Use of inquiry for teaching social studies in a lower secondary class at a private school in Karachi
Date of Award
Master of Education (M. Ed.)
Institute for Educational Development, Karachi
Social Studies is the integration of the Social Sciences and Humanities in order to promote competence in students. It enables learners to become useful citizens of the society. However, the teaching and learning of such an important subject is not satisfactorily addressed in our schools for various reasons; mainly teachers tend to rely on teaching in a traditional manner. It is perceived that teachers are knowledge givers, while students are recipients of that knowledge, and hence, the children's conceptual understanding in the subject doesn't get developed. Considering that this subject prepares children to become informed citizens, it is necessary that constructive methods and strategies should be introduced in schools for teaching Social Studies. Literature also supports innovative ideas and strategies such as discovery, problem-solving, project-based and web-based teaching and learning in order to enhance students' thinking skills and conceptual understanding. The study was undertaken in a grade seven Social Studies classroom in a private school in Karachi. The methodology used was action research as this is a practitioner's research, which enables the researcher to study the implementation of inquiry through approach using web-resources in the teaching of Social Studies. As a part of methodology, I engaged in the reconnaissance stage and made a general plan of action for carrying out the study. The cycle of action research contained; planning, action, observation and reflection. The data was collected through classroom observations, field notes, and semi-structured interviews. The findings of the study revealed that students when involved in the process of inquiry began participating actively in the lessons. Furthermore, a shift was observed in students from their dependency on textbook to independent searching and collecting information from the internet. It also provided students the opportunity of developing their communication and information-seeking skills and increased their motivation. Students were seen constructing their own knowledge, which facilitates teaching and learning in Social Studies classroom.
Khan, A. (2006). Use of inquiry for teaching social studies in a lower secondary class at a private school in Karachi (Unpublished master's dissertation). Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.