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Real-world geographers and geography students using GIS: relevance, everyday applications and the development of geographical knowledge
journal contributionposted on 2023-08-30, 16:31 authored by Nicola Walshe, Grace Healy
While Geographical information systems (GIS) are increasingly being seen in school geography classrooms, there remains significant reluctance among teachers to engage with the technology (e.g. Hong, 2017), as well as limited consideration of students’ perspectives on GIS. In response to this, we have undertaken research to explore how a programme of GIS training, integrated within a two-year A-Level examination course, develops students’ perceptions of the value and nature of GIS, their subsequent engagement with it, and its impact on their geographical knowledge. This paper reports on one strand of the longitudinal research which focuses on how tapping into the expertise of real-world, industry experts can affect students’ perceptions of the relevance of GIS to geography and support their acquisition of geographical knowledge. The project, an interpretive case study, used questionnaires, interviews and analysis of students’ work to elicit students’ developing perceptions of and engagement with GIS, as well as changes in their geographical knowledge. Results suggest that engagement with industry experts aids students’ understanding of what GIS is, allowing them to develop a more nuanced appreciation of its real-world applications; this then appears to play both a direct and indirect role in the subsequent development of students’ geographical knowledge.
Publication titleInternational Research in Geographical and Environmental Education
PublisherTaylor & Francis
- Accepted version