DEC Scan Journal : February 2011
The learning context stablished in 1986, Broughton Anglican College is an independent, co- educational, Preparatory to Year 12 day school at Menangle Park NSW that is committed to quality education for students from all backgrounds and cultures. After a staff presentation in 2009 on the application of the Guided Inquiry process to four Year 7 History classes, Brad Gillion approached the teacher librarian, Alinda Sheerman, with a request to be supported in its implementation for one of his classes in 2010. For this purpose, he selected Option 12 School-developed option of the NSW Commerce Years 7--10 syllabus in which the students undertook research of a personally selected topic. A class wiki was used to share and present learning. The teacher librarian supported the teacher and students in a teams approach to learning and also undertook action research to assess the use of Guided Inquiry in the teaching and learning process. Strategies used to gather evidence of the learning • The Student Learning through Inquiry Measure (SLIM) <cissl.rutgers.edu/guided_ inquiry/slim.html> toolkit was used to analyse individual needs at three stages of the inquiry process so that individual support could be given at the point of need. This analysis was also an indicator of learning and was used in action research. Additional evidence was recorded by • asking questions and recording students' responses about their journey throughout the process (using a small Flip Mino camera) • an online survey at the evaluation stage • a brief questionnaire sent home to parents. This gave a complete picture of how the students travelled at all stages and on all fronts. The teacher librarian analysed all of these results and discussed them with the class teacher and later the team shared the experience at a K--12 staff meeting to promote the use of Guided Inquiry across the school. Key learning achieved by students It is amazing how many syllabus outcomes and objectives were met through using the Guided Inquiry process. In analysing the work done by the class, it was very evident that every student achieved almost all outcomes and objectives. The teacher and teacher librarian shared the assessment of the tasks evaluating both content and skills. The content for the unit of work was varied as students could select an issue of personal interest. Consequently, through sharing on the wiki, in completing peer evaluation and through listening to presentations, students gained and shared a vast amount knowledge about many issues in society -- on topics such as Eco-Consumerism and The use of sow stalls. Joshua Little and Nicola Breward produced outstanding work. All students, without exception, achieved well above their usual level of work and all made excellent presentations to their peers both through their wiki pages and in oral presentations. Joshua's reflections In 2010, the Year 10 Commerce class at Broughton Anglican College studied the topic Current issues in Australian society using the process of Guided Inquiry. This was a new and at times daunting experience, but was very rewarding and exciting in the end. My topic was inspired by the 2010 Federal Election, in particular the issue of asylum seekers and border protection. This involved posing the following research question: Evaluate and assess (with recommenda- tions) which border protection policy services the needs of both the Commonwealth of Australia and refugees. Forming my own recommendations was the highlight of my Guided Inquiry research. I completed a policy analysis of the asylum seekers policies of each of the major political parties, as well as the views of the United Nations. I designed a 12 point policy, which I felt met the needs of Australia and asylum seekers/refugees. I placed a strong emphasis on encouraging legal migration and a high intake of bona fide refugees from the United Nations High Commissioner. After studying the various forms of visas available to asylum seekers (including permanent protection and the former temporary protection visas), I developed my own class of visa -- the Refugee Protection Visa. My policy discouraged illegal immigration through initiatives such as third country mandatory Joshua Little, Year 10 Scan Vol 30 No 1 February 2011 4 E iInquire... iLearn... iCreate... iShare: Guided Inquiry at Broughton Anglican College Learning journal Alinda Sheerman, teacher librarian at Broughton Anglican College, provides the learning context for a Year 10 Guided Inquiry task, and introduces students, Joshua Little and Nicola Breward, who share their learning journeys.