Friday, June 29, 2012

Geographical Inquiry June 2010

Geographical Inquiry for Upper Sec Teachers 6 June 2011
Trainer: Joseph and Margaret
Activity 1:Teaching style
  1. Questions – understand, open minded, non-critical
  2. questioning and AFL – KWL, Project work
  3. transfer of knowledge
Activity 2: what we already learn, what we want to know
Each Physical Geog topic or Human Geog topic is framed by an overarching issue and 3 Key Questions.
Each KQ has guiding questions, main ideas, learning outcomes, content and main terms.
First two KQs are posed to enable students to acquire knowledge and skills of the topic.
Third KQ, which entails the study of either an e.g. or a case study, requires students to apply knowledge and skills to reach a reasoned conclusion to the overarching issue.
The world according to (soue) Singaporeans by Mr Tan

Framework for learning through inquiring
1. Strategies to spark curiousity
Not only data – pictures, film etc
2. Gathering data
Locate, collect and select evidence
Sort, classify and sequence data
3. Exercising reasoning – to make connections e.g. relate existing knowledge to new knowledge, command words
4. Reflective thinking – to be critical in data sources, skills and techniques used, criteria for making judgements, opinions, what has been learnt, how it has been learnt, how the enquiry can be improved and developed further.

E.g. of Inquiry lesson
Key question: Which parts of the world experience earthquakes?
Leaning objectives:
Knowledge: Richter scale, world distribution of earthquakes
Skills: Interpreting maps, describing patterns
Terms: earthquake, focus, epicenter, magnitude, earthquake zone, tsunamis
Concepts: space, place, physical processes
Resources: lists and maps from USGS website, blank world maps
How many earthquakes were there in the world yesterday?
Show the students the data from USGS
Gathering data,
Exercising reasoning = students to see pattern
Get the students to name the oceans
Reflective thinking:
What patterns have been found?
Are the data sufficient?
How could the inquiry be improved?
What might be the reasons for this distribution?

Sparking Curiosity
How do we spark curiosity?
A: Stance (a teacher which has ignite your interest in the subject)
B: Stimulus (e.g. use of a photo)

C: Speculation
Intelligent guesswork
Rank top 3 and bottom 3 in terms of life expectancy
1. Japan 83.2
2. Australia 81.9
3. Italy 81.4 (olive oil, salad, healthier lifestyle)
14 Cambodia 62.2
15 South Africa 52
16 Lesotho 45.9
D: Choice
My volcano
Stereographic North Polar Aspect
Choice of writing - on any 3 countries along a longitude
Choice of products -Postcard or email or project folder of each country

Question-driven inquiry

Using Framework
Using core 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?
Asking questions: the 5Ws
Why? Who? When? Where? What?

Using the development compass rose

Who decides?
What sort of help can be given to this place locally and internationally?
Where is this picture taken?
What climatic type is this place likely to experience?
How extensive is the problem?
What is the social impact?
How can this child be helped economically?
What is the main economic activity?
What level of development will this place experience?
What is the economic impact

Video on coastal erosion – Pumpkin TV- Sustainable coastal management @ Holderness

Probe reasons and evidence
What are the factors which have led to a rapid rate of erosion in this coastal area?
What evidence is there from the film to support what you are saying?
Test implications and consequence
How does the coastal erosion affect the life of the local people?
What can the people or local authorities help the people overcome the problem?
Explore alternative views
Are there any other factors which contributed a rapid rate of erosion?
What are the similarities in coastal erosion in Singapore and UK?
Started with easy and progressed to more difficult question
Scaffolding – lower and higher level
Probe assumption
Rephrased questions when students are stuck

Eased into difficult question
Encouraged to think further
Felt food praised
Kind teachers - encouraging
Positive even
Affirmed student
Clarifying assumption
More wait time

What are the types of data can we use?
Where can I find the sources of data?
How do we select data?
Types of data
Primary data
Original information collected first hand by fieldwork
Sketch mapping
Take photo
Secondary data
Information from published sources which was collected by someone else
Census data
Planning documents
Different forms of data
Information can be represented indifferent ways:
  • Enactive
  • Iconic (images, diagrams, pictures)
  • Symbolic

Criteria in the selection of data:
What kinds of lies?
  • Stereotyping
  • Bias
  • Inaccurate information
  • Reliability
Primary data through questionnaire surveys
8 stages of using questionnaire: surveys
1. Establishing the scope
2. Devising questions
3. Producing the questionnaire
4. Collecting responses
5. Collecting data
6. Presenting the data
7. Interpreting the data and reaching conclusions
8. Evaluating the survey

8 common types of questions
  1. Choosing one answer from list of options
  2. Choosing one or more answers from list
  3. Ranking items
  4. Semantic differential (adjective – beautiful or ugly, clean - dirty)
  5. Rating using Likert scale (strongly agree, agree, disagree or strongly disagree)
  6. Fill in the blank
  7. Open list (e.g. which are the most recent countries you have visited)
  8. Open response
Questionnaires survey:
Possible sequence of lessons focusing on stages 1 – 8
Lesson 1
Teacher introduces focus
Students brainstorms questions
Teacher produces questionnaire
Lesson 2
Students write part of report including hypothesis
Lesson 3
Each student uses questionnaire
Teacher enters data into EXCEL
Lesson 4
Students analyse data, evaluate survey and complete reports

Authentic data
Compare their data with what they learn
Check understanding
Encourage critical thinking
Pick up interpersonal/intrapersonal skills e.g. how to ask question
Source of data not available

How to help students
Critique practice
Scaffold – teach them research process (knowledge construction)
Test and review questionnaire
Instruction: Data analysis and collection
Clear in objective/purpose
Key Questions
  1. Under what circumstances would it be appropriate to use this type of data?
  2. what issues do the students face when using such data?
  3. what data related skills do we need to teach the students?
Secondary data: statistics
e.g. Singapore climate
Mathematical knowledge required for O level Geog
Units of measurement e.g. mm, degrees celcius etc
Vocabulary e.g percentages, ratios, mean, median, mode
Skills eg. Line graphs, bar graphs, scattergraphs
Statistics in 3 inquiry contexts
  1. why has tourism become a global phenomenon?
  2. why do different places experience different weather and climate>
  3. what are the global patterns of health and diseases?
1. Why has tourism become a global phenomenon?
Units of measurement: totals; percentages
Vocabulary: arrivals; country of origin
Data: statistics; graphs; distribution maps
Inquiry process
Sparking curiosity: estimate
Gathering data
Exercising reason: analyzing data, drawing graphs, writing
Reflecting on learning: other data

Use of graphs
e.g. climate graphs
why do different places experience different weather and climate?
Units of measurement: Celcius; mm
Vocabulary: temperature; precipitation; relative humidity; annual range, diurnal range; diurnal range; mean monthly
Data: statistics; graphs; distribution maps
Inquiry process:
Sparking curiously: where in the world?
Gathering data/being provided with data
Exercising reason: describing climatic graphs
Exercising reason: comparing climatic graphs
Reflecting the learning: speculating on why different
Use of maps
What are the global patterns of health and diseases?
Units of measurement: calorie
Vocabulary: infant mortality, life expectancy
Data: statistics: graphs, pie charts; distribution maps
Inquiry process
Sparking curiosity; intelligent guesswork; making numbers real
Data: statistics; graphs; plotting graphs; producing maps
Making sense: describing patterns
Reflecting; being critical

Strategy: Intelligent Guesswork
Gapminder: HIV epidemic 1980 -2007

Video on Ecotourism – Madagascar

Secondary data: Photographs
Strategies on the use of photographs
Brief glimpse
Where is it?
20 Questions

Directed Activities Related to Text
Reconstruction DARTs
  • Diagram completion (missing labels on diagram, to be filled up after reading the text)
  • Sequencing
  • Matching text and diagrams
Analysis and reconstruction DARTs
  • Labelling/reconstruction
  • Underlining or highlighting/reconstruction
Class discussion
Under what circumstances would it be appropriate to use this type ofl data?
What issues do the students face when using data?
What data related skills do we need to teach the students
Analyse trend
Select and categorise data
Unit of measurement
Analyse trend
Identify type and match
Read axis
Extract info
Unit of measurement
e.g. total annual rainfall
Record of changes over time and space
Cannot identify countries
Confused by distortion of maps
Identification of places/countries
Visual learner
Case studies
Missing data
Miss out on parts of information
Guiding questions
To note key points
Spark interest
“field trip” in classroom
Study details
Help in explanation
Limited information
Divide into 3 parts for photo analysis
Make geographical conclusions
Difficulty level
Drawing linkages
Highlighting geographical concept
Similarities and differenes
Spider diagrams

Concept mapping
Emphasis on links and realationships between concepts
Can be used:
  • Diagnostically
  • Reasoned thinking
  • Reflection/assessment
Writing frames and other support
e.g. Weather and Climate
(a) comparing and contrasting places
although India and Singapore are different, they are similar in some interesting ways.
For example, they both …..
They are also similar in …
They also have the same….
Finally they both …
(b) Use a grid to organize information about places and features before pupils use comparison and contrast frames.
Mean monthly temp
Mean annual temp
Diurnal temp range
Total Annual precipitation

Using a writing frame to explain a process in Geography
I want to explain how monsoon winds are formed ……
It starts by…. And…..
This causes…
After that……
And as a result…
The final result is that….
Writing about an issue in Geography. Use a writing frame to present arguments and information about different viewpoints.
The issue that we discussed was about the effectiveness of measures adopted to mitigate and respond to the effects of tropical cyclones.
Some people think that….
They argue that….
Another group who agree with this point of view are..
They say that…
On the other hand….
Disagree with the idea that…
They claim that…
They also say that
My opinion is …

Role-play inquiry
Mauritius: Is tourism the way to go?
Sparking curiosity: connecting with own knowledge
Gathering data: information for each group
Exercising reasoning: role play: public meeting
Reflective thinking: debrief in role; debrief out of role
Should Mauritius aim to double the number of tourists by 2020?

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