Final Inquiry Project: Inquiry Spurs Motivation in Social Studies

The Project:

"To really look at how the research process works, you'll be doing a research project yourself related to the content of the course. This will be a chance to actually review all the steps of the research process, reflect on your skills and feelings, think about how you might teach this to students, and examine how to use an online tool like GoogleSites to share your work and thoughts with others (Dr. Eileen Schroeder)."

The Abstract

“It is the ultimate goal to develop independent learners who know how to expand their knowledge and expertise through skilled use of a variety of information sources (Kuhlthau et al., 2007, p. 3).”  One of the first steps in developing independent learners is to create lessons that revolve around authentic real-world problems.   Students are more likely to become motivated to learn when they can see the relevance between what they’re learning and the issues that are occurring in the world today.  Human beings are naturally curious, and that curiosity needs to be tapped into in order to increase student interest.  Inquiry “can lead to consideration of a wider range of perceptions and options rather than simply those assumed by the learner.  As the inquirer matures, assimilation evolves to linking diverse and multiple channels of new information to what is previously know personal (Lamb & Callison, 2011).   By teaching inquiry methods through lessons which model and scaffold upon what students already know, teachers and library media specialists can “foster motivation, reading comprehension, language development, writing ability, cooperative learning and social skills.  All of these have been identified as essential for successful lifelong learning (Kuhlthau et al., 2007, p. 2).”

Polly LaMontagne,
Mar 11, 2012, 2:30 PM