Abstract


THE EXTENT TO WHICH GEOGRAPHY TEACHERS’ UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES MEET THEIR PROFESSIONAL NEEDS

The present study aimed to identify the extent to which the tuition geography teachers in Turkey received during their undergraduate studies met their needs in their professional lives. Adopting a mixed-method research strategy, the study was conducted in the 2018/9 academic calendar with 140 geography teachers working in public schools located in Turkey. Participants were recruited following purposeful sampling strategy and participation was voluntary. The research tools included a questionnaire developed by the lead researcher and a semi-structured interview schedule. The data was collected online via a social media group created for geography teachers. Additionally, 25 teachers who participated in the questionnaire were contacted to arrange follow-up interviews which lasted between 30 and 40 minutes on average. The quantitative data were analyzed using t-test and one-way ANOVA, and the qualitative data were analyzed via descriptive analysis techniques. The results showed that geography teachers considered the content and pedagogical content knowledge training they received during their undergraduate studies to be moderately sufficient in their professional lives. Additionally, the findings from the quantitative phase were supported by the findings from the qualitative phase. Variables such as gender, teaching experience, the type of degree they graduated from, and graduation year were found to have an effect on participants’ perceptions of the extent to which the content knowledge related courses (i.e. Geographic Information Systems and fieldwork) they had taken during their studies met their professional needs. Moreover, graduation year was found to have an effect on whether participants considered the pedagogical content knowledge training they received to have met their needs in their professional lives. A number of suggestions regarding teacher training programs, curricula, and teaching practices have been made based on the results in order to develop geography teachers’ (both preservice and in-service) competencies.



Keywords

Geography teaching, geography teacher, teacher training, content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, Turkey


Reference