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Question: How does the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) incorporate structured inquiry, guided inquiry and open-ended inquiry that relates to Dewey's inquiry based learning?
Inquiry-based learning is primarily constructed around students formulating their own questions and seeking answers through active involvement in the learning process. This type of learning was popularized by educational theorist John Dewey. In the context of the South African education system, the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) incorporates elements of both structured, guided, and open-ended inquiry, aligning with Dewey's principles. Here's how: 1. Structured Inquiry: Under CAPS, a substantial part of the learning falls under the domain of structured inquiry. Teachers provide learners with a clear problem or question and guide them towards finding an answer. This approach allows learners to still engage with evidence and draw conclusions, but within a more structured framework. This aligns with Dewey's view that students should engage themselves in a systemic process of gathering and interpreting information. 2. Guided Inquiry: The CAPS curriculum also includes guided inquiry, wherein the teacher provides a research question, but learners are expected to devise their own methods and means to answer the research question. This approach, which is more learner-centric but still has some guidance from the teacher, echoes Dewey's thoughts about the active participation of students in the learning process. 3. Open-ended Inquiry: Lastly, CAPS also supports open-ended inquiry, although less often than the other two types. Here, learners pose their own questions and decide how to find answers. They drive their learning journey, resembling Dewey's philosophy of learner autonomy, critical thinking, and reflective thought. It’s important to note that even though Dewey’s philosophy of enquiry based learning is deeply embedded in the CAPS, the application may vary significantly depending on factors such as teachers' interpretation of the curriculum, the availability of resources, and class size among other things.
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