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National Institute of Education (Singapore)
Aghazadeh, S. (2020). Inquiry-based learning and its impact on teaching and learning of the humanities. (NIE Working Paper Series No. 19). Singapore: National Institute of Education.
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NIE Working Paper Series;19
The value of inquiry has long been recognised and there is growing evidence of the efficacy of this approach in education. To that end, educational systems have begun to incorporate inquiry into their curriculum as a key to raise disciplinary standards and principles. However, it seems that the curricular emphasis on inquiry, while necessary, is not sufficient for the effective enactment of inquiry practices. The critical ingredient required to enact a successful inquiry-based learning (IBL) in classrooms is an inquiry culture and mind-set which should be cultivated for both teachers and students in K-12 classrooms. This paper aims to focus on and explore the implementation of IBL in the context of the K-12 humanities subjects. It seeks to provide insights to the nature of inquiry in the learning and teaching of the humanities by highlighting the related concepts, complexities, and impacts, found in local and international literature.
To achieve that, this paper consists of 3 sections. Section 1 offers the philosophical and theoretical backgrounds of IBL. It discusses the essential constituents of a disciplined inquiry in the humanities with some examples of international curricula. In section 2, IBL will be elucidated in the context of the humanities subjects and its impact on learning (developing student knowledge and skills) and teaching (inquiry-related pedagogical strategies, activities, teachers’ role, and assessment). Section 3 follows with some implications and suggestions for policymakers, educators and future researchers in this area.
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