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Changing times in England: the influence on geography teachers’ professional practice

Brooks, Clare (2012) Changing times in England: the influence on geography teachers’ professional practice. International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 21 (4). pp. 297-309. ISSN 1038-2046. DOI UNSPECIFIED

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School geography in England has been characterised as a pendulum swinging between policies that emphasise curriculum and pedagogy alternately. In this paper, I illustrate the influence of these shifts on geography teacher's professional practice, by drawing on three “moments” from my experience as a student, teacher and teacher educator. Barnett's description of teacher professionalism as a continuous project of “being” illuminates how geography teachers can adapt to competing influences. It reflects teacher professionalism as an unfinished project, which is responsive, but not beholden, to shifting trends, and is informed by how teachers frame and enact policies. I argue that recognising these contextual factors is key to supporting geography teachers in “being” geography education professionals. As education becomes increasingly competitive on a global scale, individual governments are looking internationally for “solutions” to improve educational rankings. In this climate, the future of geography education will rest on how teachers react locally to international trends. Geography teacher educators can support this process by continuing to inform the field through meaningful geography education research, in particular in making the contextual factors of their research explicit. This can be supported through continued successful international collaboration in geography education research.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This was a competitively commissioned paper for the special 21st anniversary issue of the journal. Twenty authors were invited to prepare papers of which only four were selected by reviewers. The focus was a review of context-specific research with a view to influencing the future of the field.
Controlled Keywords: geography education, enquiry, teacher professionalism, professional practice, 16-19 Project, Curriculum and subjects
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
Depositing User: Atira Pure
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2013 02:06
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 09:00
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