International Association
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IASL Research Abstracts

IASL Research Abstracts: 227

Chu, S., Chow, K., Tse, S K., & Kuhlthau, C. C. (2008). Grade 4 Students’ Development of Research Skills Through Inquiry-Based Learning Projects

Researchers like Harada, Yoshina, Donham, Bishop, Kuhlthau, and Oberg have pointed out the benefits for students to move from rote to inquiry learning. However, "the norm in many classrooms remains teaching practice that results in rote learning and regurgitated facts." In recent years, the Hong Kong government's Education Bureau has put inquiry-based learning as the first emphasis under the new General Studies curriculum for primary schools with the objective of "creating more learning space by removing obsolete content, allowing more time for inquiry-based learning." Many schools are now attempting to incorporate this mode of learning into their curriculum. This study reports on two phases of IBL projects undertaken by 141 grade 4 students, each phase lasting for two to three months. The projects were led by general studies teachers and heavily supported by Chinese-language teachers, the information technology teacher, and the school librarian. Through analyzing the lesson plans, in-class exercises, homework assignments, written reports, presentations by students, and data collected through surveys and interviews, this article focuses specifically on the role of the general studies teachers in guiding students through the inquiry process. It also analyzes the students' development of knowledge and research skills, as well as students' and parents'
perceptions of the projects.

Subject categories: Inquiry, resource-based learning, flexible scheduling (12), Special populations (16), Role issues (20)

Abstract submitted by Janice Newsum, Florida State University

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