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Volume 16, Number 1

Article 1:

Strategies for the Implementation of GIS in German Geography Lessons: Selected Findings of a Mixed-Method Research Approach

Steffen Höhnle, Rainer Mehren, & Jan Christoph Schubert

Volume 16 (2014), Number 1, Pages 5-22

The level of implementation of GIS usage in German schools is still very low. The opportunities for and barriers against the usage of GIS from the viewpoint of teachers were researched for this paper. Group discussions involving a variety of different participants (teachers with and without experience in GIS, instructors, etc.) were held in order to formulate ideas about GIS, barriers to its use, and how to put GIS into classroom and field study practice. Conditions for implementing teaching concepts were developed in stages resulting in a school based GIS project investigating pollution from roadway traffic.

Keywords: GIS, implementation, mixed methods research, barriers


Article 2:

Employer Perspectives on the Value of Geographic Expertise, Skills, and Technologies

Jean E. McKendry, Joy K. Adams, & Michael Solem

Volume 16 (2014), Number 1, Pages 23-39

As part of the AAG’s Enhancing Departments and Graduate Education (EDGE) project, the AAG conducted 59 interviews in 2011-2013 with employers in business, government, and nonprofit organizations to learn how geography is practiced; identify skills in demand; and explore employers' perspectives on the career preparation of geographers. This article summarizes the final results of analyses of semi-structured phone interviews, discusses why these results matter to geography students and departments in preparing for careers across a wide range of sectors, and describes how this study can also offer practical and important insights to a discipline committed to continued leadership and relevancy in engaging in the increasingly complex challenges and opportunities of our times.

Keywords: Employment, skills, career preparation


Article 3:

Uncovering the Nexus Between Scientific Discourse and School Geography in Singapore Students’ Understanding of Climate Change

Chew-Hung Chang and Liberty Pascua

Volume 16 (2014), Number 1, Pages 40-56

This paper describes a baseline empirical study of Singapore secondary students’ understanding of climate change.  It reports that despite evidence of significant awareness on the topic, what learner’s think they know does not match up with what they really know. Like other students around the world, their understanding of the phenomenon is not deep enough for accurate definition, explanation and linking of critical concepts together coherently and correctly. The paper critically examines how the introduction of a new national syllabus in geography in Singapore at grade 9 level considers current developments in scientific discourse and affords the opportunity to help students develop values, knowledge, and skills to engage the climate change topic. The study argues for geographic education to be responsive in addressing gaps identified through updating the curriculum with current scientific discourse and by providing skills for students to engage a growing volume of information on climate change from various media.

Keywords: Climate Change, climate change education, school geography, misconceptions


Article 4:

Engaging all Senses: Learning about the Berlin Wall from Classroom Instruction and On-site Experience

Heike C. Alberts and Bruce D. Niendorf

Volume 16 (2014), Number 1, Pages 57-66

This study examines how much prior knowledge a group of American undergraduate students had about the Berlin Wall and what significance it had for them, how classroom instruction changed their views, and how they experienced the Berlin Wall on a study abroad trip to Berlin. This article discusses the advantages of on-site instruction in engaging students emotionally and argues that good classroom preparation is necessary to maximize the benefits of the study abroad experience.

Keywords: Berlin Wall, classroom learning, on-site learning, emotional involvement