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Effects of progressive inquiry on cognitive and affective learning outcomes in adolescents’ geography education

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalFrontline Learning Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2018
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Adolescents need skills to acquire information and compare, analyze, transform, and experiment with knowledge. However, little research has been conducted on the content and pedagogical practices that are necessary to achieve these skills. This article seeks to contribute to this discussion because geography enables the attainment of the so-called higher-order thinking skills, and the progressive inquiry model provides suitable pedagogical practices. This study provides empirical evidence on the effects of the progressive inquiry teaching method and learning models on cognitive and affective learning outcomes. This paper focuses on learning outcomes among 253 Finnish middle and upper secondary school students. This comparison between different developmental stages reveals the effects of the teaching and learning methods in question. The results indicate that the progressive inquiry method improves cognitive learning results at both educational levels in the context of geography education. The research provides evidence that older students benefit more from the learning model. Additionally, the self-regulated learning skills that the students possess at the beginning of the course do not affect their cognitive learning outcomes. Progressive inquiry clearly enhances the motivation levels of middle school students; however, the effect on the motivation level was more ambiguous among the upper secondary students.

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland