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Volume 15, Number 2

Understanding the Development of Geographic Knowledge, Skills, and Practice: Examples of Potential Research
Niem Tu Huynh, Lara Bryant, Ellen J. Foster, Susan E. Hume, Meredith J. Marsh, William R. Penuel
Volume 15 (2013), Number 2, Pages 3-15

A Road Map for 21st Century Geography Education: Geography Education Research (Bednarz, Heffron, & Huynh, 2013), a research agenda for geography education, describes possible lines of research to examine the following question: “How do geographic knowledge, skills, and practice develop across individuals, settings, and time?” This article, written towards an audience of graduate students and early career scholars, presents sketches that highlight sample research topics including proposed sample questions, methods, needs, and experimental designs. The research themes include discipline-based education research, coordinated action research, large-scale research within the Network of Alliances for Geographic Education, learning progressions, and personally consequential transitions.

Keywords: Road Map for 21st Century Geography Education, geography education research, geography education research agenda, action research, Alliance Network, discipline-based education research, learning progressions, consequential transitions

Improving Geography Education Research Across the Different Elements of Geography
Susan Heffron, Jacob C. Brenner, Margaret Crocco, Caroline McClure, David J. Rutherford, Michael Scholz, Katrinka Somdahl-Sands, Kelly Sparks
Volume 15 (2013), Number 2, Pages 16-28

This paper reflects a collective discussion of a recommendation by the Geography Education Research Committee of the Road Map for 21st Century Geography Education Project (Road Map Project). The group of scholars examined Key Research Question 2, “How do geographic knowledge, skills, and practices develop across the different elements of geography?” and “Recommendation 2: The Committee recommends research that examines the components and characteristics of exemplary geography curricula” from the committee report. Analysis of the six Essential Elements identified in Geography for Life: National Geography Standards, Second Edition (Heffron & Downs, 2012) and their role in helping to organize and connect to research being conducted in related fields is explored in the paper. Examples of effective research and opportunities for future research are discussed.

Keywords: A Road Map for 21st Century Geography Education; Geography Education Research Committee; essential elements of geography; development of geography knowledge, skills, and practices; geography education research

What Supports or Promotes the Development of Geographic Knowledge, Skills, and Practices?: Pedagogy and Research Priorities to Improve Geography Teaching and Learning at the K-12 Level
Sarah E. Battersby, Audrey Mohan, Catherine W. Cooper, Mary Curtis, Joseph Lane, Lisa K. Tabor, Jonathan Wessell
Volume 15 (2013), Number 2, Pages 29-43

In October 2013, the Gilbert M. Grosvenor Center for Geographic Education brought together scholars from the geography education, social studies, and science fields to discuss a plan to move forward with carrying out recommendations given in the National Science Foundation funded, A Road Map for 21st Century Geography Education. Comprising one of the five working groups of the conference, we (the authors of this article) focused our discussion on evaluating the characteristics of effective geography teaching and exploring the impact of several classroom methods and practices on learning geography knowledge, skills, and practices at the K-12 level.  In this manuscript we outline an agenda of critical research priorities in geography education. Our discussion focuses on general pedagogical issues, application of geospatial technologies and fieldwork, and characteristics of effective teachers.  For each of these topics, we address research needs, including considerations for conducting valid and reliable research in these areas, as well as challenges in conducting research and implementing the results from geography education research.

Keywords: geography education, A Road Map for 21st Century Geography Education, pedagogy, research challenges

Teacher Education and Geography: Research Perspectives
Stacey Kerr, Injeong Jo, Larianne Collins, Heather Monroe-Ossi, Waverly Ray, Alyssa Whitcraft, Michael Solem, Joseph P. Stoltman
Volume 15 (2013), Number 2, Pages 44-58

The Road Map for 21st Century Geography Education suggests that geography education can be improved through better teacher preparation practices. Thus, this paper explores the opportunities for high-quality research about geography teacher education. After a review of recent literature in geography teacher education, we examine the gaps between research in geography and teacher education, and identify five areas for future research agendas —geography teacher preparation practices, teacher dispositions towards the subject of geography, geography education’s role in integrated curricula, geography education’s role in STEM, and geography teacher education and the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards. Finally, we offer suggestions for opening up a conversation between geographers, teacher educators, and geography educators that can lead to a coordinated and collaborative research agenda for improving geography teacher education together.

Keywords: teacher education, pre-service teachers, geography education, geography teacher education, teacher dispositions, STEM, social studies, College, Career ,and Civic Life (C3)

Teacher Leaders as Active Agents in Online Professional Development: The Learning Cluster Method
Carmen P. Brysch, Richard G. Boehm, Alex Oberle, Jacqueline L. Waite, Jung Eun Hong, David Lambert, Cheryl A. Frazier, Brenda Barr
Volume 15 (2013), Number 2, Pages 59-70

The authors offer this article as a means of applying various recommendations of the Road Map’s Research Committee report. It provides one example of an ongoing research effort in geography education related to teacher professional development, the acceptance of alternative professional development delivery methods, and the development and enhancement of teacher leadership skills. Ongoing since 2010, research activities related to the Gilbert M. Grosvenor Center for Geographic Education’s online professional development series, Geography: Teaching with the Stars, have progressed from comparative studies that measure teacher acceptance of online versus face-to-face methods to studies that aim to identify the use of online professional development and the enhancement of teacher leadership skills through the use of the Learning Cluster Method, while also providing widespread dissemination and cohorts of teacher leaders who are able to train additional teachers. Throughout this article, past and present research activities related to Geography: Teaching with the Stars and the Learning Cluster Method are explained. Guided by the recommendations from the Road Map’s Research Committee’s report, further recommendations for extending this investigation are given.

Keywords: geography education research; online, face-to-face, and hybrid teacher professional development; teacher leadership

Resources for Graduate Students and Early Career Faculty Interested in Geography Education
Niem Tu Huynh
Volume 15 (2013), Number 2, Pages 71-78