Copyright © 2011 by William Allan Kritsonis/All Rights Reserved                                                           ...
96                                              PART THREE:                      THE CURRICULUM FOR GENERAL EDUCATION13.  ...
METHODS OF INQUIRY                                                   9739.   There is no identifiable set of principles th...
98                                               PART THREE:                       THE CURRICULUM FOR GENERAL EDUCATION   ...
METHODS OF INQUIRY                                                    99have their source within one set of methodological...
100                                                PART THREE:                         THE CURRICULUM FOR GENERAL EDUCATIO...
METHODS OF INQUIRY                          101            Discovery is not the same         thing as invention. The purpo...
102                                  PART THREE:           THE CURRICULUM FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONPictu re
METHODS OF INQUIRY                                                           103               EDUCATORS SHOULD NOT FOLLOW...
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METHODS OF INQUIRY                                                      105        METHODS OF INQUIRY AND METHODS OF INSTR...
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METHODS OF INQUIRY   107Pictu re
108                                                PART THREE:                         THE CURRICULUM FOR GENERAL EDUCATIO...
METHODS OF INQUIRY                                                     109sim ply to p rovide expe riences th at encourage...
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METHODS OF INQUIRY                                                         1119.     Why has the ove rall s trate gy of m ...
112                                               PART THREE:                        THE CURRICULUM FOR GENERAL EDUCATION3...
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Chapter 27 Methods of Inquiry from WAYS OF KNOWING THROUGH THE REALMS OF MEANING by William Allan Kritsonis, PhD

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Chapter 27 Methods of Inquiry from WAYS OF KNOWING THROUGH THE REALMS OF MEANING by William Allan Kritsonis, PhD

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Chapter 27 Methods of Inquiry from WAYS OF KNOWING THROUGH THE REALMS OF MEANING by William Allan Kritsonis, PhD

  1. 1. Copyright © 2011 by William Allan Kritsonis/All Rights Reserved 27 METHODS OF INQUIRY INSIGHTS1. The general term “representative ideas” refers to any aspect of a discipline that discloses its essential features.2. Each discipline has characteristic methods of investigation that distinguish it from other disciplines.3. By describing the way men of knowledge in a particular field of scholarship go about their professional task, these methods in fact define the discipline.4. The right of a scholar to speak as an authority in his field rests on his acceptance of the canons of inquiry by which knowledge is created and validated in it.5. Materials should be selected so as to exemplify the methods of inquiry in the disciplines.6. An understanding of methods overcomes cynicism because it pro- vides clear means for the acquisition of understanding.7. Knowledge of methods replaces destructive doubt by confidence in the possibility of understanding.8. Methods are the unifying elements in a discipline, binding togeth- er all the separate results of inquiry into one coherent domain of study.9. An understanding of methods helps to counteract the fragmen- tation of modern knowledge.10. Understanding of methods helps solve the problem of surfeit in knowledge.11. If one possesses the tools of inquiry, he is not in need of a large store of accumulated knowledge.12. The methods of a discipline in effect contain all the particular findings that result from inquiry. 95
  2. 2. 96 PART THREE: THE CURRICULUM FOR GENERAL EDUCATION13. Knowledge of methods is a kind of surrogate for everything that can be discovered by applying them.14. Methods generally change much more slowly than do the re- sults of applying them.15. Overall strategy of inquiry in the several realms of meaning does not change at all.16. Methods of a discipline are generally more stable than are the results of inquiry.17. While it may prove impossible for a person to keep pace with the advancing tide of knowledge in a discipline, he may be able quite satisfactorily to remain abreast of the methods of inquiry in it.18. Much of the knowledge that will be needed in the future is not yet discovered at the time the student is in school, and much of what he may acquire there will soon be obsolete.19. If students in their school years become familiar with basic modes of thought and investigation, they will be better pre- pared to cope with their changing world.20. By having attention directed to methods, students learn atti- tudes which will prove useful in adapting not only to changing content but even to changing methods.21. The concern for being up to date should not lead educators to follow the latest fads or to judge the value of knowledge by its recency.22. There is wisdom in allowing time to sift the worthy from the un- worthy.23. The latest methods are sometimes not as productive in the long run.24. In general education especially, the great enduring ways of thought should be emphasized.25. The novel ways had better be tested by specialists before they are seized upon as desirable elements in general education.26. The most compelling reason for selecting the materials of in- struction in order to exemplify methods of inquiry is that these methods are also ways of learning.27. Methods are the modes of thought that experts have found most efficient in promoting understanding in their disciplines.28. There are elementary methods and advanced methods.29. Normally the experienced worker uses advanced methods, while elementary methods are appropriate for beginning students.30. The methods most useful for teaching something that has al- ready been discovered are not likely to be the same as those actually used in discovery.31. The essence of learning mathematics is in learning to think like a mathematician.32. To really learn art is to think the way an artist thinks.33. Gaining personal knowledge is learning to think as an authen- tic and responsible person thinks.34. Learning history similarly depends on thinking like a historian.35. One clue to good teaching lies in a program of guided rediscov- ery, in which the student discovers for himself what others be- fore him have found out.36. In every discipline there are both ways of acquiring new knowl- edge and ways of validating knowledge.37. No single answer can be given to the question of how we think.38. There are many ways of teaching and learning.
  3. 3. METHODS OF INQUIRY 9739. There is no identifiable set of principles that define the methods of teaching in general, because there is no one set of principles that describes how we think.40. The real substance of method is determined by the structure of what is taught, and that varies according to the realm of meaning.41. Teaching methods differ within each realm of meaning according to the discipline.42. The method of teaching for any discipline is simply to provide experiences that encourage the student to engage actively in inquiry according to the patterns of discovery and validation characteristic of the discipline being studied.43. There are many different methods within each discipline.44. Like representative ideas, methods appear in hierarchies raging from the most general to the most particular.45. Methods of inquiry are most readily taught when studies are organized by disciplines (as in English, biology, or history).46. In studies organized across disciplines but within the same realm (as in general science or art) the general methods applicable to the realm in question may be taught.47. Broader interdisciplinary studies in which resources from many disciplines must be used, are not so favorable to the teaching of methods.48. For the interdisciplinary type of course the synoptic disciplines may provide useful suggestions concerning methods of integrat- ing meanings from several different realms.49. What is required for good teaching is only that some convincing pattern be used to coordinate the materials taught.50. Any satisfactory structure for a course must exemplify one or more of the realms of meaning.51. The method chosen in any given unit, course, program, or cur- riculum depends upon the intention of the teacher or curriculum maker.52. Effective teaching depends upon the use of some reasonable pattern of organization.53. In learning the methods of inquiry the student is stimulated to active engagement with the subject.54. Methods are ways of doing something—modes of active investiga- tion.55. Instruction in the characteristic methods of inquiry in the disci- plines enlists the vital participation of the student and speeds the acquisition of meanings. ____________________
  4. 4. 98 PART THREE: THE CURRICULUM FOR GENERAL EDUCATION THE RIGHT OF A SCHOLAR TO SPEAK AS AN AUTHORITY RESTS ON HISACCEPTANCE OF THE CANONS OF INQUIRY BY WHICH KNOWLEDGE IS CREATED AND VALIDATED IN ITThe third principle for the selection of curriculum content is reallya corollary of the principle of representative ideas treated in thepreceding chapter. The general term “representative ideas” refers toany aspect of a discipline that discloses its essential features. Oneespecially significant set of such ideas are the methods of inquiryused in the discipline. Each discipline has characteristic methods of in-vestigation that distinguish it from other disciplines. By describing theway men of knowledge in a particular field of scholarship go abouttheir professional task, these methods in fact define the discipline. Theright of a scholar to speak as an authority in his field rests on hisacceptance of the canons of inquiry by which knowledge is createdand validated in it. PROCESSES OF INQUIRY While the discussion of representative ideas in the precedingchapter gave some implicit consideration to methods, most attentionwas directed to basic concepts, examples of which are phoneme in or-dinary language, set in mathematics, organism in biology, mediatingprocess in psychology, movement in the dance, self in personalknowledge, right in ethics, and ultimacy in religion. However, suchideas, which are part of the intellectual apparatus used to expressmeanings in the various disciplines, may be understood fully only inrelation to the processes of inquiry. Our discussion of representativeideas needs to be rounded out with an explicit treatment of the methodsof inquiry.MATERIALS SHOULD BE SELECTED SO AS TO EXEMPLIFY THE METHODS OF INQUIRY IN THE DISCIPLINES Our third principle for economizing learning effort is that ma-terials should be selected so as to exemplify the methods of inquiry inthe disciplines. Centering attention on methods has the effect of ame-liorating all four of the main threats to meaning earlier described—cynicism, fragmentation, surfeit, and transience. First, an under-standing of methods overcomes cynicism because it provides clearmeans for the acquisition of understanding. Frustration and despairare a result of seeing no way to overcome ignorance. They vanishwhen ways of knowing are available. Knowledge of methods replacesdestructive doubt by confidence in the possibility of understanding. Second, methods are the unifying elements in a discipline, bind-ing together all the separate results of inquiry into one coherent do-main of study. An understanding of methods helps to counteract thefragmentation of modern knowledge. The particular items of knowl-edge within a field all bear the stamp of a common derivation. All
  5. 5. METHODS OF INQUIRY 99have their source within one set of methodological principles. Sincethe methods of the disciplines can be compared and contrasted amongthemselves, a basis exists for relating one discipline to another, re-sulting in further unifying the disparate components of the world ofmeanings. Third, it is also clear that understanding of methods helpssolve the problem of surfeit in knowledge. If one possesses the tools ofinquiry, he is not in need of a large store of accumulated knowledge.He is able to adapt and improvise to meet the needs of particular situ-ations and is less dependent upon the results of others. The methods ofa discipline in effect contain all the particular findings that resultfrom inquiry. In that sense knowledge of methods is a kind of surro-gate for everything that can be discovered by applying them. This iswhy their use as a basis for curriculum content can contribute somuch to economy in learning. Fourth, the study of methods in the disciplines is especiallyhelpful in respect to transience and modern threats to meaning, be-cause methods generally change much more slowly than do the re-sults of applying them. In fact, the overall strategy of inquiry in theseveral realms of meaning does not change at all. The respectivelogics of language, science, art, personal understanding, morals, andthe synoptic disciplines remain constant. Language usages and empiri-cal facts are justified today in the same general manner as they al-ways were, nor have the basic program of the artistic, personal,moral, and integrative enterprises changed over the centuries. Even inscience, where the transformations have been most striking, substan-tial similarities unite the empirical inquiry of the ancient Greeks andBabylonians with the outlook and methods of the modern scientific re-searcher. METHOD OF INQUIRY DO CHANGE AT LOWER LEVELS OF GENERALITY At a lower level of generality methods of inquiry do change,more in some fields than others. In physics the methods of Newton dif-fered in important ways from those of Planck and Einstein. In eco-nomics the methods of Ricardo differed greatly from those of Keynes.The procedures of the modern historian differ from those of Herodotus.Cézanne’s approach to painting differs from that of Michelangelo.Less changeable are the particular methods used in arriving at lin-guistic understanding and in making moral judgments.METHODS OF A DISCIPLINE ARE GENERALLY MORE STABLE THAN THE RESULTS OF INQUIRY Despite these changes, it is still true that the methods of a dis-cipline are generally more stable than are the results of inquiry.Knowledge continually undergoes modification. New discoveries aremade, requiring revision of older ideas that may have been developedby essentially the same methods. While it may prove impossible for aperson to keep pace with the advancing tide of knowledge in a disci-pline, he may be able quite satisfactorily to remain abreast of themethods of inquiry in it. These considerations are of paramount importance for the mod-ern educator. In a time of rapid cultural transformation the contentof what is learned at any given time is likely to be unusable before
  6. 6. 100 PART THREE: THE CURRICULUM FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONm any ye ars have passed. The o ld conception of the school as a p lacefo r accum ulating knowl edge to be used ove r a life tim e is no longe rapp rop riate . Much of the knowl edge th at will be needed in the fu tu reis not ye t d iscove red at the tim e the s tudent is in school, and m uch o fwhat he m ay acquire the re will soon be obsol te . If schooling is not to ebecom e an exe rcise in fu tility, it is im pe rative th at m ate rials fo r in-s truction be se l ected so as to m inim ize these e ffe cts of cu ltu ralchange. O ne p rom ising way o f achie ving th is is by te aching m e thods ofinquiry. If s tudents in the ir school ye ars becom e fam iliar with basicm odes of thought and inves tigation, the y will be be tte r p repared tocope with the ir changing world th an if the y m ere ly possess a s to re o fin fo rm ation. By having atte n tion d irected to m ethods, s tudents le arnattitud es which will p rove use fu l in ad ap ting not only to changingcontent bu t e ven to changing m ethods. EDUCATION NEEDS TO CONTINUE BEYOND THE YEARS TRADITIONALLY ASSIGNED TO FORMAL SCHOOLING These considerations about the changes occurring in modern civ-ilization reinforce the suggestion made in Chapter 23 that educationnow needs to continue beyond the years traditionally assigned to for-mal schooling. Adults in contemporary society need periodic “refresh-er courses” to help them maintain currency in their knowledge. Inthese continuing studies, as in the work of the earlier school years,the emphasis should fall on the newer methods of inquiry rather thanon the latest findings of scholarship. Such renewal of perspective isusually more necessary in specialized education, where advanced anddetailed knowledge are needed, than in general education, which is di-rected toward a broad grasp of types of understanding. Yet even ingeneral education periodic occasions for renewal may be helpful intimes when fresh vistas are opening up continuously.
  7. 7. METHODS OF INQUIRY 101 Discovery is not the same thing as invention. The purpose of inquiry is discovery. In most cases people know that something exists and that it works, but people want to know how and why. In these cases people are looking for verification. The methods used have yielded acceptable results in the past and people repeat the methods to look for the answers to new questions. For how many thousands of years have humans known that some things exist before actually discovering their existence.
  8. 8. 102 PART THREE: THE CURRICULUM FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONPictu re
  9. 9. METHODS OF INQUIRY 103 EDUCATORS SHOULD NOT FOLLOW THE LATEST FADS OR JUDGE THE VALUE OF KNOWLEDGE BY ITS RECENCY— THERE IS WISDOM IN ALLOWING TIME TO SIFT THE WORTHY FROM THE UNWORTHY A note o f cau tion is needed at th is point. The conce rn fo r beingup to d ate shoul not le ad educato rs to fo llo w the late s t fad s o r to djud ge the value o f knowl edge by its re cency. The re is wisdom in al-lowing tim e to sift the worth y from the unworth y. Much o f what isnewly m ade o r d iscove red is far infe rio r in quality to o ld e r th ings. Thelate s t m e thods are som etim es not as p roductive in the long run as theo ld e r, es tab lished p rocedures. In gene ral education especially, thegre at enduring ways of thought, which have p roved the ir value in thelong expe rience of hum ankind, shoul be em phasized. The nove l ways dhad be tte r be te s ted by specialis ts be fore the y are seized upon as de-sirab le e lem ents in gene ral education, the purpose o f which is not tokeep a pe rson up to the m inute , bu t to im part qualitie s of expe riencere quired to fu lfill the life o f m eaning. METHODS ARE WAYS OF LEARNING Perhaps the most compelling reason for selecting the materialsof instruction in order to exemplify methods of inquiry is that thesemethods are also ways of learning. They are the methods that longexperience has shown are most productive of new understanding byworkers in the disciplines. Methods are adopted as working proceduresas a result of their demonstrated instructiveness to investigators.Methods are the modes of thought that experts have found most effi-cient in promoting understanding in their disciplines. METHODS OF INQUIRY USED BY EXPERTS IN A DISCIPLINE PROVIDE A PATTERN TO BE IMITATED BY THE TEACHER AND STUDENT IN GENERAL EDUCATION AT ALL LEVELS It should not be concluded that the ways of inquiry used by ex-perts in a discipline provide a pattern to be imitated by the teacherand student in general education at all levels. As explained in Chap-ter 25, disciplines contain materials of all degrees of difficulty. Thisholds true of methods too. There are elementary methods and ad-vanced methods. Normally the experienced worker uses advancedmethods, while elementary methods are appropriate for beginning stu-dents. METHODS USED FOR TEACHING ARE NOT LIKELY TO BE THE SAME AS METHODS USED IN DISCOVERY The methods most useful for teaching something that has al-ready been discovered are not likely to be the same as those actual-ly used in discovery. Education would be a very inefficient enterpriseif each student had to try to rediscover everything that people usual-ly far more able and experienced had already found out. METHODS OF INQUIRY ARE RELEVANT TO THE METHODS OF TEACHING THAT DISCIPLINE
  10. 10. 104 PART THREE: THE CURRICULUM FOR GENERAL EDUCATION The m e thods o f inquiry in a d iscipline are s till substantiallyre le van t to the m ethods of te aching th at d iscip line in the cu rricu lumo f gene ral education. For exam pl , the essence of le arning m athem at- eics is in le arning to th ink like a m athem atician. To re ally le arn art isto th ink the way an artis t th inks (in the b road sense of “th ink,” whe refe e ling and fo rm are com bined in a unitary significant pe rception).G aining pe rsonal knowl edge is le arning to th ink as an au thentic andre sponsibl pe rson th inks (whe re “th ink” is he re taken in a s till d iffe r- eent, concre te , exis tential sense). Le arning his to ry sim ilarly dependson th inking like a his to rian. GOOD TEACHING LIES IN GUIDED REDISCOVERY One clue to good teaching, then, lies in a program of guidedrediscovery, in which the student discovers for himself what othersbefore him have found out. His discovery, however, differs from theoriginal in that it is carried out under conditions graded to his level ofadvancement in the subject and with guidance based upon prior knowl-edge, saving him from unrewarding errors and frustrations. IN EVERY DISCIPLINE THERE ARE BOTH WAYS OF ACQUIRING NEW KNOWLEDGE AND WAYS OF VALIDATING KNOWLEDGE But more than the method of discovery is needed. In every disci-pline there are both ways of acquiring new knowledge and ways ofvalidating knowledge. These two kinds of methods are not the same.The ways of learning a language are not the same as the ways ofchecking the correctness of language usages. The ways of arriving atmoral decisions or historical assertions are different from the waysof justifying them. Both kinds of methods have an important place inteaching. At some times the teacher may wish to lead the student intothe experience of discovery, helping him to recapitulate certain as-pects of the thought of an original researcher. At other times—proba-bly more frequently—the teacher may wish to instruct the student inways of checking and evaluating existing knowledge. In another moredifficult case, one may evaluate what a poet expresses in his poem byreading the poem thoughtfully and sympathetically, having respectfor the work, allowing for one’s own irrelevant associations and bi-ases, and judging in how far the poem is an “authentic reading oflife.” Teaching such evaluative methods in poetry is not the same asteaching the methods of poetic creation, involving the choice ofmetaphors, the use of rhythmic patterns, and other methods of the artof composition. Yet the two types of inquiry—discovery and validation—are notreally as disparate as might appear at first sight. For example, themethod of discovery in science involves the formation and testing ofhypotheses, the latter operation being identical with the method ofverification. Similarly, the method of the painter in constructing hisdesign involves the same kind of repeated observations and criticalappraisals that are made by a sensitive viewer of the finished work.The two kinds of methods are related because they both reflect theone logic of the discipline to which they belong. For example, themethods of making moral decisions are congruent with the methods ofjudging them because both kinds of methods are based upon the samelogical pattern of meanings in the ethical realm.
  11. 11. METHODS OF INQUIRY 105 METHODS OF INQUIRY AND METHODS OF INSTRUCTION HAVE IMPORTANT IMPLICATIONS FOR THE THEORY OF TEACHING The connection affirm ed in the p resent chap te r be tween m ethodso f inquiry and m e thods o f ins truction has im portan t im plications fo rthe theory of te aching. It has been supposed by som e ad he rents of theExpe rim entalis t philosophy o f education th at th inking fo llo ws a singl elogical patte rn— t of the in te llige nt bio logical o rganism solving hatthe p rob lem s o f ad j tm ent to its environm ent. The classic source fo r usthe descrip tion of th is patte rn is John D ewey’s How We Think.1 Ac-cording to the Experimentalists, thought occurs when the impulses ofthe organism are blocked and some way is sought to direct its energiesinto channels where satisfaction is possible. According to this view,problem solving is the sovereign method of thought and the centralfocus of education. This theory underlies the life-adjustment curricu-lum, in which the real problems of children and youth are the centralconcern of teaching and learning, and in which the purpose of instruc-tion is to use the many resources of culture (including the organizedbodies of knowledge) to develop effective habits of adjusting to lifesituations.1 D. C. Heath and Company, Boston, 1933.
  12. 12. 106 PART THREE: THE CURRICULUM FOR GENERAL EDUCATION It makes sense that a teacher could not teach something that did not previously exist. This means in order to teach methods of inquiry, the teacher must already know the answer to what the student is looking for and allow the student to move in that direction. How far from that direction should the teacher allow the student to stray? Does the teacher know if this will be a waste of time?
  13. 13. METHODS OF INQUIRY 107Pictu re
  14. 14. 108 PART THREE: THE CURRICULUM FOR GENERAL EDUCATION NO SINGLE ANSWER CAN BE GIVEN TO THE QUESTION OF HOW WE THINK The p resent analys is o f the fund am ental patte rns of m eaningind icates th at thought does not fo llo w only one logical patte rn, suchas the supposed m ethod o f scientific p rob lem solving ad vocated by theExpe rim entalis ts , and the re fo re th at no singl answe r can be given to ethe question o f how we th ink. In the languages thought fo llo ws thepatte rn o f arbitrary sym bolic construction (sym bolics). In the sci-ences the m e thods are those o f classification, hypothesis fo rm ation,gene ralization, and explanation by the use of theories and m odel s(em pirics). In the arts thought p roceeds by pe rceptual abs tractionth rough particu lar p resented fo rm s (es the tics). In the pe rsonal re al mthought consists in the existential re alization of inte rsub j ctive re la- etionships (synnoe tics). Moral thought invo lves de libe rate decisions toact in conside ration o f p rincip l of righ t or consequences o f good es(e thics). H is torical th inking inte grate s unde rs tand ing th rough re cre-ation of pas t e vents in the p resent. Re ligious thought unites finite andin finite by m eans o f the sym bol o f u ltim acy. Philosophic thought con- ssis ts o f analytic, synthe tic, and critical e valu ation of m eanings bythe use o f in te rp re tive concepts (synoptics). MANY WAYS OF TEACHING AND LEARNING If human beings think in many ways—in at least the six funda-mental ways corresponding to the realms of meaning—and if ways ofteaching and learning follow from ways of thinking, then there arecorrespondingly many ways of teaching and learning. The methods ofteaching language are distinctive to the symbolic realm, and similar-ly, the methods of teaching science, art, personal knowledge, morals,and synoptic understanding are each characteristic of their ownrealm. There is no identifiable set of principles that define the methodsof teaching in general, because there is no one set of principles thatdescribes how we think. There may well be certain principles of class-room management, of child development, and of lesson planning thatare applicable to teaching in a great many different disciplines, andin this sense one could properly refer to general teaching methods.However, such methods are not in themselves sufficient to guide in-struction. They only describe certain aspects of good teaching. Thereal substance of method is determined by the structure of what istaught, and, as already indicated, that varies according to the realmof meaning. TEACHING METHODS DIFFER WITHIN EACH REALM OF MEANING ACCORDING TO THE DISCIPLINE Teaching methods also differ within each realm of meaning ac-cording to the discipline. The methods of ordinary language instructiondiffer from the methods of teaching mathematics and both differ fromthe methods of teaching the nondiscursive symbolisms. Methods ofteaching physical science differ in important respects from those ap-propriate to the life sciences, psychology, and the social sciences(which also differ among themselves). Teaching methods in music areunlike those in the visual arts, the arts of movement, and literature,and so on through all the disciplines. The nature of the appropriate methods of instruction followsfrom the analyses of the fields in Part Two. The method of teachingfor any discipline, according to the principle of the present chapter, is
  15. 15. METHODS OF INQUIRY 109sim ply to p rovide expe riences th at encourage the s tudent to engageactive ly in inquiry accord ing to the patte rns of d iscove ry and valid a-tion characte ris tic of the d iscip line being s tud ied. METHODS APPEAR IN HIERARCHIES RANGING FROM THE MOST GENERAL TO THE MOST PARTICULAR There are also many different methods within each discipline.Like representative ideas, methods appear in hierarchies ranging fromthe most general to the most particular. For example, in physicsphysical measurement is a general method of inquiry. Less generalare the distinctive methods of measurement adapted to such differentphysical phenomena as light, electricity, and heat. More specific stillare the methods used to make certain particular measurements, suchas the speed of light and the flow of electric current. METHODS OF INQUIRY AND THE DISCIPLINES Methods of inquiry are most readily taught when studies areorganized by disciplines (as in English, biology, or history). In studiesorganized across disciplines but within the same realm (as in generalscience or art) the general methods applicable to the realm in ques-tion may be taught. Broader interdisciplinary studies, such as pro-grams combining English, history, and social science, and curriculabased on the project method, in which resources from many disciplinesmust be used, are not so favorable to the teaching of methods. This isbecause each of the several component disciplines has a differentmethod and no clue is provided by the subject matter itself as to themethods appropriate to the composite inquiry. For the interdisciplinarytype of course the synoptic disciplines may provide useful suggestionsconcerning methods of integrating meanings from several differentrealms. GOOD TEACHING REQUIRES THAT SOME CONVINCING PATTERN BE USED TO COORDINATE THE MATERIALS TAUGHT As pointed out in Chapter 25, the structure of the disciplinesdoes not necessarily dictate the organization of instructional materi-als. What is required for good teaching is only that some convincingpattern be used to coordinate the materials taught. Yet, in a broadsense, any satisfactory structure for a course must exemplify one ormore of the realms of meaning, assuming that those realms cover theentire range of logical possibilities of human signification. For example, any materials of instruction can be organizedsymbolically, by treating the subject matter, whatever it may be,from the standpoint of the analysis of symbolic systems. Any materi-als can be organized empirically, by treating them descriptively andtheoretically. Similarly, any content can be organized as an estheticpattern or in terms of personal understanding, it can also be orga-nized normatively, or integratively from the standpoint of the past,of the ultimate, or of general interpretive categories.
  16. 16. 110 PART THREE: THE CURRICULUM FOR GENERAL EDUCATION THE METHOD CHOSEN DEPENDS UPON THE INTENTION OF THE TEACHER While the re are ce rtain ad vantages o f consistency and re in-fo rcem ent in choosing the m e thod o f o rganization to corre spond withthe m e thod (o r m e thods) of inquiry in the m ate rials organized, the twoneed not corre spond. S cientific m ate rials can be organized es the tical-ly, the content o f language ins truction can be organized around thep rob l s o f pe rsonal unde rs tand ing (o r se lf and o the rs), and m ate ri- emals from such d ive rse fie ld s as m usic and m orals can be o rganizedalong his to rical o r philosophical lines. The m e thod chosen in any givenunit, course, p rogram , or cu rricu lum depends upon the inte ntion of thete ache r or cu rricu lum m ake r beit to com m unicate , to describe and ex- —p lain, to cre ate in te res ting pe rceptual fo rm s, to gain d irect existen-tial insight, to re spond to the claim s of conscience, to gain a com pre-hensive pe rspective , or to fu lfill any com bination of these intentions. THE REALMS OF MEANING AND THE DISCIPLINES REPRESENT WAYS OF PRODUCTIVE UNDERSTANDING AND MODES OF ORGANIZING THE MATERIALS FOR INSTRUCTION Because the realms of meaning and the disciplines representways of productive understanding, they also provide suggestions forintelligible modes of organizing the materials of instruction. Effectiveteaching depends upon the use of some reasonable pattern of organi-zation, so that instruction is not haphazard and so the course ofstudy is not a series of miscellaneous experiences having no clearlydefined plan or purpose. Finally, in learning the methods of inquiry the student is stimu-lated to active engagement with the subject. In being concerned withmethods, he cannot assume a role as passive recipient of what AlfredNorth Whitehead called “inert ideas.” Methods are ways of doingsomething—modes of active investigation. Instruction in the character-istic methods of inquiry in the disciplines enlists the vital participationof the student and speeds the acquisition of meanings. WAYS OF KNOWING1. Why is it important to know that each discipline has charac- teristic methods of investigation that distinguishes it from other disciplines?2. Why should we select materials that exemplify the methods of inquiry in the disciplines?3. Why do frustrations and despair vanish when ways of knowing are available?4. How are methods the unifying elements in a discipline?5. How does understanding methods help to counteract the frag- mentation of modern knowledge?6. How does the understanding of methods help to solve the prob- lem of surfeit knowledge?7. Why is it important to understand that the methods of a disci- pline contain all the particular findings that result from in- quiry?8. Why do methods in the disciplines change much more slowly than do the results of applying them?
  17. 17. METHODS OF INQUIRY 1119. Why has the ove rall s trate gy of m ethods o f inquiry in the sev- e ral re al s of m eaning not changed at all? m10. Why do m ethods o f inquiry change at lowe r le ve ls of gene rali- ty?11. Why are the m e thods o f a d iscipline gene rally m ore s tab le th an the re su lts of inquiry?12. Why is the o ld conception o f the school as a p lace fo r accum u- lating knowl edge to be used ove r a life tim e, no longe r app ro- p riate ?1 3. Why shoul we te ach m ethods o f inquiry? d14. What are the bene fits fo r s tudents in the ir school ye ars in be- com ing fam iliar with basic m odes of thought and inves tigation?1 5. Why does education need to continue beyond the ye ars trad i- tionally assigned to fo rm al schooling?1 6. Why m ust educators not fo llo w the late s t fad s or jud ge the value o f knowl edge by its re cency?1 7. Why is the re wisdom in allo wing tim e to sift the worth y knowl- edge from the unworth y?1 8. How can m ethods be used as ways of le arning?19. Why shoul m ethods o f inquiry used by expe rts in a d iscip line be d im itated by the te ache r and s tudent in gene ral education at all le ve ls?20. Why is it im portan t to unde rs tand th at m ethods use fu l fo r te aching are not like ly to be the sam e as m ethods used in d is- cove ry?21. How are m ethods of inquiry in a d iscipline re le van t to the m eth- ods of te aching th at d iscipline in the cu rricu lum of gene ral edu- cation?22. How can a p rogram o f guided red iscove ry be used in which the s tudent d iscove rs fo r him se lf what o the rs be fore him have found ou t?23. Why is it im portan t to unde rs tand th at in e ve ry d iscipline the re are both ways o f acquiring new knowl edge and ways of vali - d ating knowl edge?24. How do the m e thods o f acquiring new knowl edge and the m e thods o f valid ating knowl edge re fle ct one logic of the d iscipline to which the y be long?25. The Expe rim entalis t philosophy o f education em phasizes th at th inking fo llo ws a singl logical patte rn— t o f the inte lli - e hat gent biological o rganism solving the p rob lem s o f ad j tm ent to us its environm ent. What does th is all m ean?26. S houl p rob lem solving be the central focus of education? d27. S houl the re al p rob l s o f chil ren and you th be the central d em d conce rn of te aching and le arning?28. S houl the purpose of ins truction be to use the m any re sources d o f cu ltu re (includ ing the organized bodies o f knowl edge) to de- ve lop e ffe ctive habits o f ad j ting to life situation? us29. Why can no singl answe r be given to the question o f how we e th ink?30. Why is it critically im portan t to unde rs tand th at the re are m any ways to te aching and le arning?31 . Why is it im portan t to know th at the re al substance of m e thod is de te rm ined by the s tructu re o f what is taugh t, and th at varie s accord ing to the re al of m eaning? m
  18. 18. 112 PART THREE: THE CURRICULUM FOR GENERAL EDUCATION32. Why is it critically im portan t to unde rs tand th at te aching m ethods d iffe r within e ach re al o f m eaning accord ing to the m d iscipline?33. Why is it im portan t to know th at the m ethod o f te aching fo r any d iscip line is sim ply to p rovide expe riences th at encourages the s tudent to engage active ly in inquiry accord ing to the pat- te rns of d iscove ry and valid ation characte ris tic of the d isci- p line being s tud ied?34. Why is it im portan t to know th at m ethods appear in hie rar- chies?35. Why is it im portan t to know how m ethods o f inquiry are ?36. Why is it im portan t to know when and how m e thods of inquiry shoul m ostre ad ily be taugh t? d37. Why is it im portan t fo r the te ache r to know th at what is re - quired fo r good te aching is th at som e convincing patte rn m ust be used to coord inate the m ate rials taugh t?38. Why is it im portan t to re alize and unde rs tand th at any satis- fac to ry s tructu re fo r a course m ust exem pl one or m ore of ify the re al s of m eaning? m39. Why does the m ethod chosen in any given unit, course , p rogram , o r cu rricu lum depend upon the inte ntion o f the te ache r o r cu r- ricu lum m ake r?40. How do the re al s of m eaning and the d isciplines re p resent m ways o f p roductive unde rs tand ing?41. How do the re al s of m eaning and the d isciplines re p resent m m odes of o rganizing the m ate rials fo r ins truction?42. How is the s tudent s tim ulated to active engagem ent with the sub j ct in le arning m e thods o f inquiry? e

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