiry
through questioning?
Why do teachers use questioning?
• To interest, engage and challenge
• To check prior knowledge and understanding
• To stimulate recall and mobilise existing knowledge and
experience to create new understanding and meaning
• To focus thinking on key concepts and ideas
• To help extend pupils thinking from the concrete and
factual to the analytical and evaluative
• To lead pupils through a planned sequence which
progressively establishes key understandings
• To promote pupils thinking about what they have
• Tizard and Hughes (1984, old but interesting and relevant!) found that 4 year
old children took part, on average, in 27 conversations per hour
with their mothers, each having an average of 16 turns, with half the
conversations being initiated by the children, asking an average of
26 questions per hour. As the children entered school conversations
fell to 10 per hour and the vast majority were started and controlled
by adults. Thus a fall in the amount of speaking, questioning and the
number of requests for information, restricted language and less
active reflection and planning.
• Students therefore quickly lose the ability to develop questioning
and vocalise their ideas.
Common pitfalls
• Not being clear about why you are asking the question.
• Asking too many closed questions that need only a short answer.
Establish a minimum length of response: ‘I don’t want an answer of
less than 15 words’
• Asking too many questions at once.
• Asking difficult questions without building up to them.
• Asking superficial questions that do not get to the centre of the issue.
• Asking a question and then answering it yourself!
• Focus on a small number of pupils.
• Deal ineffectively with poor answers. Try and provide prompts and
scaffolds to help pupils correct their own mistakes or get other pupils
to comment.
• Not treating pupils answers seriously, ask why they have given that
answer try and unpick the thinking.
• Be clear about why you are asking the
questions. Make sure they will do what
you want them to.
• Plan a sequence of questions that make
increasingly cognitive demands of pupils.
• Give pupils time to answer and offer
prompts if necessary.
• Ask conscripts rather than volunteers or at
least mix it up a bit!
Planning a question sequence
• 5W’s and an H.
• Bloom’s taxonomy.
• The taxonomy classifies questions into groups according to their level of
cognitive challenge. From knowledge to evaluation. Think of incorporating
higher order thinking skills: would, could, should, might.
• So pupils need to: acquire knowledge before they can understand it. They
need to understand it before they can apply it to different contexts. They
need to be able to apply it before they can analyse, question or infer from
that knowledge.
• Only when they have done all that can they create new knowledge and then
they will be able to evaluate! Phew!
• Look at the charts I give you. They link Bloom’s taxonomy with the tasks
pupils might be expected to do.
• Watch the video sequence and notice how she increases the demand in the
question sequence. Starter 1.
• The Development Compass Rose is another strategy to try in your