A. Introductions in pairs
- A novel way of getting everyone introduced is to get someone else
to do it. The first step in this activity is for participants to find
a partner. If there are uneven numbers organise for one group of three.
The participants are then given three minutes each to find out something
unique or interesting about their partner related to their interests
or experiences in coastal or marine environments.
- Participants then introduce their partner to the whole group. If the
group is very large it might be necessary to break into smaller groups
of around ten people.
- This activity will help you, as the facilitator, establish the participants'
backgrounds and to introduce yourself to the group.
B. Workshop Overview
Introduce the workshop as 'Investigating Coastal and Marine Environments
through Studies of Society and Environment'. Using a brainstorming technique,
ask participants to identify what they expect from this workshop. Record
responses on a board or chart (retain a copy of these expectations as
an evaluation tool). Identify the objectives of the workshop and how this
relates to the expectations participants listed for the workshop. A suggested
workshop outline and objectives are detailed on OHT
1 and OHT 2.
C. Guided Journey
The guided journey activity asks participants to relax and take a tour of
a variety settings where coastal and marine studies may be taught. This
tour will form the basis for participants to discuss their understanding
of what enquiry based teaching looks like. It is important to carefully
prepare the participants to engage in the guided journey. As the facilitator
you will need to gauge whether it would be best for the group to participate
in the guided journey seated at a desk, lying on the beach or floor, etc.
It is very important that participants feel comfortable. You will require
a very quiet location. It might also be appropriate to play soft relaxation
music as a background for this activity.
Depending on the situation, facilitators may find it useful to collect
a set of slides or photographs of a variety of coastal and marine studies
settings. This slide presentation could replace the guided journey text
included as Resource 1.
- Ask participants to find a comfortable location seated on a chair,
lying on the floor, seated on the floor, etc.
- Read the guided journey text (Resource
1) aloud to participants (or introduce the slide presentation).
- After the guided journey (or slide presentation), divide participants
into small groups to discuss the questions provided on Resource 2.
- The participants re-form as a whole group to discuss the following:
- What types of teaching and learning should be used for coastal and
- What examples of enquiry based teaching are in the guided journey?
- How much preparation time is required to develop coastal and marine
studies activities such as those described in the guided journey (or
- How did participants feel about the guided journey technique? Could
a guided journey be a useful teaching strategy in coastal and marine
This activity will allow participants to focus on some of the key concepts
to be developed in the workshop. This activity provides a focus for participants
to consider what they think enquiry based teaching involves.
2. What is Enquiry Based Teaching?
This section consists of four activities. Activities A and B involve participants
in a classroom activity (and debriefing) based on a catchment and coastal
pollution issue. Activity C is a mini-lecture which outlines a number of
approaches to enquiry based teaching for coastal and marine studies. Activity
D asks participants to evaluate these models of teaching and learning against
the process strand in the Studies of Society and Environment Key Learning
A. Sample Activity: Catchment and Coastal Pollution
- Indicate to participants that the best way to explore enquiry based
teaching is to experience it.
- Divide participants into groups of 4-5 people. Give each group:
- a copy of the map in Resource 2
- an envelope containing Resource
3 cut up into small slips. Each slip describes an event that
has occurred in the catchment or coastal areas on the map in Resource 2
- the newspaper reports in Resource
- the questions in Resource 5
- Ask participants in each group, in turn, to select one slip and to:
Note to Facilitators: Group members could be allocated the roles
of Group Cartographer (to be responsible for Resource 2), Group
News Librarian (to be responsible for Resource 4), and Group Secretary
(to be responsible for Resource 5).
- read it aloud to the group;
- identify the corresponding location on the map in Resource
- identify the corresponding newspaper report in Resource
- answer the questions in the table (Part 1) of Resource
- When all the steps from the envelope have been analysed (as above),
and the table in Part I of Resource 5 completed, ask each group
to develop answers to the "Synthesizing the Data" questions in Part
- Compare the groups' answers in a general discussion and seek to bring
out the following generalizations:
- The catchment of a river often drains into a large area of land
and anything that happens there can drain into the sea.
- Catchment and coastal pollution is a complex problem because there
are so many different kinds and sources of pollution.
- Because pollutants travel downstream to the coast or into inland
drainage basins, it is impossible to keep coastal areas clean without
dealing with catchment pollution.
Use the following questions as the basis for a debriefing following the
activity. It will be important to point out that action was not developed
in this activity due to time constraints.
- How did you feel about the activity?
- Would you describe the activity as enquiry learning? Why or why not?
- What are the strengths of this approach to teaching and learning?
- What are the weaknesses of this approach for teaching and learning?
- Could a variation of this activity be used with students you teach?
The purpose of this mini lecture is to provide participants with a theoretical
background for inquiry based curricular appropriate for coastal and marine
studies. A suggested sequence follows using OHT 3-8
and Reading 1. Reading 1 is for
the workshop facilitator, but could be provided to the participants as a
background or follow-up reading. Use the experiences of participants from
the previous activity to highlight points and provide examples throughout
Do enquiry or issue based teaching strategies achieve the goals of coastal
and marine studies? Use OHT 8 to remind the group of the objectives
of coastal and marine studies from Module 1. Ask the group whether
the "Four Enquiry Questions" on the "Five Step Process for Exploring Issues"
could achieve the objectives of coastal and marine studies. It would be
useful for participants to have copies of OHT 6-8
for this discussion.
- OHT 3 introduces the notion that enquiry learning
strategies are considered 'best practice' in coastal and marine studies.
- OHT 4 makes the point that environmental education
is important because students need to be able to identify and undertake
actions that address the solutions to coastal and marine questions,
issues and problems.
- OHT 5 outlines the five phases of enquiry
learning identified by Noel Gough. This provides participants with background
knowledge of an enquiry learning process for students.
- OHT 6 outlines a suggested set of four enquiry
questions to structure in the development of an enquiry based teaching
- OHT 7 is a Five Step Process for Exploring
Issues. The Five Step Process for Exploring Issues is described fully
in Reading 1. This provides another
approach to the development of enquiry based teaching.
D. The Process Strand of Studies of Society and Environment
This activity relates to equiry learning to the process strand of the Studies
of Society and Environment (SOSE) Key Learning Area
- Display OHT 9 which identifies the three process
objectives of Investigation, Communication and Participation. Use Resource 7
as a basis for explaining the dimensions and significance of these three
process objectives to learning in SOSE.
- Explain that the models of enquiry outlined in the previous section
correspond with these three process objectives in SOSE. Distribute a
copy of Resource 8 to each group and ask them to match the steps
in the "Four Enquiry Questions" and "Five Step Process for Exploring
Issues" approaches to the three SOSE process objectives.
3. Overcoming Barriers to Enquiry Based Teaching
When considering enquiry based teaching it is important to consider both
the opportunities and constraints teachers can encounter. These will differ
for each individual teacher due to a variety of factors including personal
concerns, lack of support structures, and issues related to lack of time,
equipment and space within the curriculum. This activity needs to be general
to suit the needs of specific situations. The facilitator will need to use
their understanding of the context of teaching during this discussion.
- In small groups participants brainstorm a list of the opportunities
and constraints they see for the development of enquiry based coastal
and marine studies. Participants can base this discussion on their experiences
of enquiry learning from the catchment and pollution activity and other
examples given during the workshop. Resource 9
can be used for recording. Ask each group to nominate its top three
opportunities and constraints and record these on individual sheets
of chart paper.
- Reassemble as a group. Each group should report back with its top
three opportunities and constraints. Use tape to attach these to a wall
or whiteboard. Ask the group to consider whether these opportunities
can be categorised in any way. For example, are there common constraints
related to school structures such as timetables? Are there issues related
to resources etc.?
- Each group should then develop a chart of ideas, on ways to overcome
barriers to the development of enquiry based teaching. Participants
may be able to make suggestions from their experiences within schools.
4. Planning Enquiry Based Teaching
In small groups participants consider the development of an appropriate
enquiry based unit. Participants may decide to form groups based on year
levels taught or topic areas of interest. Resource 10
uses the "Four Enquiry Questions" model as a general outline to guide group
planning (it is suggested that Resource 10 be enlarged onto an A3 sheet).
Alternative general outline sheets can be developed by the facilitator or
participants. Depending on the time available, each group may report back
on its planning.
To conclude the workshop, you may wish to use the following points:
- Review the approaches to enquiry based learning suggested in this
workshop (OHT 5 and OHT 6).
- Reflect on the need for these approaches to achieve the goals of coastal
and marine studies (OHT 8) and the process
strand of SOSE (OHT 9).
- Highlight the need for teachers to consider the opportunities and
constraints they face in their teaching so students can develop skills
such as decision making, facilitation skills, critical thinking and
conflict resolution. Teachers should be encouraged to develop ways of
- Enquiry based learning is a teaching strategy that allows students
to develop a variety of skills for participating in the solutions for
- Take the opportunity to reflect on the workshop expectations participants
identified in the introduction and discuss whether these expectations
have been met. Use OHT 1 and 2
as prompts to seek comments on the strengths and areas for improvement
related to the workshop structure, aims and teaching strategies. These
reflection could form the basis for the revision of this workshop for