Shattering the subject silos: learning about big questions and epistemic insights

Journal article


Billingsley, B. and Hazeldine, L. 2020. Shattering the subject silos: learning about big questions and epistemic insights. Impact: Journal of the Chartered College of Teaching. Summer (Issue 9).
AuthorsBillingsley, B. and Hazeldine, L.
Abstract

What insights do we expect future citizens to call on when they encounter new opportunities and challenges? How can schools best prepare students to make decisions rationally and compassionately in an increasingly technological and interconnected world? Education to date has tended to focus on helping students to master key concepts drawn from knowledge we already know. Our choices about what to teach have been shaped around objectives we can test. The agenda for schools going forward is to teach and assess a deeper understanding of how to construct and test knowledge, both within and also across disciplinary boundaries (OECD 2018).

Research conducted has clarified some of the gaps and misperceptions that currently exist in students’ ideas and reasoning about scholarship and knowledge (Billingsley et al 2013). For example, secondary students can confidently describe activities they expect to do in science lessons, however, their confidence wanes if asked to frame a question that is a good one to investigate scientifically. Some of the gaps in students’ epistemic insight (or ‘knowledge about knowledge’) arise because teaching and testing begins at the point where questions are already organised into subjects, topics and individual lessons. The Epistemic Insight Initiative is a response to pedagogical pressures and barriers like curriculum fragmentation which rob students of expertise that the curriculum says they should have. The Initiative includes a curriculum framework of key ideas about the nature of knowledge for each age group from primary to secondary that provide strategies to develop students’ curiosity and insight into different types of questions including big questions that bridge science, religion and the wider humanities (Billingsley et al 2018).

KeywordsEpistemic I#insight; Education; Cross curricular; National Curriculum; Science
Year2020
JournalImpact: Journal of the Chartered College of Teaching
Journal citationSummer (Issue 9)
PublisherChartered College of Teaching
ISSN2514-6955
Official URLhttps://impact.chartered.college/article/shattering-the-subject-silos-big-questions-epistemic-insight/
FunderJohn Templeton Foundation
Publication dates
Print15 May 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted22 Apr 2020
Deposited17 Jun 2020
Accepted author manuscript
License
All rights reserved
Output statusPublished
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/8vv25/shattering-the-subject-silos-learning-about-big-questions-and-epistemic-insights

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