Teaching Geography in Secondary Schools: A Reader

By Maggie Smith | Go to book overview

Section 4

Research, geography and continuing professional development

There is a wealth of research in the broad field of geography education: much of which has been mentioned in the preceding chapters and their accompanying reference lists. In this section however, the intention has been to concentrate on research that will be of direct relevance to beginning teachers as they commence and work through their PGCE course, and then start to think about the direction and nature of their future career in teaching. The three chapters that make up the section focus particularly on this aim.

Firstly, in Chapter 21, Margaret Roberts explores the role of research in the teaching and learning of Geography from an angle that focuses on the 'actors' and on the 'contexts'. She outlines a model of the teaching and learning situation and shows how research fits into the model - pointing out those areas where research is lacking as well as those areas where research is more plentiful.

In Chapter 22, Rod Gerber encourages beginning teachers to see themselves as learners. He notes that teachers of Geography continue to learn and develop their practice and ideas in a number of ways throughout their professional lives and he put forward an argument for this fact to be better recognized and researched so that it can form a platform from which programmes of continuing professional develop ment can be formulated.

In the final chapter, Michael Naish explores the nature and history of action research. He uses case studies which, although they relate in subject matter to themes that were of particular concern in geography education in the early 1990s, nevertheless demonstrate clearly the methodology involved in action research, and show how geography teachers can use action research not only to enhance their own professionalism, but also to contribute to moving forward the frontiers of geography education.

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