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

Main Article Content

Merja Sinikka Kuisma
Petri Jouni Kristian Nokelainen


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. 

Article Details

How to Cite
Kuisma, M. S., & Nokelainen, P. J. K. (2018). Effects of progressive inquiry on cognitive and affective learning outcomes in adolescents’ geography education. Frontline Learning Research, 6(2), 1–19. https://doi.org/10.14786/flr.v6i2.309
Author Biographies

Merja Sinikka Kuisma, University of Tampere

Faculty of Education

PhD Student


Petri Jouni Kristian Nokelainen, Tampere University of Technology

Engineering Pedagogy 



Anonymous A (In Press, Published February 2018). Narratives of Inquiry Learning in Middle School Geographic Inquiry Class. International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 27(1). doi:10.1080/10382046.2017.1285137
Anonymous B (2006). An empirical assessment of pedagogical usability criteria for digital learning material with elementary school students. Educational Technology & Society, 9(2), 178–197.
Anonymous C (2016). Self-regulation and competence in work-based learning. In M. Mulder (Ed.), Competence-based Vocational and Professional Education. Bridging the Worlds of Work and Education: Bridging the Worlds of Work and Education. (pp. 775–793). Dortrecht: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-41713-4_36
Banchi, H., & Bell, R. (2008). The many levels of inquiry. Science and children, 46(2), 26–29.
Bereiter, C. (2002). Education and mind in the knowledge age. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Bloom, B. S., Hastings, J. T., & Madaus, G. F. (Eds.) (1981). Evaluation to improve learning. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Inc.
Cerratto-Pargman, T., Järvelä, S. M., & Milrad, M. (2012). Designing Nordic technology-enhanced learning. Internet & Higher Education, 15(4), 227–230. doi:10.1016/j.iheduc.2012.05.001
Dimitrov, D. M., & Rumrill, P. D. (2003). Pre-test-posttest designs and measurement of change. Assessment & Rehabilitation, 20(2), 159–165.
Greene, J. A., & Azevedo, R. (2007). Adolescents’ use of self-regulatory processes and their relation to qualitative mental model shifts while using hypermedia. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 36(2), 125–148.
Engeström, Y. (1999). Innovative learning in work teams: Analyzing cycles of knowledge creation in practice. In Y. Engeström, R. Miettinen, & R.-L. Punamäki (Eds.), Perspectives on activity theory (pp. 377–404). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Finnish National Board of Education. (2015). Curriculum reform 2016. Retrieved from http://www.oph.fi/english/current_issues/101/0/what_is_going_on_in_finland_curriculum_reform_2016
Hakkarainen, K. (2004). Pursuit of explanation within a computer-supported classroom. International Journal of Science Education, 26(8), 979–996. doi:10.1080/1468181032000354
Hakkarainen, K. (2009). A knowledge-practice perspective on technology-mediated learning. Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 4, 213–231. doi:10.1007/s11412-009-9064-x
Hakkarainen, K., Palonen, T., Paavola, S., & Lehtinen, E. (2004). Communities of networked expertise: Professional and educational perspectives. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier.
Hietajärvi, L., Tuominen-Soini, H., Hakkarainen, K., Salmela-Aro, K., & Lonka, K. (2015). Is student motivation related to socio-digital participation? A person-oriented approach. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 171, 1156–1167. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.01.226
Hintikka, J. (1982). A dialogical model of teaching. Synthese, 51(1), 39–59.
Hintikka, J. (1985). True and false logic of scientific discovery. In J. Hintikka & F. Vandamme (Eds.), Logic of discovery and logic of discourse (pp. 3–14). New York, NY: Plenum Press. Retrieved from https://books.google.fi/books?hl=fi&lr=&id=neLaDbYHSo4C&oi=fnd&pg=PA3&dq=Hintikka,+J.+(1985)+True+and+False+Logic+of+Scientific+Discovery.&ots=OfNX45aqoi&sig=XcOYASVELVSRCueelwB55QuaRhA&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
Järvelä, S., & Hadwin, A. F. (2013). New frontiers: Regulating Learning in CSCL. Educational Psychologist, 48(1), 25–39. doi:10.1080/00461520.2012.748006
Järvelä, S., Järvenoja, H., Malmberg, J., Isohätälä, J., & Sobocinski, M. (2016). How do types of interaction and phases of self-regulated learning set a stage for collaborative engagement? Learning and Instruction, 43, 39–51. doi:10.1016/j.learninstruc.2016.01.005
Leat, D. (1997). Cognitive acceleration in geographical education. In M. Williams & D. Tilbury (Eds.), Teaching and learning geography (pp. 143–153). London, UK: Routledge.
Leat, D. (1998). Thinking through geography. Cambridge, UK: Chris Kington Publishing.
Le Deist, F. D., & Winterton, J. (2005). What is Competence? Human Resource Development International, 8(1), 27–46.
Loyens, S. M. M., Magda, J., & Rikers, R. M. J. (2008). Self-Directed Learning in Problem-Based Learning and its Relationships with Self-Regulated Learning. Educational Psychology Review, 20(4), 411–427.
Ludvigsen, S., Lund, A., Rasmussen, I., & Säljö, R. (Eds.) (2011). Learning across sites. New tools, infrastructures and practices. Oxford, UK: Routledge.
Muukkonen, H., Hakkarainen, K., & Lakkala, M. (1999, December 12–15). Collaborative technology for facilitating progressive inquiry: Future learning environment tools. In C. Hoadley & J. Roschelle (Eds.), Proceedings of the Computer Support for Collaborative Learning (CSCL) 1999 Conference. Stanford University, Palo Alto, California. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Retrieved from http://www.gerrystahl.net/proceedings/cscl1999/A51/A51.HTM
Nagel, P. (2008). Geography: The essential skill for the 21st century. Social Education, 72(7), 354–358.
Nonaka, I., & Takeuchi, H. (1995). The knowledge-creating company: How Japanese companies create the dynamics of innovation. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
O’Donnell, A. M., & Hmelo-Silver, H. E. (2013). What is collaborative learning: An overview. In C. E. Hmelo-Silver, C. A. Chinn, C. K. K. Chan, & A. O’Donnell (Eds.), The International handbook of collaborative learning (pp. 1–15). New York: Routledge.
Paavola, S., & Hakkarainen, K. (2005). The knowledge creation metaphor: An emergent epistemological approach to learning. Science & Education, 14(6), 535–557. doi: 10.1007/s11191-004-5157-0
Pauw, I. (2015). Educating for the future: The position of school geography. International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 24(4), 307–324. doi: 10.1080/10382046.2015.1086103
Pintrich, P. R. (2004). A conceptual framework for assessing motivation and self-regulated learning in college students. Educational Psychology Review, 16(4), 385–407. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-004-0006-x
Pintrich, P. R., Smith, D., Garcia, T., & McKeachie, W. J. (1993). Reliability and Predictive Validity of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ). Educational & Psychological Measurement, 53(3), 801–813.
Prince, M. J., & Felder, R. M. (2006). Inductive teaching and learning methods: Definitions, comparisons, and research bases. Journal Of Engineering Education, 95(2), 123–138.
Scardamalia, M. (2002). Collective cognitive responsibility for the advancement of knowledge. In B. Smith (Ed.), Liberal education in a knowledge society (pp. 67–98). Chicago, IL: Open Court.
Scardamalia, M., & Bereiter, C. (1994). Computer support for knowledge-building communities. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 3, 265–283. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/1466822
Winne, P. H. (1995). Self-regulation is ubiquitous but its forms vary with knowledge. Educational Psychologist, 30, 223–228.
Wolters, C. A., Pintrich, P. R., & Karabenick, S. A. (2003, April). Assessing academic self-regulated learning. Paper presented at the Conference on Indicators of Positive Development: Definitions, Measures, and Prospective Validity, ChildTrends, Bethesda, MD.
Zimmerman, B. J. (1998). Academic Studying and the Development of Personal Skill: a Self-Regulatory Perspective. Educational Psychologist, 33(2/3), 73–86.
Zimmerman, B. J. (2000). Self-efficacy: an essential motive to learn. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25(1), 82–91. doi:10.1006/ceps.1999.1016