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Developing an International Declaration on Research in Geography Education Professor Simon Catling IGU CGE UK Committee International Geographical Union.

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Presentation on theme: "Developing an International Declaration on Research in Geography Education Professor Simon Catling IGU CGE UK Committee International Geographical Union."— Presentation transcript:

1 Developing an International Declaration on Research in Geography Education Professor Simon Catling IGU CGE UK Committee International Geographical Union Regional Conference Commission on Geographical Education Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland August 18 th – 22 nd, 2014

2 IGU CGE Charters & Declarations There are three Charters/Declarations by the International Geographical Union Commission on Geographical Education [IGU CGE]. The International Charter on Geographical Education (1992). International Declaration on Geographical Education for Cultural Diversity (2000) The Lucerne Declaration for Geographical Education for Sustainable Development (2008). It is proposed to add a fourth: a Declaration concerning research in geography education.

3 Research in geography education There is good evidence of increasing research and review in geography education. See the range of papers in geography education journals such as: International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education [IRGEE], Journal of Geography, Review of Geographical Education On- line [RIGEO], Research in Geographic Education, Geography, and Journal of Geography in Higher Education. This is healthy. BUT much research relevant to geography education is done elsewhere, by geography researchers, and researchers in environmental education and science education, for instance. It is published in journals such as Children’s Geographies, Environmental Education Research, and the International Journal of Science Education. This is informative and helpful research. ONLY occasionally do research articles in geography education appear in key international and national education research journals. Geography education research needs wider circulation. For this to happen geography educators need to undertake or write up their research for wider audiences. FIRST, though, we need more geography education research to be done.

4 Research promotion in geography education National geography and geography education organisations encourage research in geography education and publish it through their journals. These organisations disseminate geography education research through their conferences. Conferences are held internationally by the IGU Commission on Geographical Education at least annually to disseminate research projects, approaches and findings, review research needs, and foster networks and collaboration in geography education research. Efforts are underway to increase postgraduate studies (MA/MSc and PhD) in geography education, but the balance between nations and universities is uneven. Encouragement is needed. More cross-national and cross-university research is needed.

5 Why another Declaration? Research in geography education nationally and internationally has been critically reviewed: Research tends to be individual, small scale, and under-funded. It is not viewed by policy makers and educators as particularly significant, and seems to have limited impact. There is a need to promote larger scale studies, with national and international team research, and to offer support and encouragement to potential researchers. Geography education research is stronger in Western nations and in relation to western-oriented education systems and young people, though there is some increase in studies, for instance, in Turkey and Singapore. It is important to widen the nature, scope, learning, cultural and national contexts of geography education research. Geography education research is vital to support the learning and teaching of children, young people and teachers in schools, as well as of adults in higher education and in the community. See: Bednarz, S., Heffron, S. & Huynh, N. (Eds.) (2013) A road map for 21st century geography education: Geography education research (A report from the Geography Education Research Committee of the Road Map for the 21st century Geography Education Project). Washington, DC: Association of American Geographers.

6 What is being drafted is a proposed International Declaration on Research in Geography Education

7 Promoting an International Declaration The aim of the International Declaration on Research in Geography Education is to promote geography education research nationally and internationally by making the case for research, and to encourage those who find it challenging to gain support for research in geography education. It has been developed and drafted by The UK Committee of the International Geographical Union Commission on Geographical Education (IGU CGE). The current draft has been discussed and further work encouraged by the IGU CGE Steering Group. It is being outlined at this conference in Krakow to generate interest and obtain feedback. It will be considered further by the IGU CGE Steering Group. It is planned to discuss it at the Symposium in London in April If and when the Declaration is agreed in the CGE it will be taken to the IGU Executive Committee for consideration and, if acceptable, adopted, possibly at a General Assembly.

8 International Declaration on Research in Geography Education It is planned that there are two documents: The Executive Statement The main document The Executive statement is given in full on the next four slides. The Contents and some key points are then outlined on the next three slides. Copies of both documents are on the IGU CGE website.

9 Draft Declaration Executive Statement – 1 International Declaration on Research in Geography Education Executive Statement Geography in education is the study of the Earth, its natural and physical environments, human activities, the interrelationships and interactions of these and their effects, from local to global scales; and, among many skills, it uses mapping and fieldwork. When taught well geography makes a fundamental contribution to the education of all children and young people. Ensuring the quality of geography education is, consequently, of great significance to policy makers and education leaders internationally.

10 Draft Declaration Executive Statement – 2 It follows that those who teach geography in primary and secondary schools and in further and higher education need to be supported by research intelligence in at least five priority areas, in order to:  clarify the purposes and goals of geography education, no matter how the geography curriculum is expressed locally;  refine curriculum, pedagogic and assessment practices used in the teaching and learning of geography;  deepen collective understanding of learning progressions in geography;  improve ways in which high quality materials and resources for geography teaching and learning can be developed and provided;  develop understanding of learners’ geographical knowledge and experience, including their misperceptions, to enhance geography’s teaching and learning.

11 Draft Declaration Executive Statement – 3 The outcomes of research in and relevant to geography education are to:  provide and distribute evidence and/or conceptually robust arguments and practices that will improve the quality of geography education in national settings and internationally;  encourage a ‘research orientation’ among geography teachers and educators that enables reflective and critical engagement with habitual practices and a professional habit of mind that demands improvement in the quality of geography education.

12 Draft Declaration Executive Statement – 4 The International Geographical Union Commission on Geographical Education supports and promotes research in geography education in all nations and cross-nationally. It aspires to developing an international culture of research in geography education to enable the development of policy and practices that enhance the quality of geography teaching and learning for all in formal and informal education. It encourages policy makers and geography educators to build capacity in research and its application to the classroom and wider learning contexts through understanding the current state of research and by elucidating current knowledge, needs and trends in order to identify future research intentions, priorities and practices and the means to bring these to fruition. [A link will be provided to the full Declaration document on the IGU CGE website.]

13 The International Declaration on Research in Geography Education Contents Main document:  Executive Summary.  Preamble.  The Nature, Value and Focus of Geography Education Research.  Context of Research in Geography Education.  The Development of Researchers.  Strategic Development for Research.  Methodology.  Dissemination.  Impact. Annex: The suggested dimensions of and some examples of topics for research in geography education.

14 Key points in the International Declaration on Research in Geography Education To commend geography education research, and its role in informing and underpinning high quality learning, teaching, assessment, curriculum and resources. To recognise the potential for research in many forms, at a range of scales and in different contexts. To develop an international culture of research for conduct and dissemination. To disseminate geography education research. To recognise the resource and contextual constraints, but to encourage cross-institutional collaboration, nationally and internationally, in varied political and socio-economic contexts. To encourage investment in the development of geography education professionals and researchers. To embed research practices in geography teacher education and accreditation programmes.

15 Four priorities for geography education research To encourage co-ordination within geography education research by facilitating the network of researchers and the dissemination of methods and findings; To create overviews of research in geography education in order to identify progress, key understandings, gaps, future needs and possible approaches; To establish mutually agreed lines of research in geography education through the clarification of current gaps and the prioritisation of future needs; To invest in capacity building within current teams of geography researchers and through identifying and fostering future members of such teams.

16 A Request for your help Please would you: read the draft International Declaration on Research in Geography Education. The drafts are available on the IGU CGE website at: send your comments to Professor Simon Catling at: by March 1 st,

17 Thank you, in advance, for your comments and ideas. Your feedback will be considered by the IGU CGE UK Committee. This may lead to:  further revisions to the Declaration (it has been through 7 drafts already!);  providing the next draft to the IGU CGE Steering Group for their consideration.  informing corresponding members further through the IGU CGE Newsletter.

18 Some key references Bednarz, S.W., Heffron, S. & Huynh, N.T. (eds.) (2013) A Road Map for 21st Century Geography Education: Geography Education Research (A Report from the Geography Education Research Committee of the Road Map for 21st Century Geography Education Project). Washington, DC: Association of American Geographers. Butt, G (ed) (2010) Special Forum on Perspectives on Research in Geography Education, Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 19, 2, Kidman, G. & Papadimitriou, F. (2012) Content analysis of international research in geographical and environmental education: 18 years of academic publishing, International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 21, 1, 3-10 Papadimitriou, F. & Kidman, G. (2012) Statistical and scientometric analysis of international research in geographical and environmental education, International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 21, 1, See also: Research in Geographic Education, 2013, Vol. 15, No.2 (All).


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