This blog is designed to support the development of inquiry skills, disciplinary thinking and problem based learning approaches within social studies, geography and history.
This site is designed to support learning modules offered within the TDSB, however, others can benefit and contribute. Please send any comments or contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teachers and students can land on any part of the inquiry process at any time
Inquiries do not need to go through the whole inquiry process
Aspects of inquiry can be done in 40 minutes
Teachers need to be deliberate about the inquiry focus in the class
Success criteria needs to be developed so teachers and students know what the target is
The inquiry needs to apply some sort of disciplinary understanding (ie. historical, geographical, scientific) so students can articulate what they have learned in these terms.
Jeffrey Whilhelm , Engaging Readers and Writers with Inquiry, 2007
What aspects of inquiry resonate with you?
What challenges do you see?
Consider the following articles from the Ontario Ministry of Education
3) What are the benefits related to the inquiry process?
4) What could the inquiry process (historical focus) look like ?
In this video the presenter explains how the process of inquiry begins with a question, rather than the teacher presenting the key ideas. Then students investigate the content looking at a variety of resources.
5) How do you organize student thinking during an inquiry?
In KB/KC classrooms, students work to identify problems of understanding, create theories, carry out research and investigations in order to refine their theories over time, revise their problems and strategies, and share and monitor the progress of the community towards its goals of advancing knowledge.
Teachers are reflecting on the key aspects of the revised SSHG curriculum and they are examining their practice and considering next steps. See how one teacher is approaching inquiry.
What resonates with you? What questions do you still have/
Voices of other teachers
Teacher Voice relating to Inquiry - Our perceptions are important! I used to think… Problem-based learning meant not teaching content and allowing students to research content on their own. I never fully understood how we would be able to teach what they need to know in this way. Now I think… Problem based learning is very important and does not mean that we don't teach content. The content is embedded within the inquiry. As teachers engage in inquiry with their classes, their views about inquiry change. Some of our misconceptions are challenged and we can see how inquiry based learning links with student achievement. 12) Exploring Big Questions (getting started)
Before we generate questions , consider letting students wonder about your provocations. These wonders can then be used to develop questions.See how one teacher incorporate wonder in her class. Wonder Wall Article
http://learningin2025.wikispaces.com/PBL+Samples KADS Global EDU is a consulting firm that originated through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The videos are first-hand accounts of Problem Based Learning in action in three schools across the United States. The videos summarize PBL projects, and in these videos, the dialogue between teachers, the dialogue between students, and teacher and student reflections are highlighted Problem Based Learning in Social Studies and English http://www.slideshare.net/glennw98/pbl-for-social-studies-language-arts This slideshare provides examples and shows the PBL process. Examining the PBL model I have attached a file that shares some of the benefits of Problem Based Learning. We have used the Frayer Model to explain the process. Click here to access the file.
What do teachers say about PBL?
Click here to read a few views from classroom teachers about their experience.
Ministry of Education Inquiry Monograph This monograph provides useful ideas towards inquiry which is a key element of PBL. Click here to access the document. Inquiry-Based Learning The Capacity Building Series is produced by the Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat to support leadership and instructional effectiveness in Ontario schools. Teachers play the role of “provocateur,” finding creative ways to introduce students to ideas and to subject matter that is of interest to them and offers “inquiry potential” or promise in terms of opportunities for students to engage in sustained inquiry of their own Click here to access the document.
Growth Opportunities Use the attached resource to see how you can use Twitter to learn what teachers are doing with inquiry and PBL. Visit #ontsshg To explore possibilities, use a site like tagboard.com to search Twitter hashtags related to subjects of interest. Today we started #tdsbpbl and you may also access #ontsshg to participate in discussions related to SSHG. We used Tweetdeck on laptops and Hootsuite on ipads. http://www.pblearning.com/index.html This site is designed for teachers who want to include problem-based learning in their classrooms. You will find a number of resources including sample lessons, videos, templates for planning and instruction, research and articles, and links to additional information. Problem Based Learning in Social Studies and English http://www.slideshare.net/glennw98/pbl-for-social-studies-language-arts This slideshare provides examples and shows the PBL process. I have attached a file that shares some of the benefits of Problem Based Learning. We have used the Frayer Model to explain the process. Click here to access the file.
The Ministry of Education has explained the concepts of thinking for Social Studies, Geography and History. The intent is that students will"do" the discipline rather than "learn" about it. This focuses students on doing the work of the discipline which includes inquiry based learning.
Ontario Ministry of Education - Explanation Watch the Disciplinary Thinking video (specific focus begins at 3:32 in the clip). The clip may be found on Edugains
> Click Resources > Part 5: Social Studies, History and Geography – Overview Pages and Concepts of Disciplinary Thinking
Success Criteria Visit the resource page to access the success criteria that is related to each of the concepts (Social Studies, History, Geography). The success criteria sets the target for the use of disciplinary thinking. The success criteria becomes the tool students and teachers can use to assess student performance.
What do the concepts mean to elementary teachers?
The following video is an international clip that explains some of
the social studies disciplinary concepts (continuity and change,
significance, and cause and consequence).
Our approach in Ontario is being used in several nations.
What does disciplinary thinking look like in the classroom?
Watch this video to gain an understanding of disciplinary thinking and what it means for primary students.(Start at 2:46 to hear about her approach) Reflection: In this example the teacher speaks about her primary students explaining how they think like historians.
How can you develop the concepts with our students? Consider how we can use this to develop the concept Continuity and Change.
Understanding Historical Thinking
Middle School teachers can benefit from the following video series that explains the concepts of Historical Thinking
Try the following lessons to help students build an understanding of (Geographic) Perspective, (Spatial) Significance, Interrelations and Patterns and Trends. These introductory lessons are useful for grades 1-12. http://bit.ly/2cpLWdr
In this example from OESSTA, the teacher shows a systematic way to teach a concept of historical thinking by embedding it in instruction. Reflection: How can this video be used as a tool to explore continuity and change?
Developing Continuity and Change
Reflection: How this video can be used to explore the concept of continuity and change. What aspects can be observed and compared?
Developing Significance In this task students determine images that should be represented on Canadian coins based on their investigations.
Reflection: How can significance be addressed in the strands you are teaching?
Developing Perspective: An examination of the following articles/videos can be used to explore the concept of perspective or geographic perspective: Natural Resources The Footprint of the Canadian Lumber Industry Click here Elizabeth May on the decline of Canada's forests Click here Keystone Pipeline Click here Thousands rally to stop XL pipeline Click here First Nations take their pipeline protest to the top Click here Historical Perspective Columbus Controversy Click Here Christopher Columbus Click here Why do we need to explore different perspectives?
Students come to many topics with an understanding from their own expeiences or background. It is useful for teachers to gather this information because it can guide the inquiry and it is a key element of the knowledge building process.
How can I find out what they know? (RAN Organizer)
1) Consider using the RAN teaching strategy (RAN Organizer). This is based on Tony Snead's adaptation of the KWL chart.
To access the file click here. (Word)
2) Another approach to determine what students know is to use an anticipation guide http://www.adlit.org/strategies/19712/. The guide will include misconceptions that surround particular concepts. Students will then explore some content related to the topic and reflect on their previous ideas.
3) See the attached page that contains a variety of strategies that teachers can use with students to determine prior knowledge and perspective.
4) Building and Activating: This article discusses the kinds of background knowledge that students bring to a learning experience. It also emphasizes the kinds of experiences that lead to understanding rather than regurgitation.
5) Examples of PBL
Explore your curriculum to determine how Problem Based Learning approaches can become the focus of your SSHG program.
In East York a class is investigating their local community past and present. One of the problems is how can we learn about our past ?
Focus - Continuity and change
The class is integrating social studies and language to conduct authentic research. This plan has been shared with parents since it includes content that only parents can share. The students are asking questions, reviewing a variety of resources and analysing the data using some of the thinking concepts (continuity and change). They will be given many opportunities to communicate their learning as well.
So far the class has created different family trees to emphasize that everyone has history. This approach has also included everyone's story. Parents help their children to share the information that they are comfortable with. As I spoke with the class I could see that this activity has validated each students' experience. The family history assignment has evolved into a mapping task and provided story writing opportunities. Included in this investigation will be an analysis of images of life in the community past and present. A trip to the TDSB TUSC schoolhouse will add to the experience. The class is exploring historical fiction novels relating to the 1800s as well.
We anticipate that the class will create an annotated map highlighting the immigrant experience (past and present). We found a laminated world map at Cosco for $7.95 that will be the foundation for the annotated map. This guided inquiry has created many new questions that can be explored by the whole group.
Discipline Based Inquiry - grade 2 Inuit Unit from Alberta