Key purposes in teaching geography are developing pupils’ geographical knowledge and thinking, informing them about the world and encouraging their understanding of geography’s key concepts. Textbooks are a traditional resource for promoting and developing pupils’ geographical understanding and thinking, widely used around the world. There is much research into the nature and uses of school geography textbooks, though with negligible focus on the perspectives of their authors. Textbook authors are important: they mediate geographical knowledge. They have the power to shape pupils’ geographical thought, though it is unclear how much this has been their intention. This research investigated writers’ purposes, as well as subject and pedagogical expertise. The study examined the perspectives of a sample of English authors of primary and secondary school geography textbooks, inquiring into their aims for and valuing of geographical learning, and their approaches to engaging pupils’ understanding and thinking. Open-ended questions and a rating scale were used in a questionnaire to seek authors’ views, drawing on a convenience sample. Analysis of their responses identified that these authors were interested in developing pupils’ geographical knowledge and thinking, which they saw as the subject’s key curriculum purpose. They felt that their up-to-date subject knowledge was vital for textbook writing, as was their pedagogical skills to develop geographical thinking progressively in individual textbooks and through series. They intended to encourage the role of geographical thought in pupils’ awareness and knowledge of the world, to show the value of the subject and to give pupils greater insight and understanding.
|Title of host publication||International Perspectives on Geographical Education|
|Number of pages||21|
|State||Published - 2017|
|Name||International Perspectives on Geographical Education|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Acknowledgments This research was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2013S1A2A1A01034085). It was conducted during Dr. Jongwon Lee’s 2013–14 sabbatical at Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, United Kingdom, collaborating with Professor Simon Catling in the university’s School of Education. The authors wish to acknowledge the contribution of the seven textbook authors who participated in the study.
© 2017, Springer International Publishing AG.
- Geographical Knowledge
- Geography Teaching
- National Curriculum
- Subject Knowledge
- Textbook Author