DEC Scan Journal : Volume 33 Issue 2
2014 Volume 33, Issue 2 10 Contents Editorial Currents Teaching & learning Research Curriculum support Share this Resource reviews hero themed board game as a demonstration of their understanding of the concept of heroes. A game board and a selection of some of the insightful question cards the students made are illustrated below. Typically, it is the teachers who generate divergent questions of this type. With just one term of philosophical inquiry, students themselves were beginning to pose insightful questions such as these and debate the possible answers. Any one of the questions above could lead to a robust and lively philosophical discussion. Enriching student learning across the curriculum Philosophical methodology lends itself to implementing the English curriculum, but philosophic inquiry can be used in any discipline (Kennedy White, 2013). For instance, it can stimulate students to think mathematically, as working within a community of inquiry provides the time to stand back, re-examine and challenge the habitual understanding of a mathematical concept (e.g., number, time, etc). Equally, the tools and practice of philosophic inquiry can support history and science. Rigorous exploration of history demands that students ask relevant questions, critically analyse and interpret sources, and develop and substantiate interpretations. The discourse in a science classroom is markedly enhanced when students use the tools of philosophic inquiry to collaboratively challenge themselves to identify questions and draw conclusions. See the Values and attitudes area of Science K–10 and the text by Tim Sprod, (see references and further reading), which provides more detail on using inquiry to enrich the teaching of science in the middle years. Within the library context, philosophical inquiry equips students for meaningful engagement with Guided Inquiry because thinking tools are prerequisite to the path toward information fluency. The beginning of the process of research within Guided Inquiry is to establish and define the research topic or question. For students of philosophy, this is familiar territory. According to Carron and Choi (2013), expectations for secondary students include capabilities to: • express big ideas in relation to their inquiry (Stage 4) • develop and refine research topic, problem or question independently (Stage 5) • investigate problems or questions for which there are multiple answers or no best answer (Stage 6) Students with training in thinking tools, via philosophical inquiry, can confidently engage with these research challenges. At present, some Australian schools include philosophical inquiry in select KLAs or with select populations (such as gifted and talented students.) Imagine the conceptual advances (and the increase in CCT) that would ensue when a whole school takes on board philosophical inquiry across all KLAs. Indeed there are success stories of this type in Australia (Mergler, Curtis, & Spooner- Lane, 2009; Buranda State School, 2014).Buranda is living proof of the vision expressed in Cam (2010) that philosophical inquiry could become the connective tissue that would enable the different parts of the curriculum to form a more effective whole. Given the cross-curricular utility of philosophical methods, and the emphasis on CCT across all subject Big questions in Stage 4: What is a hero?
Volume 33 Issue 3
2014 Issue 1