International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education Abstracts

1993

Taylor, N. & Macpherson, C. (1993) Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 3-10.
Ballantyne, R., Lidstone, J & Packer, J. (1993) Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 41-50.

Powell, J. (1993) Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 5-23.
Thomas, P. (1993) Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 24-51.
Purnell, K.M. & Solman, R. (1993) Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 80-91.
 


Taylor, N. & Macpherson, C. (1993), Environmental education in Fiji
International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education
, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 3-10

ABSTRACT:

In mid-1992 a comprehensive study of the status of environmental education in the schools and tertiary institutions of Fiji was carried out. The resulting document was entitled 'Environmental Education in Fiji' (Taylor 1992). Much of this paper is a summary of that document. In it, the authors provide a brief background regarding formal education in the country, and the terms of reference of the study. They then present a short review of pertinent literature before describing the strengths and weaknesses in environmental education endeavours within the system. Finally, they put forward a set of specific recommendations for improving this important area of education.

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Ballantyne, R., Lidstone, J & Packer, J. (1993), A critically reflective pre-service geography teacher education course: attitude and practice changes among graduates
International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 41-50

ABSTRACT:

Questionnaires were administered to 34 students and 27 teacher graduates of a university geography teacher education programme in order to test the contention that the use of critically reflective methods in pre-service education facilitates the attainment and retention of progressive attitudes and teaching practice. Both students and teachers demonstrate a favourable attitude towards the value of progressive teaching methods, with no loss of idealism as a result of school experience. However, both groups report that they use progressive methods less and traditional methods more frequently than they feel they should. The findings suggest that the use of critically reflective techniques in geography teacher education contributes to the retention of progressive attitudes among graduates but that school and education authorities need to ensure that they address conditions hindering the implementation and maintenance of progressive practice in the classroom.

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Powell, J. (1993), Down, Under? Australian Geography and the New Managerialist Dynamic
International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education
, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 5-23

ABSTRACT:

A new managerialism has introduced an invasive paradigm into Australia's universities. Every subject has been profoundly influenced by transformed institutional and political contexts, but too little is being done to monitor the rapidly changing situation. This paper makes a small start towards answering that need. Beginning with a provocative description of the accentuation of entrenched antipathies between the administrators and the administrated, it moves on to consider the early results of an elementary national survey of geographers' appraisals of the new managerialism and of the current and future condition of the subject in Australia. This short exercise, which should now be regarded as a pilot study, has uncovered important divisions of opinion and large areas of ambiguity, as well as considerable anxiety about the future of geographical research and teaching and the overall quality of tertiary education.

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Thomas, P. (1993), Geopedagogy as battleground the contribution of textbook sanitisation to the Russification and cultural genocide of Ukrain
International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education
, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 24-51

ABSTRACT:

Ukraine is a geographic region par excellence - a classical prototype that caps the hierarchy of differentiated areas that proceed in complexity from single-factor region through multifactor region, natural region, cultural region, to geographic region. This region has also been a unique territorial container wherein certain kinds of catastrophic historical events have tended to concentrate. It was the principal killingfield of World War II. The death toll from the genocidal famine of the 1930s exceeded that of the Jewish Holocaust. Its withdrawal from the Soviet Union in 1991 triggered the collapse of the 'Red Empire'. In view of the current Balkan crisis, it has the potential of becoming a major killing field of World War III. Ukraine, literally meaning in Russian - but not in Ukrainian - 'the marginal lands', is also a metaphor for our age and for the crises of contemporary civilisation. In the sphere of political morality, it is the outstanding exemplar of the geographic basis of Realpolitik, that is, the use of ideology to sanctify the marginalisation and rape of a nation for its natural and situational resources, and then to obfuscate such actions by destroying the history, culture, language, environment and reputation of the victims. This process of obfuscation has been unwittingly aided and abetted by the erroneous perceptions about Ukraine that abound in Canadian and American geography textbooks, as documented in the table accompanying this article.

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Purnell, K.M. & Solman, R. (1993), The application of cognitive load theory to improve the learning of spatial information
International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education,
Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 80-91

ABSTRACT:

Instructional techniques commonly used in geographical and environmental education ignore the critical factor of the limited processing capacity of working memory. Illustrations are frequently presented in ways which cause readers to have to mentally integrate mutually referring information prior to learning the content. The three studies reported here examined the effects of presentation format of technical illustrations based upon schema theory and cognitive load theory (Sweller, 1988, 1989) and extend the work of Purnell, Solman and Swel1er (1991) in geography. The effects of splitting attention between an illustration and a key were examined. One hundred and fifty four students in secondary schools participated in the studies. Negative effects on performance were found in all three studies where attention was split between mutually referring information as there was extraneous cognitive load to the main learning tasks. This applied both to the direct recall of that information and also to the recall of that information which required inferences to be made. To enhance learning, the data supports modern perceptions of cognitive architecture such as Sweller (1993). That is, instruction should maximise the use of long-term memory through schema acquisition and automation of cognitive processes, and thereby reduce cognitive load on working memory to facilitate learning.

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