Google Scholar

You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.- A. A. Milne

Advertisements

screen-shot-2016-09-10-at-9-43-52-amIf Google gave me a picture of the landscape of “the woods”, Google Scholar hopefully allows me now find some paths through it. I am investigating Inquiry Learning and Neurodiversity, and have posed these questions as part of my search for resources:

  1. What are the advantages or disadvantages for Neurodiverse Learners and Inquiry Learning?
  2. How is Inquiry Learning intertwined with Executive Function, Theory of Mind, and Central Coherence and other cognitive domains?
  3. What specific classroom practices are enabling Inquiry Learning for Neurodiverse Learners?

I decide to tackle Google Scholar with four tiers of search terms again. I hope this will unearth qualitative AND quantitative research into inquiry learning and considerations for neurodiverse learners by capturing research that spoke to social constructs such as “autism” and “special needs” as well as articles that drilled down to measuring neuropsychological domains, such as “task initiation” and “weak central coherence”.  In the very specific academic areas I am investigating, my search results in Google were always low (<10) and relatively recent, suggesting this is still an emerging research area.  While I had hoped to not rely on searching using “Autism” I find myself falling back on the term to hone my searches when they get too generalised.  “Autism” research currently attracts a lot of funding , so it doesn’t bode well to use euphemistic terms like “neurodiversity” in research papers – “Autism” plays to the need to appear as “more pressing” research.

Search-string-terms-horizontal-tree-Google-Scholar.png
Figure 1: Four tiered search terms in horizontal tree or dendrogram style. Image by author. CC by 2.0.

Setting my Google Scholar to Queensland University of Technology’s library, I am able to search and read articles beyond my university’s paywall. Google Scholar uses Boolean search mechanisms with a few modifications.  However, its point of difference is the focus on citations – academic literature can be quickly assessed for its integrity in a summary search as number of citations is displayed.  Here is a visual representation with annotated screen shots and resources relevant to my inquiry questions.

Search #1

string-search-and-screenshot-google-scholar-1
Figure 2: Advanced Search within Google Scholar. Image by site author CC by 2.0

Search #2

string-search-and-screenshot-google-scholar-2
Figure 3: Advanced Search within Google Scholar. Image by site author CC by 2.0

Search #3

string-search-and-screenshot-google-scholar-3
Figure 4: Advanced Search in Google Scholar. Image by site author CC by 2.0

Summary

While I still haven’t found that seminal research study that answers all my research questions and clears “the woods” in one fell swoop (probably because it doesn’t exist!) I am certainly not left wanting for relevant resources through Google Scholar. Scanning confirms Inquiry Learning could be seen as an obstacle to full participation for neurodiverse learners, but also  a scaffold to  develop skills for Inquiry Learning: and the deciding factor might hinge on teacher apathy/interest and classroom environmental factors, as opposed to the Inquiry Learning process itself.

Cognitive Skills and Abilities are bubbling to the surface with each advanced search.  I am also interested in the notion contained in some resources that certain neurodiverse learners may not be capable of fully understanding that the Inquiry Learning process is a form of teaching and learning.

My research questions are again edited with this in mind.

  1. What are the advantages or disadvantages for Neurodiverse Learners and Inquiry Learning?
  2. How is Inquiry Learning intertwined with Executive Function, Theory of Mind, and Central Coherence and other cognitive skills and abilities, such as self-awareness?
  3. How do specific teacher and classroom practices enable Inquiry Learning for Neurodiverse Learners.

Join me as I take the search, with my revised questions above and updated search strings below, to the academic database A+ Education.

search-string-terms-horizontal-tree-and-themes-a-education
Figure 5: Search terms by domain in vertical tree diagram.  Image by site author CC by 2.0

Mapping the Journey

overall-il-journey-milestones-4
Figure 6: Inquiry Process and Information Search Process. Image by site author CC by 2.0

 

References:

Andreiuc88 (Photographer). (n.d.). Man Walking Through a Fairytale Forest [photograph], Retrieved August 20, 2016, from http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-102692894.html?src=download_history

Audet, R. and L. Jordan (2008) Integrating inquiry across the curriculum. Heatherton, VIC: Hawker Brownlow. p. 14

Kuhlthau, C. C. (2004) Seeking Meaning: A Process Approach to Library and Information Services, 2nd edition, Libraries Unlimited, Westport, CT.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s