Primary and Secondary Educators' Attitudes on School Geography

Primary and Secondary Educators' Attitudes on School Geography

ong>Primaryong> ong>andong> ong>Secondaryong>Educators’ ong>Attitudesong> onSchool GeographyKlonari A. 1 , Koutsopoulos K. 21. University of Aegean, Department of Geography2. National Technical University of Athens. Department ofGeography ong>andong> Regional Planning

Introduction• Creation of New Curricula for themodernization of Geographicalknowledge at schools• Creation of new supportingeducational material• Organization of training seminarsfor geography teachers

Despite all these efforts• The improvement of Geography’simage as well as changes in teachingthis subject at schools has barelytaken place

Goal of the research• Identification of the issues thataffect educators’ attitudes towardsschool geography

Rational• The role of educators is particularlyimportant in the structuring of thesubject’s s teaching.• The way of teaching affects the ‘‘typetype” ofstudents’ knowledge ong>andong> attitudes theyadopt.• The positive attitudes towards a subjectaffect what someone choose to learn moreabout later in his life.

Research Sample• From the Athens Metropolitan area• 155 ong>Primaryong> School teachers(male:45,20%, female:50,30%, didnot answer: 4,50%)• 80 geography High School teachers(male: 40,00%, female:60,00%)

High School Teachers’ SpecialtyPhysicistChemistBiologistGeologistMathematicianMusicianTechnologistGymnastArt educatorHome EconomicTotalSpecialtyN2081041011312280%25,0010,0012,505,0012,501,251,253,751,2527,50100,00

Research Tools• “Open ended” type questions• “SPSS 10” Statistical Package• One – way ANOVA

ResultsThe results were categorized into foursections, related to:• The teachers’ point of view regarding thesubject matter of Geography• The subject of Geography• The actual teaching of the subject ofGeography• The relationships Educators had asStudents with the subject of Geography

Results: First SectionEncoded answersP.T.(%)H.S.T(%)• The subject ofgeographyrepels studentsbecause…• Memorization is required• The material is plentyong>andong> difficult• It isn’t t taught properly• There are no appropriateeducational material• Don’t t know/No answer43,919,312,97,816,110,015,010,063,81,2Total100,0100,0

Encoded answersP.T.(%)H.S.T(%)• An a educatorhas a goodcommong>andong> ofgeographywhen…• He has knowledge (ofcontinents, countries…)• He employs appropriateteaching method ong>andong>educational material• He knows to read maps• He has experience ontraveling, knows Greece• He loves the subject• Don’t t know/No answer49,124,516,13,21,95,260,012,518,8--8,7Total100100

Results: Second Section• Both groups of teachers agree thatGeography must be taught at schools(~ 90%)• They disagree on the reasons:• The students learn about the world aswell as their country (63,8% P.T.,22,5% H.S.T.)• They learn how to use maps (11,6%P.T,48,0%H.S.T.)

Results: Third Section• All teachers (both groups) do not enjoy teachingGeography (47,8% P.T., 65,0% H.S.T.)• Their reasons:• There is luck of appropriate educational material• It is not my area of expertise• I am not properly trained• There are not appropriate books facilitatingteaching geography• I have bad experience as students• Don’t t know / No answerTotalEncoded answersP.T.(%)15,5-13,512,95,852,3100,0H.S.T(%)22,527,5-10,05,035,0100,0

Preference of ong>Primaryong>School Teachers• Instead ofGeography theyprefer to teach:52,20%3,20%11,00%3,20%7,80%5,80%16,80%…No…Other…Lnaguage…Physics…Math…Aesthetics…History

Preferences of H.S.T.• The order that theyprefer to teachgeography:No Answer11,25%7η6η5η15,00%4η3η2η1η20,00%13,75%10,00%0,00%0,00%30,00%

The majority of educators feel that theydo not teach geography properly(74,8%P.T., 72,5% H.S.T.)Their Reasons:‣ Luck of educational material‣ Luck of preparation time‣ Need for further specialization‣ Need for appropriate training

Results: Fourth Section• As students they did not like Geography(P.T.: 49,10%, H.S.T.: 70,0,%)• The reasons:‣ Memorization‣ Not interested exercises (copying maps)‣ Taught by non specialist teacherRevealing Statement:“I I do not remember anything. I feel as if Ihave not been taught Geography

Proposals• Curriculum changes ong>andong> introduction ofnew books ong>andong> materials should follow theappropriate training of educators.• Geography should be taught in allPedagogical Departments as a cognitivesubject including teaching techniques ong>andong>methods.• There is a need to redefine the positionong>andong> significance of Geography within theGreek Educational System.

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