The Opinions of the Geography Teacher Candidates about the Place of Field Trips in Geography Teaching
Balci, Ali, Education
Geographic trips have been described with the terms of field trips, research trips (Izbirak, 1968), land surveys (MEB, 2005; Korkmaz, 2006), investigation of land form (Karabag, 2002), field researches, field observations (Doganay, 1993:112), investigative visits (MEB, 2005), exurcison, touring, trip, promenade, observation trip (Cin, 1999: 16; Kucukahmet, 2001: 85; Demir, 2007), trips of vocational training (Girgin etc. 2003). Land is regarded the laboratory of the science of geography (Doganay, 1993: 112).There has been a complete consensus on the importance of field trips in geography teaching (Alkis, 2008: 77). Field trips are also known as the most important method in data compiling and information gathering (Doganay, 1993: 113) and they form the basis of researches at the academic level (Doganay, 2002: 167, Garipagaoglu, 2001:13).
Field trips have different advantages for students, teachers and lecturers. As teacher teaches subjects in a more effective way, students learn consistently and theoretical knowledge turns to practical one. Henceforth, learned things can be commented on (Kizilcaoglu, 2003: 4) .Learning reaches from knowledge level to comprehension, analysis, synthesis, implementation and assessment. Rote learning diminishes, while students are activated more and informations given in an entertaining way. Geographic conscience introduces to students and society accordingly (Gungordu, 2002: 97, Akbulut, 2004: 75). Trips offer opportunities to students that they can't get in a class environment. Museums, zoos, natural environments, special areas are important places for students offering incomparable opportunities and sources to the students of different levels by making them learn. In the primary and secondary education, discussions made with students especially after field trips indicated that they called to their minds much more knowledge concerning these trips (Connolly, 2006). According to the survey conducted by Acikgoz asserted that students who taught with the methods of observation trips and analysis were more successful than the control group students who taught with the traditional teaching methods. Another survey conducted by Demir (2007) emphasized the lack of financial support was a significant concern for the candidates of primary school teacher.
In the social sciences, geographic trips are a means for students to give meaning to knowledge which they learned. Trips are first-hand observation and add the new knowledge to students (Garipagaoglu, 2001). They broaden the horizon of students on the other hand, students enhance their experience, interdependency, social cohesion as well (Gok and Girgin, 2001).
Geography lesson is one of the important lessons where trips and observations can be carried out. In this lesson, realizing of these trips depend hugely on the efficiencies and viewpoints of teachers. In this respect, the opinions of geography teachers candidates more important when considered that they would carry out such methods and studies. For these reasons, in this study it was tried to get the opinions of geography teacher candidates about geographic trips.
1.1. Aim of Study
The basic aim of this research is to find out the opinions and suggestions of the geography teacher candidates about the benefits of field trips in teaching geography, and depending on feedback trying to find answers to the following questions.
1. What are the opinions and suggestions of the teacher candidates about how to be carried out a field trip?
2. What are the opinions and suggestions of the teacher candidates about the place of geographic trips in the geography teaching?
3. What are the opinions and suggestions of the teacher candidates about how the local, regional and general geographic phenomena and consepts should be introduced to students?
4. What are the opinions and suggestions of the teacher candidates about how the local, regional and general geographic phenomena and concepts to be taught and learned? …