Geographical inquiry

An overview of the geographical inquiry process.

This video:

  • details the different phases associated with conducting a geographical inquiry including
    • questioning or problem solving
    • collection of geographical data through primary and secondary research methods
    • analysis and evaluation of findings
  • breaks each phase of a geographical inquiry down into a comprehensive list.

It is emphasized throughout the episode that a geographical inquiry can be conducted in full or in part depending on the teaching message and skills focus.

Watch 'Geographical inquiry' (2:59).

An overview of the sequence a student can take to undertake a geographical inquiry.

[Music playing]

The screen shows a blue sky with clouds. Text on the screen reads, ‘Curriculum Secondary Learners – HSIE. Teaching geographical skills series. Geographical inquiry. Presented by Melissa Ellis.’]

Melissa Ellis

Hello. A geographical inquiry is a process by which students learn about and deepen their understanding of geography.

[Presenter is standing in front of a decorative background. In the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, the text reads, ‘Melissa Ellis. HSIE Curriculum Support Project Officer.’]

It involves individual, or collaborative, investigations that start with geographical questions and proceed through the collection, evaluation, interpretation, and analysis of information to develop a set of conclusions and proposals for action.

[Screen shows a video of teenage students in a classroom working together at their desks.]

Students apply their geographical skills and use geographical tools during an inquiry. Fieldwork provides opportunities for students to be involved in an active inquiry outside the classroom.

[Screen shows a series of videos, including young people walking with backpacks on a grassy mountain, a close-up view of a compass and map, and a young person walking through trees.]

The stages of inquiry are acquiring geographical information by identifying an issue or problem, developing geographical questions to investigate the issue or problem, collecting primary geographical data, gather geographical information from secondary sources, and recording their information. Secondly, in a geographical inquiry, students will need to process geographical information, evaluate data and information for reliability and bias, represent data and information in appropriate forms, interpreting data and information gathered, analysing the finding and results to draw conclusions. Thirdly, in an inquiry, they have to communicate geographical information, communicate the results using a variety of strategies, reflect on findings of the investigation, propose actions, and predict outcomes, where appropriate students can take action.

[Description not needed: The visuals in this part of the video only support what is spoken; the visuals do not provide additional information.]

A geographical inquiry does not have to follow the complete sequence just outlined. Teachers may provide students with a data set and allow students to interpret and analyse the data provided. Students may be presented with all the information and propose action or may pose a question they want to answer and strategies they would choose when conducting an inquiry.

[Screen shows a video of teenage students in a classroom working together at their desks. The presenter then reappears on the screen.]

So, to sum it up, a geographical inquiry will include some or all of the following, acquiring geographical information, processing geographical information, communicating geographical information. All the best with your inquiries.

[Text on screen reads, ‘References

  • Storyblocks student-concentrating-in-high-school-class-SBV-346591867-HD.mp4
  • Storyblocks students-working-together-in-high-school-class-SBV-346591833-HD.mp4
  • Storyblocks students-writing-in-high-school-class-SBV-346591826-HD.mp4
  • Storyblocks students-working-together-in-high-school-class-SBV-346591832-HD-mp4
  • Storyblocks students-working-together-in-high-school-class-SBV-346591881-HD-mp4
  • Storyblocks the-active-people-with-backpacks-walking-up-on-a-mountain-SBV-337104019-HD.mp4
  • Storyblocks male-hand-searching-direction-on-paper-with-compass-finding-your-way-SBV-337500518-HD.mp4
  • Storyblocks slow-motion-back-view-young-caucasian-woman-looking-for-direction-on-a-map-while-hi-SBV-338777731-HD.mp4
  • Storyblocks hiker-holding-with-paper-map-on-the-stroll-backpacker-travelling-with-backpack-in-f-SBV-316399706-HD.mp4
  • Storyblocks teacher-addressing-pupils-from-the-back-of-her-high-school-class-SBV-316635095-HD.mp4
  • Storyblocks teacher-studying-school-books-in-class-with-high-school-kids-SBV-316635129.mp4’.

Text on the screen reads, ‘Acknowledgements. NSW Geography K-10 syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales 2015. See the NESA website for additional copyright information. NSW Department of Education Curriculum Secondary Learners. Southern Cross School of Distance Education.’

The screen shows an Indigenous artwork. The artwork features a landscape with native Australian animals. It is titled, ‘Our Country’ by Garry Purchase. The text at the top of the screen reads, ‘Filming of these videos has taken place on Bundjalung land.’ Video concludes by displaying the NSW Government logo.]

[End of transcript]

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