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A First-Year Social Sciences Inquiry Course: The Interplay of Inquiry and Metacognition to Enhance Student Learning

Inquiry-Based Learning for the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences: A Conceptual and Practical Resource for Educators

ISBN: 978-1-78441-237-1, eISBN: 978-1-78441-236-4

ISSN: 2055-3641

Publication date: 5 December 2014

Abstract

This chapter highlights inquiry-based learning in action in a first-year Social Sciences inquiry course. Focusing on the continued development of this course over eight years, we present a practical example of fostering an inquiry-based teaching and learning environment grounded in metacognitive practice. Woven throughout the course is a thoughtful and deliberate incorporation of skill-building based on two types of metacognitive expertise; self-understanding and self-regulation with a goal to encourage and support students in developing effective learning strategies necessary for university study. We have found that scaffolding the inquiry learning process with metacognition further enhances the first-year learning experience and promotes a deeper level of learning, where students become aware of their own thinking practice and process. These skills include critical thinking, self-directed learning, clear communication and openness to learning. The chapter presents a series of strategies for introducing and linking metacognitive practice and the inquiry-based approach to learning. Presenting the five stages of inquiry learning: exploration, question and problem identification, methods of investigation, collection and analysis of data, development of conclusions and creative communication of results we describe how we work to develop a more distinct, personalized, engaging and sustainable undergraduate learning experience.

Citation

Chiappetta Swanson, C., Ahmad, A. and Radisevic, I. (2014), "A First-Year Social Sciences Inquiry Course: The Interplay of Inquiry and Metacognition to Enhance Student Learning", Inquiry-Based Learning for the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences: A Conceptual and Practical Resource for Educators (Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Vol. 2), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 53-73. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2055-364120140000002015

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited