An Investigation into the Impact of Inquiry-Based Learning on Young Learners’ Environmental Awareness and Agency in the Local Environment
Citation:Niamh Horan, 'An Investigation into the Impact of Inquiry-Based Learning on Young Learners’ Environmental Awareness and Agency in the Local Environment'
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This thesis describes a case study analysis of an inquiry-based learning (IBL) approach with a class of young learners in an urban, primary school setting. Firstly, it examines how IBL can deepen the understanding of young learners’ environmental awareness in the local environment. Secondly, it investigates how IBL can promote agency for young learners. The data were generated with a group of 24 children, through a unit of inquiry which was taught over 5 weeks. Qualitative data were generated in this study by observations, samples of children’s work and focus groups interviews. Kath Murdoch’s (2010) inquiry cycle was used as the conceptual frame during the data generation and analysis processes. A triangulation strategy was used in the form of thick descriptions, an audit trail and member checking to maximise the validity of the data. The findings from this study found that conceptual learning, key inquiry skills and the role of the learner were pivotal in answering the research questions. The findings suggest the usefulness of conceptual learning as one way to address the overburdened curriculum in an Irish context. It also suggests the effectiveness of IBL approach to learning about environment awareness and promoting agency for young learners.
Author: Horan, Niamh
Qualification name:Master in Education Studies (Inquiry Based Learning)
Type of material:Thesis
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