MODERN AND ANCIENT HISTORY
A learning environment is provided that will encourage and challenge students to develop their sense of inquiry and those skills associated with enterprise education.
Key employment competencies, used in Economics include
The inquiry approach is a process, a way of thinking and problem solving for students which has application in various ways.
It is an effective strategy for:
the development of higher order thinking skills
increasing student involvement and ownership of the curriculum an
encompassing effective teaching and learning principles and individual difference.
Involvement in the process of inquiry may be a classroom activity that takes place in a lesson or occurs over a few lessons.
Inquiries that take place over a longer time frame enable students to be guided by teachers in their inquiry journey.
Such activities are effective for students working on their own, or in pairs, or in teams. It is expected that students are
engaged in an in-depth inquiry such as this at least once each semester.
The inquiry process
The basic elements of the inquiry approach are:
Systematic observations of inquiries in classrooms suggest that students puzzling over a problem seldom follow the
scientific model of inquiry in its ideal form. Many students rapidly scan the available data and jump to premature conclusions.
Others give up easily if they are unable to come quickly to a conclusion. Teachers should be prepared to intervene while
their students are developing inquiry skills.
The roles teachers and students will take in the inquiry process should
be carefully planned.
Selecting the topics, audience and purpose
Students will be involved in the proposal and selection of inquiry topics, especially as they become skilled in understanding
the inquiry process and the economic concepts integral to the inquiry.
The inquiries are selected using the following:
This step is important because it affects the type and scope of inquiry.
The questions or problems may come from the student
or from the teacher. The students should want to pursue the inquiry and they may be motivated by:
During this phase, students should be involved in:
Students in this phase are to use various critical-thinking operations and data-gathering procedures as defined in the objectives.
The teachers role in this phase is to act as facilitator, with a major contribution in sustaining the inquiry. This is particularly true
while students are being taught procedures associated with inquiry. Teachers may intervene less when students are proficient.
The teacher should be involved in sustaining the inquiry by:
During this phase of the inquiry, students should be involved in:
Table 1: A suggested approach to inquiry-based study in Economics
|A method of problem solving
A suggested framework for the study of economic problems and issues involves the following steps:
How does it show itself?
How is it reported or presented?
What are our goals or objectives regarding the problem or issue?
What do they want?
What are their claims, arguments, interests, values?
Who are the other parties with a less immediate interest?
How are they affected?
counter-arguments or to shed light on the situation?
2. Identify the economic aspects of the problem/issue.
Can we distinguish different aspects of the problem?
On the basis of such analysis, the best decision or course of action is that which best contributes to our most important goals and criteria when we compare the costs and benefits of each alternative proposal.
Table 2: An approach to inquiry-based study in Economics using hypotheses
An important tool used by all social scientists, and especially economists, is hypothesising. As a hypothesis is a statement of what is assumed to be true, it is a tentative explanation. It is usually expressed as a statement, or sometimes as a question or an ifBthen proposition. This statement should then be tested to see if it can be verified. When it has been confirmed by data and by the evidence gathered, it becomes a conclusion or a generalisation, which can be used in future decision making and problem solving.
As a statement
The main causes of inflation are wage increases and government spending.
Why do factory workers usually specialise in one task?
As an if-then proposition
If a commodity is scarce, then its price will be high.
Following are recommended steps for hypothesising:
1. Topic Set down the topic being investigated.
3. Hypothesis Establish and refine the hypothesis as a statement or question.
4. Data Gather and evaluate data relevant to the hypothesis.
5. Testing Establish appropriate evidence and sources to test the validity of the
hypothesis, and apply these.
6. Conclusions Confirm or reject the hypothesis. If confirmed, establish
generalisations and conclusions. If rejected, can it be modified or is a new
hypothesis required and further investigation needed?
gathering, testing and conclusions.
The focus of the curriculum is inquiry. This is developed in the in-depth studies in which students identify an historical issue, investigate that issue and reach conclusions or make judgments about it.
This process will provide learning situations that facilitate the fulfilment of the objectives specified in this syllabus. Therefore, there will be no need to teach the objectives one by one. Rather, teachers will highlight the various processes, skills and concepts as they are encountered during the investigation.
In any in-depth study, the use of a variety of historical sources, primary as well as secondary, will be crucial. This is a principle of historical inquiry. Other such principles of historical inquiry are described within the context of the following discussion.
Phases of historical inquiry
A core requirement of this work program is that `each in-depth study must embody a process of historical inquiry'.
To ensure a process of inquiry, historical studies should usually proceed through the following phases:
identification of an issue
the framing of relevant research questions or hypotheses
the framing of subquestions to guide the investigation
the location of varied, relevant evidence
interpretation, analysis, evaluation and corroboration of evidence
identification of any additional evidence needed
creation of the first and subsequent drafts with reconsidered judgments
completion of the final presentation.
Repetition of all or some of the above phases may be necessary.
Guidelines of historical procedure
There are a number of guidelines that historians use in the various phases of inquiry. It is accepted generally
that in any historical inquiry, there should be:
a relevance to students and their surrounding culture
a concern with the causes and consequences of change and continuity in human events
responses to issues that emerge from the evidence
a willingness to make tentative judgments based on the evidence
support for the key components of the conclusions with evidence
evaluation of the problematic nature of historical evidence
the creation of a structured response that has drawn
upon many sources and that incorporates these new conclusions or ideas.
Students will be able to apply these principles more readily if they are given class time during the in-depth study to interact with other students and the teacher. Time may allow students the opportunity for sustained reflection, which in turn may allow for the development of empathy and the clarification of values.
Students may then proceed to express their judgments and
their proficiency in inquiry through:
presenting a written assignment, which may involve developing a series of drafts
responding under test conditions, which could involve response to stimulus, recall of information and short and extended writing tasks
developing a presentation in oral, dramatic, artistic or other suitable form.
Go To Top