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Milson, Andrew J. “The Internet and Inquiry Learning: Integrating Medium and Method in a Sixth Grade Social Studies Classroom.” Theory and Research in Social Education 30(3) (2002): 330-53.


Social studies educators have long promoted inquiry learning as a valuable method of instruction. Specifically, research into the use of inquiry methods in the teaching and learning of history has demonstrated that this method has much to offer. Recently, the use of technological tools, including the Internet, has received attention as a means of transforming social studies instruction. This case study of a sixth grade classroom investigates the integration of the inquiry learning method and the Internet medium through the WebQuest approach. Three findings are presented and discussed: 1) students have differing perceptions of the value of Internet sources and print sources, but many find print sources preferable to Internet sources; 2) students' strategies for gathering and organizing information are initially characterized by a quest for the "Path-of-Least-Resistance," but the teacher can successfully guide students to more productive approaches; and 3) students of varying academic ability levels can conduct inquiry-oriented investigations, but they approach and perceive the value of such investigations differently.