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Journal of Geography in Higher Education - Volume 28 Number 1 2004

Undergraduate geographers' understandings of geography, learning and teaching: a phenomenographic study

JOHN BRADBEER, Department of Geography University of Portsmouth UK
MICK HEALEY, Geography and Environmental Management Research Unit University of Gloucestershire UK
PAULINE KNEALE, School of Geography University of Leeds UK (with members of the International Network for Learning and Teaching Geography in Higher Education Learning Styles and Concepts team)

ABSTRACT This paper uses phenomenography to identify undergraduates' conceptions of teaching, learning and geography and examine whether there are any differences between students in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. The paper shows that there are several distinct conceptions of teaching, learning and geography. Teaching is seen as either information transfer or as helping learning. The study finds that geography students hold five of the conceptions of learning found by Marton et al. (1993). Student conceptions of geography range from the very general such as the study of the world or the study or the distinct physical and human dimensions of the world to ideas of geography as people-environment interactions or as spatial organization or of areal differentiation and the study of places. There are no clear patterns of national variation in the conceptions held by geography students. The implications for teaching and curriculum design of undergraduates' conceptions of geography are considered.

KEYWORDS Phenomenography, Undergraduate Conceptions, Geography, Teaching, Learning

Undergraduate geographers' understandings of geography, learning and teaching: a phenomenographic study
The challenges of 'teaching by being': the case of participatory resource management

MARLENE BUCHY, Institute of Social Studies The Netherlands

ABSTRACT In 1997 a new unit, Participatory Resource Management, was developed and offered in the School of Resource, Environment and Society, at the Australian National University. The challenges of the unit were multiple, ranging from introducing social science material into a science curriculum, to attempting to change practitioners' attitudes towards natural resource management. This paper is an account of this experience showing how feminist pedagogy has provided a useful framework to foster attitudinal change and encourage a paradigm shift. The paper presents the unit aims and objectives. It gives insights into the specific processes implemented and reflects on the challenges posed by the unit and the personal challenges to 'teaching by being'.

KEYWORDS Admissions, recruitment, teacher shortage, ITT (initial teacher training).

KEYWORDS Feminist Pedagogy, Curriculum Development, Collaborative Learning

Producing websites for assessment: a case study from a level 1 fieldwork module

DEREK FRANCE and CHRIS RIBCHESTER, Geography Department, University College Chester UK

ABSTRACT BSc Single Subject Geography students at University College Chester enrol for a core module that involves the acquisition of fieldwork data, data analysis and project design. One of this module's assessment exercises requires students to 'write up' a field-based research project as a functioning website. This paper explores the practicalities of delivering this type of assessment and of providing support for students. It then discusses tutor perceptions and student feedback, both of which suggest that the website assignment 'adds value' to the core module aims by facilitating the development of C & IT skills, in addition to providing intellectual challenges associated with the selection, integration, presentation and structuring of information.

KEYWORDS Assessment, Websites, C & It, Fieldwork, World Wide Web.

Comparison of student perception and performance in individual and group assessments in practical classes

JASPER KNIGHT, Department of Geography, Loughborough University UK

ABSTRACT This paper focuses on the perception of undergraduate geography and environmental science students of individual and group assessments, and compares this perception with their performance in these assessment types in practical classes. Results show that students may instinctively prefer individual assessment but they perform best, and achieve greatest perceived development of key skills, in group assessments. This paper suggests that a combination of individual and group assessment (linked to learning outcomes) can most effectively be used in the delivery, practice and testing of key skills. More innovative group tasks and clearer marking criteria will help develop the role of group work in practical classes.

KEYWORDS Skills Development, Assessment Methos, Perception, Practical Classes, Group Work.

The representation of women in academic Geography: contexts, climate and curricula

JANICE MONK, Southwest Institute for Research on Women, University of Arizona USA
JOOS DROOGLEVER FORTUIJN, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
CLIONADH RALEIGH, Department of Geography, University of Colorado USA

ABSTRACT This Symposium integrates quantitative and qualitative information to assess the representation of women in academic geography in The Netherlands, Catalonia, Hungary and Singapore. It offers comparative commentary on the situation in the United States and additionally a focus on the experiences of a group of women geographers of colour in Canada, the US and the UK. Through this cross-national approach, the significance of context in shaping the representation of women geographers becomes apparent, especially the importance of political economy and of shifting labour markets. The papers also make clear the intersections between the gender make-up of the profession, the nature of the curriculum, and students' experiences. They document strategies employed to change women's representation.

KEYWORDS Representation of Women, Gender, Women in Academic Geography.

Mapping race and gender in the academy: the experiences of women of colour faculty and graduate students in Britain, the US and Canada

MINELLE MAHTANI, Department of Cultural and Media Studies New School University, New York, USA

ABSTRACT This paper examines the experiences of women of colour in geography. An analysis of qualitative, open-ended questionnaires with women of colour geography faculty and graduate students in North America and Britain suggests that policies and practices within geography departments continue to reflect a pervasive persistence of racialized and gendered inequities in the workplace. There has been relatively little application of theoretical work on race and gender to the minority experience within geography. Some strategies suggested to challenge racialized and gendered barriers that limit women of colour's full participation in geography include a proactive recruitment programme, diversification of the curriculum and development of mentoring.

KEYWORDS Women of Colour, Racialization, Gender, Diversification.

Female representation in the higher education of geography in Hungary

JUDIT TIMAR, Centre for Regional Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Békéscsaba Hungary
ILDIKOFABIAN JELENSZKYNE, Geographical Institute University of Pécs, Hungary

ABSTRACT This paper charts the changing female representation in the higher education of geography, connecting it with the faltering development of feminist geography in Hungary. The transition from socialism to capitalism has compounded gender inequalities while many of the relevant statistical data display gender blindness. Gender issues fail to form a coherent part of national political debates while women's opportunities in Hungarian higher education and research have only recently been examined. Constraints on issues of equal opportunities within Hungarian geography are discussed.

KEYWORDS Women in Academic Geography, Gender Blindness, Transition Economies, Hungary.

Gender representation in academic geography in Catalonia (Spain): towards a masculinization of the discipline?

MARIA DOLORS GARCIA-RAMON, Department of Geography, Autonomous University of Barcelona Spain
HERMINIA PUJOL, Centre for Demographic Studies, Autonomous University of Barcelona Spain

ABSTRACT In the mid-1980s Spanish geography seemed to be a success story in relation to gender and geography (Garcia-Ramon et al., 1988). But in recent years this positive aspect has been less marked, at least in Catalan geography. The total percentage of women staff has remained quite steady but the male:female ratio has significantly increased among younger age groups. Gender approaches to teaching and research in geography are still available in only a minority of departments in Spain. Contrary to the growing number of women geography staff in the English-speaking world, the image of geography in Spain today is more masculine than before, probably due to the fact that geography has moved from a more traditional to a more technical focus linked to the growth of professional practice outside the university.

KEYWORDS Professional Geography, Academic Geography, Gender, Catalonia, Spain.

Gender representation in geography: Singapore

BRENDA S. A. YEOH, Department of Geography, National University of Singapore Singapore
SHIRLENA HUANG, Department of Geography, National University of Singapore Singapore
THERESA WONG, Asian MetaCentre for Sustainable Development Analysis, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore Singapore

ABSTRACT In Singapore, geography emerged as a strongly masculinist university discipline during the interwar years under colonial rule. Localizing staff hires in the postcolonial era did not immediately produce gender-balanced staff profiles. Instead, a more equitable gender representation was achieved only in the last decade, following the increasing 'feminization' of the student population in the discipline resulting from compulsory National Service for male citizens some two decades earlier and the subsequent 'drift' of male students to the hard sciences and engineering. In turn, the current geography curriculum has taken on board a stronger interest in gender issues (including a dedicated gender and geography module) while staff research on gender issues in the context of the Asia-Pacific region is also making important strides.

KEYWORDS Gender and Geography, Patriarchy, Postcolonialism, University Education, Singapore.

Gender representation and participation in Dutch human geography departments

JOOS DROOGLEVER FORTUIJN, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Amsterdam Netherlands

ABSTRACT Since the beginning of the 1970s the under-representation of women in geography has been questioned in several publications. Most articles refer to the situation in English-speaking countries. This paper examines the vertical and horizontal gender segregation in human geography departments in Dutch universities. In spite of several policy measures to promote equal opportunity, women form only 19 per cent of all human geography faculty. In the conclusion, consequences and dilemmas related to gender representation and segregation are discussed.

KEYWORDS Gender Representation, Human Geography Departments, Netherlands.

The Geography Discipline Network would also like to thank Taylor & Francis Ltd for permission to reproduce abstracts from the Journal of Geography in Higher Education

For a copy of the full text article, please connect to http://www.catchword.co.uk/titles/03098265.htm

Page updated 4 April 2005
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