Incorporating Mediated Learning Experience in Geography Lessons, pp. 5 of 9

Thirdly, mediation of meaning and competence aims at improving students’ dispositions towards learning which addresses the last area of improvement identified in inquiry-based learning. Mediation of meaning has an emotional aspect which nurtures intrinsic motivation (Chua, Tan, & Sock, 2017) while mediation of competence builds up the learner’s self-confidence and removes the fear of failure (Tan, 2003). Therefore, the mediation of both of these parameters is likely to result in students having more positive dispositions towards learning, thus addressing the lack of emphasis on enhancing students’ dispositions in the inquiry-based learning approach.

Given that MLE appears to be able to address the areas for improvement in inquiry-based learning, this research paper seeks to explore how the principles of MLE may underpin inquiry-based learning such that the development of cognitive functions could be further enhanced in geography lessons. It must be acknowledged that the existing inquiry-based learning approach had, albeit unknowingly, incorporated some elements of MLE. For instance, the inquiry-based learning approach is a question-driven one whereby the content syllabus is learnt through the asking of inquiry questions. The use of questioning to approach the learning of geography relates to the parameter of intentionality and reciprocity as it enables for some form of interaction to take place between the teacher and students as opposed to the traditional pedagogy of didactic teaching. However, while some elements of MLE are evident in the current inquiry-based learning, there is still room for the development of cognitive functions to be made more intentional through the inquiry approach. Therefore, to achieve this, the principles of MLE would be employed to underpin the inquiry approach in geography lessons. 

Overview

Identifying Cognitive Functions

Firstly, for the development of cognitive functions to be made more intentional, the predominant cognitive processes that take place during each stage of the geographical inquiry cycle is mapped to its respective cognitive functions. Table 1 below shows the mapping of the predominant cognitive processes in each stage of the geographical inquiry cycle to its respective cognitive functions while Figure 4 summarises the different cognitive functions that appear in each of the four stages.

Table 1 provides a general overview of the cognitive functions which typically occur in each stage. This table is not meant to represent an exhaustive list of all the possible cognitive functions but serves to outline some of the predominant ones that are found to be present at each stage. Depending on the lesson objectives set out by the teacher, there may be other cognitive functions which are not listed in Table 1 but could be identified by the teacher as important thinking skills that should be developed in students.

Related Teaching Materials

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An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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