2. Fostering geographical inquiry and fieldwork

2.2 Make judgements about the essential skills, processes, understandings and values that students need to develop to carry out meaningful and ethical geographical inquiries.

Focus question:
  • What are some of the skills, processes and values that you draw on when introducing students to geographical inquiry?
Further questions:
  • What are some of the ethical dimensions of geographical inquiry?
Samples of practice

(a) Backdrop:
In this sample the teacher explains some of the basic skills and processes that are used when analysing data presented in the form of a map.
What geographical concepts are introduced, and steps taken, as the teacher questions this year 9 class on the distribution of parkland?

pdf iconSample 2 GEOG 01 [1. Lesson summary 00.22.19 – 00.31.39]

(b) Backdrop:
In this sample a student explains how he formed understanding of a basic geographical concept because of the description and examples used by the teacher. To what extent does the teacher use group work to enhance the understanding of the concept? Why does this approach appeal to the student?

pdf iconSample 2 GEOG 01 [3. Transcript of student interview.]

(c) Backdrop:
In this sample of accomplished teaching practice with a Year 9 class, the teacher gives a demonstration of how to use an annotated image. He develops students’ skills in field sketching using a photograph he has sourced from the internet. Why does this process connect with students?

play video iconClick here to view this video sample

Further links and resources

A model for geographical inquiry:
“The literature cautions against prescribing a model of inquiry that includes a list of questions. Instead questions should emerge from the discovery and exploration of place, space, process or phenomena”
Sorensen, L. (2009) Literature Review - for the National Geography Curriculum. Geographical Education 22: 13-14

See also:
Berry, R. & Smith, R. (2009) Towards a national curriculum for Australia – Background Report. Brisbane: Australian Geography Teachers’ Association, Institute of Australian Geographers and Royal Geographical Society of Queensland.

McInerney, M., Berg, K., Hutchinson, N., Maude, A. & Sorensen, L. (2009) Towards a national geography curriculum for Australia. Brisbane: Australian Geography Teachers’ Association, Institute of Australian Geographers and Royal Geographical Society of Queensland.

Morgan, J. & Lambert, D. (2005) Geography: Teaching school subjects 11-19. London: Routledge.

1. Knowing geography and geography curriculum
Accomplished geography teachers: 
2. Fostering geographical inquiry and fieldwork
Accomplished geography teachers:
3. Developing geographical thinking and communication
Accomplished geography teachers:
4. Understanding students and their communities
Accomplished geography teachers:
5. Establishing a safe, supportive and intellectually challenging learning environment

Accomplished geography teachers:

6. Understanding geography teaching – pedagogical practices
Accomplished geography teachers:
7. Planning, assessing and reporting

Accomplished geography teachers:

8. Progressing professional growth and development

Accomplished geography teachers:

9. Learning and working collegially

Accomplished geography teachers: