The social inquiry model

The social inquiry model helps ākonga to think systematically about issues in health and physical education by encouraging recognition of their own values and attitudes about issues, and the analysis of alternative positions.

The social inquiry model has six stages

  • Orient to the case by introducing the particular issue.
  • Identify the issues by encouraging debate by reviewing facts. In this stage, ākonga characterise the values involved, and identify conflicts between values.
  • Taking a position on the issue and articulating their reasons for taking that position.
  • Explore the stance underlying the position taken by providing opportunities to challenge and probe different positions. Ākonga could, for example: 
    • identify the point at which a value is violated or compromised
    • clarify the conflict between values, through using analogies
    • provide desirable or undesirable consequences of a position.
  • Refine and qualify the positions by getting ākonga to clarify their reasoning in a value position. Kaiako can prompt students to re-state or revisit their positions.
  • Test assumptions about facts, definitions, and consequences by identifying and examining the factual assumptions behind them. Kaiako encourage students to consider whether their value position would still hold up under extreme conditions.

The social inquiry model allows ākonga to:

  • communicate effectively, and successfully negotiate their differences
  • explore a range of viewpoints as well as their own
  • reflect on their own bias and the effect this bias may have on others.

Joyce, B., & Weil, M. (1986). Models of teaching (3rd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

You can download an example of a social inquiry model below. This example considers the idea that the behaviour of sporting role models, as reported in the media, can influence the attitudes and behaviours of other sports people.