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Volume 11, Number 2

Context and Embodiment: Investigating the Subject Conceptions and Practice of Pre-service Geography Teachers in Singapore 
Tricia Seow Volume 11 (2009), Number 2, Pages 7-27

Research on teachers’ subject conceptions of Geography has contributed to a better understanding of how teachers perceive Geography, and has explicated the relationships between teachers’ conceptions and their practice. However, such research tends to neglect two important influences on teachers’ subject conceptions and classroom practice: power structures and embodiment. The paper argues for an interrogation of the influence of power structures on the way pre-service secondary Geography teachers in Singapore think about the subject, and how they teach it. In addition, this article also articulates the importance of considering the ways in which bodies are implicated in the construction of conceptions of Geography, as well as in notions of how to teach it effectively. An analytical framework that incorporates power structures and embodiment into a study of pre-service teachers’ subject conceptions and teaching practice is suggested as a means of integrating these two elements within research in this area.

Key words: Subject conceptions, power structures, embodiment, pre-service teachers, Singapore

Advances in E-learning – the case of blogging in U.K. school geography
Phil Wood Volume 11 (2009), Number 2, Pages 28-46

This paper sets out results from a small scale investigation into the use of educational weblogs (edublogs) in U.K. geography education. Using frameworks introduced by Rey (2006) and Owen, Grant, Sayer, and Facer (2006), this investigation provides evidence of a developing blogging community of teachers who are using the opportunities the medium offers in a number of different ways. There is a widespread use of blogs for communicating resources and views, but far less evidence of their use in developing a consciously collaborative medium. However, whilst the evidence for collaboration is small, where it exists, it shows a clear potential for extending learning beyond the confines of the classroom.

Key words: Blog, Web 2.0, e-learning, collaborative learning

Living geography – what is ‘relevant’ geography education?
David Mitchell Volume 11 (2009), Number 2, Pages 47-53

In this opinion piece, I explore the idea of living geography and its relationship to relevance for young people. I argue that relevant geographical education can be understood in a number of ways and at different levels. This has important implications for the design of the school geography curriculum which warrant further research.

Using place construction theory for geographic learning: an analysis of place-based learning outcomes and processes in pedagogical fieldwork

Using Place Construction Theory for Geographic Learning: An Analysis of Place-based Learning Outcomes and Processess in Pedagogical Fieldwork
Cathryn E. Springer Volume 11 (2009), Number 2, Pages 54-78

This article seeks a deeper understanding of geographic learning through the theoretical development of place construction theory, as it pertains to learning. A mixed method study was conducted to empirically analyze and explore place construction processes and outcomes of a field study, in which students visited a local ranch as part of their physical geography laboratory course. Findings of this research indicate that students experienced significant gains in cognitive learning and that multiple place construction processes were instrumental in facilitating learning when the ranch, as a place, served as the context for learning. This theoretical development and the findings of this study have implications for not only geographic learning and the use of pedagogical field studies, but also for the interdisciplinary study of place-based education.

Key words: Geographic learning theory, place construction, place as context, place-based education, field study, pedagogical fieldwork

Understanding children’s connections to the environment in the U.S. and Singapore: Implications for geography educators
Bryan Wee Volume 11 (2009), Number 2, Pages 79-83

With global environmental changes comes the need for a greater awareness of relationships between people and places reflected in foundational ideas. Remarkably little is known about this topic, particularly from the child’s perspective. This paper is framed by socio-constructivist theory and draws on qualitative data (drawings) from Singapore and the U.S. to describe and contrast how children see themselves in relation to the environment. It also initiates conversation about the implications of these findings for geography educators, particularly the need to move toward an integrated and holistic conception of human-environment interactions.

Key words: Foundational ideas, drawings, geography education

Exploring the Bridge between Research and Teaching Practice: Spatial Thinking Concepts in Geography Standards in the United States and England
Peter Anthamatten Volume 11 (2009), Number 2, Pages 94-114

A great deal of research in the cognition sciences has identified multifarious means through which human children conceptualize and understand space and spatial relations. This paper uses a framework developed by Gersmehl and Gersmehl (2006) to evaluate the extent to which spatial thinking concepts are employed in early grade-level geography standards in the United Kingdom and the United States. While some spatial thinking concepts are deeply integrated into geography curriculum and teaching guidelines in both countries, others are only superficially addressed, and yet others are altogether absent. Geography is in an excellent position to use work from the cognition sciences to inform and guide the development of curriculum.

Key words: Cognition, curriculum, skills, spatial thinking, standards