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Abstract and Figures

The national demand for online teacher graduate degrees has led to a national explosion of pedagogically oriented curriculum and instruction master's degrees in private and public universi- ties. Subject-matter-rich online graduate degrees for teachers have been slow to follow. This paper describes the design and implementation of the only online geography master's degree in geographic education in the United States. The collectively rich national bank of K-12 geography education materials makes this type of degree possible. In a partnership with College of Education faculty, the program of study combines 24 semester credits in geography and 6 credits in education leading to a capstone project.
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Geographic Chronicles
Graduate Degrees in Geographic
Education: Exploring an Online Model
Casey D. Allen
University of Colorado Denver
Ronald I. Dorn
Arizona State University
The national demand for online teacher graduate degrees has
led to a national explosion of pedagogically oriented curriculum
and instruction master’s degrees in private and public universi-
ties. Subject-matter-rich online graduate degrees for teachers
have been slow to follow. This paper describes the design and
implementation of the only online geography master’s degree
in geographic education in the United States. The collectively
rich national bank of K–12 geography education materials makes
this type of degree possible. In a partnership with College of
Education faculty, the program of study combines 24 semester
credits in geography and 6 credits in education leading to a
capstone project.
Key words: Geography education, online education, learner-cen-
tered education, virtual learning environments, Blackboard
Michael Libbee (2006) at the National Council of Geographic Education
meetings presented results of 500 surveyed teachers around the nation;
nearly 60% responded that they had little or no preparation in geogra-
phy. Just less than 35% of the same group responded as having “several
courses,” with the remaining split between “College minor,” “Graduate
work,” and “College major.” These data reveal clearly that many K–12
educators who teach geography lack formal coursework training.
Currently, Texas State University offers an accelerated Ph.D. in geographic
education, blending on-campus doctoral courses during summer sessions
and online coursework during fall and spring semesters. After two years
of coursework, students complete off-site dissertation research, working
with top-caliber faculty and the Grosvenor Center for Geographic Educa-
tion. Texas State University formerly offered an online master’s degree
with a specialization in geographic education. The degree consisted of
courses in research design, quantitative methods, contemporary issues in
The California Geographer 48, © 2008 by The California Geographical Society
4 The California Geographer Volume 48, 2008
geographic education, a seminar on theory and methods of geographic
education, directed research, and electives including Geography for
Teachers and innovative “Step Up to Geography Modules” in differ-
ent world regions. The program blended courses intended to improve
knowledge of world regional geography content, strengthen instructional
skills, and complete requirements for a master’s degree.
The only other distance-learning master’s program in geographic educa-
tion that we are aware of is offered by the Institute of Education at the
University of London, England. The degree takes one year to complete
as a full-time student, or two to four years for part-timers. Students take
two-thirds of their course modules in a focused subject area, and the
last third in either a research “dissertation” or a report plus a further
module in the subject area.
Surveys of 455 K–12 teachers attending workshops of the Arizona Geo-
graphic Alliance in 2004 and 2005 revealed that a third of them desired
online graduate teacher-education focusing on geography content. Al-
most one-fifth said that they would like to enroll in a master’s program
in geographic education if it could be completed online. Given this
demand, we coordinated the construction of a very different online
graduate program to fulfill this need.
The Program
The Master of Advanced Study in Geographic Education (MAS-GE)
program, offered by the School of Geographical Sciences at Arizona
State University (ASU), is a non-thesis, discipline-specific master’s degree
designed expressly for working K–12 educators. All MAS-GE courses are
taught online and on a nontraditional, K–12 school-year-friendly quarter
schedule embedded within the semester framework of ASU. Although
designed to be completed in 18 months, the program remains flexible,
allowing students to finish in as few as 12 months or up to 24 months or
longer. The program also allows K–12 teachers to become highly quali-
fied in geography by completing 24 graduate hours in geography. All
student assessments are individually focused on concepts, techniques,
and applications of geography identified by the teacher for their respec-
tive educational context. The MAS-GE program consists of 30 semester-
equivalent hours taken online, with two day-long sessions required at
ASU Tempe Campus: an orientation session at the start of the program
and presentation of an applied project at the end of the program.
The program Web site can be accessed at
Geographic Education
The MAS-GE program attempts to rectify the setbacks Libbee (2006)
identified by focusing on core geography themes: the physical and
human environments, geo-techniques, and regional geography. Each
geography content course (GCU 672–GCU 676, Table 1) was created
with the idea that teachers need basic geography, but at a graduate
level blending in geographic knowledge through the spectacles of
pedagogy. Thus, while geography content courses cover basic as-
sociated elements, the course assessments require teachers to move
beyond simple knowledge exercises, asking them to analyze and
synthesize the lectures into meaningful and useful products.
Table 1. Current required courses for the MAS-GE program and
their associated catalog description. Credit hours are listed in
parentheses after course title.
Courses (semester credits) Catalog Description
GCU 671 Introduction to
Geographic Teaching (4)
An intensive course on history of geographic
education; scientific method in research on ge-
ography education; research trends; resources
for teaching; best practices.
GCU 672 Physical Geogra-
phy for Teachers (3)
Transfer of matter and energy exhibited in
Earth’s climate, hydrology, soils, biogeography,
and landforms; case studies; virtual field trips.
GCU 673 Human Geogra-
phy for Teachers (3)
Analysis of cultural, economic, urban, histori-
cal, transportation, population, political, and
development geography; case studies; virtual
field trips.
GCU 674 Geographic Tech-
niques for Teachers (4)
Introduction to geographic techniques, includ-
ing GPS, GIS, remote sensing, cartography,
qualitative and field methods.
GCU 675 World Geography
for Teachers (3)
Systematic overview of geographic knowledge
about different world regions.
GCU 676 North American
Geography for Teachers (3)
Systematic overview of geographic knowledge
about different North American regions.
GCU 677 Geography Across
the Curriculum (4)
Intensive course on integrating reading, writing
and mathematics standards with geography
content; selected case studies; best practices.
COE 501 Introduction to
Research (3)
Overview of educational inquiry from con-
trolled, quantitative to qualitative, naturalistic.
Emphasizes locating and critically interpreting
published research.
SED 593 Applied Project (3)
Hands-on dialogue with College of Education
faculty on the integration of geographic knowl-
edge in a student’s educational context.
6 The California Geographer Volume 48, 2008
From the very first class (GCU 671, Table 1), teachers are exposed to
research, compiling a minimum of four, two- to four-page critical
article summaries per geography course (Figure 1). Each summary
must be from a “professional” source (e.g., peer-reviewed journal),
follow specific guidelines developed by College of Education part-
ners, and relate to the teacher’s “burning passion.” A course focusing
on teaching geography across the curriculum (GCU 677, Table 1)
rounds-out the geography content.
In addition to critical article summaries, each course requires for-
mal course assessments. These focus entirely on teachers’ perceived
needs, while integrating information gained throughout the course.
For example, as an assessment for the medical geography unit in
GCU 673, one teacher created a lesson focused on the Spanish Flu
Figure 1.—MAS-GE students build a solid base of scholarly
knowledge around their capstone project throughout the program,
allowing their thoughts time to mature through building knowledge
through 25 scholarly source reviews.
Geographic Education
pandemic of 1918–1920, and how understanding the geography of
that outbreak can lead to an understanding of disease diffusion to-
day. The Binko-style lesson (a structure used by geographic alliances
nationally; see Neubert and Binko 1991 and Binko and Neubert 1996)
designed by this teacher came replete with a photo-rich PowerPoint,
student assessment, and map project to track disease vectors—all
useful tools easily integrated into their classroom.
The general structure of the geography coursework starts and ends
with courses that blend geography content and pedagogy. Courses
between provide teachers with a thorough base of knowledge in
the core areas of physical geography, human geography, and geo-
techniques. In order to stimulate intellectual growth in regional
geography, teachers develop a course in world regional geography
at the community college level and explore a familiar subject (North
America) at a much higher level. Figure 2 explains the program’s
strategy at enriching depth in geography education.
Each course also builds toward the “Capstone Experience” that in-
cludes courses taught by Education College colleagues. In this two-
part series, teachers learn the basics of research in education (COE
501, Table 1) and create a formal written project (SED 593, Table
1), presented at a year-end academic function attended by fellow
students, family members, friends, and faculty—one of only two
required face-to-face meetings. This two-course culminating experi-
ence replaces a traditional thesis, with the goal being development
of a detailed, sophisticated, and innovative project based on a real or
potential issue of interest to the teacher—a “burning passion.” The
capstone experience aims to create a framework whereby students
discuss pertinent geographical issues, ideas for solutions, evaluate
the feasibility of potential solutions, apply those solutions, and
ultimately evaluate a project’s success. Teachers receive continual
guidance from instructors along the way to develop and enrich their
capstone experience.
Pedagogical Interface
Although Blackboard™ was chosen as the initial platform because
most students are familiar with its interface, the geography content
courses (GCU 672–677) also have individual password-protected
URLs. These Web sites consist of a syllabus with links to course
lectures, assignment structure, course modules, extra readings, and
other online resources. Although GCU 671 has a dedicated URL, it
is run almost exclusively from Blackboard. The intent of the first
8 The California Geographer Volume 48, 2008
GCU 671 course rests in introducing students to both the program
structure and what will be expected of them. It focuses on learning
why and how K–12 teachers teach geography. This course uses a bank
of dozens of videotapings, conducted by the Arizona Geographic
Alliance, of teachers from different grade levels explaining their les-
sons. These videos were then edited for content and time, converted
to streaming quality, and uploaded as “non-public” to GoogleVideo
(Figure 3a). This video bank also includes a few classroom tapings
narrated by a pedagogical content expert—similar to a “Director’s
Cut” edition DVD. Using Google as an interface, then, teachers
watch the different presentations at their leisure and analyze and
critique each “set” of lessons.
Figure 2.—Progression of courses intended to start by
enriching the familiar of basic geography pedagogy and end
by analyzing ways to integrate rich geography content across
the entire K–12 curriculum.
Geographic Education
Figure 3.—The program uses
different modes of delivery
of material, including (a),
streaming of videotaped
presentations, (b), voiced over
PowerPoint presentations,
and (c), the media site mixed
10 The California Geographer Volume 48, 2008
Owing to their focus on content specifically, the geography content
courses boast a different delivery mode: Adobe Breeze Presenter
(Figure 3b).
Presenter is, at its simplest, a voiced-over PowerPoint presentation.
But it also allows instructors to embed multiple images/anima-
tions, hyperlinks, and even video alongside the voiced-over text.
This delivery system was chosen for its ease-of-use, cross-platform
ability (works on Macs and PCs), and lack of any extra end-user
equipment (“plug-in”). Students merely “clickon the link provided
in the online syllabus, and immediately the lecture plays on their
While it also has an individual URL, GCU 675 (World Regional) uses
mediasite for its pedagogical interface (Figure 3c). The point of this
course focuses on teachers observing, studying, and critiquing an
entire college-level world regional course (via mediasite). Using the
world regional model provided, teachers are required to create their
own world regional course that could be taught at the community
college level. For many teachers, this represents a challenge; they
must communicate content beyond the K–12 level, forcing them
to think like a college instructor. This seemingly simple task of
creating a college-level course enhances their pedagogical content
knowledge and forces them to think about future pedagogical con-
tent applications—all while internalizing how geographers think
about world regions.
Alongside the Blackboard, Presenter, and mediasite interfaces are
other resources. Several faculty members outside Arizona State
contributed short video presentations of key concepts in geography.
For example, in GCU 673, geographer J. P. Jones III (University of
Arizona) contributed a short introduction to the socio-spatial dia-
lectic—still a key concept in geographic thought. This inter-institu-
tional cooperation not only results in a richer learning experience
for teachers, but also exposes teachers to cutting-edge geography.
Case in point: for the capstone experience, one student’s focus rests
on addressing the human-physical geography divide—a noble effort
for a nontraditional student teaching full-time in a middle school
K–12 classroom.
Most interactions between teacher and instructor occur via heavy
one-on-one e-mail traffic (e.g., multiple e-mails per student, per
quarter). While this can be frustrating for a geo-techniques course,
Geographic Education
the program was designed to be flexible and fit into a K–12 teacher’s
lifestyle. If problems cannot be remedied via e-mail, the instructor
may opt for a site visit. These meetings can be individual or in a small
group, and take place wherever is convenient for the teacher, such as
at a school site, in a park to accommodate a teacher’s children, or at
a coffee shop. Throughout the first cohort, two optional face-to-face
meetings were scheduled to address teachers’ specific needs. These
were both well attended and held at teachers’ requests. One disad-
vantage to these meetings was that they mostly excluded non-local
teachers. Yet teachers recognize that this is an online program, and
as such, they do not expect face-to-face time, though the instructors
make every effort to accommodate such requests.
Geography content courses are sandwiched between an in-person
orientation at the beginning of the program and capstone presenta-
tions at the end. These bookends represent the only regularly sched-
uled on-campus events. While attendance at orientation is strongly
suggested, non-local students are not required to be there. Likewise,
the program’s flexibility even extends to the capstone experience,
as non-local students may submit their presentations via a virtual
Web conference, or even a Breeze presentation of their own. The
program’s bottom line rests in flexibility and accommodation of
the K–12 teacher lifestyle.
Four main components frame our assessment: individual assessment
during courses, a course-culminating “capstone” project, assessment
of the courses themselves, and assessment of the program. Since the
program is designed with the K–12 teacher in mind, many choices
are possible for each class’s units. Unit assessments for GCU 671,
674, 675, and 677 are slightly different, owing to the specific content
in each. For GCU 672, 673, and 676, however, teachers can take
three “take-home” essay exams (an option that no student has yet
explored), or choose six options from a list (Table 2). In addition to
these options for each geography content course, and to help prepare
for the capstone experience, teachers are tasked with completing two
connections to the capstone experience: critical article summaries
(discussed above) and creation of a concept map that displays their
evolving burning passion.
An integral part of the degree experience, capstone projects exhibit a
wide-ranging (and tasty) geography-laden buffet. For example, first
cohort capstone projects include a plethora of subjects, such as:
12 The California Geographer Volume 48, 2008
Addressing the human-physical geography divide in K–12 edu-
A geography of breast cancer (locational analysis of breast can-
cer occurrences)
The impact of field experiences on K–12 classrooms (how
teachers use personal field experiences and how technology
can help encourage geographic thinking)
A “City-First” approach to the study of regional geography in
North America
Battlefield preservation and reconstruction
The diametrical opposition of environmental impact and ro-
manticizing of tumbleweeds in the American West
Incorporating travel study experiences into the classroom
While only a sample of the first cohort’s burning passions, these top-
ics exemplify teachers’ willingness to complete work at the graduate
level, moving from the role of consumer of knowledge to producer.
This transformation is monitored through the various formative and
summative assessments for the program.
In addition to summative end-of-course surveys, the program values
formative teacher feedback. For example, the “Discussion Thread
Leader” course assessment option (Table 2) resulted when a teacher
wanted to discuss pertinent issues with colleagues. While it can be
overlooked, Blackboard has proven effective as a learning commu-
nity in graduate-level geography courses (Lukinbeal and Allen 2007).
For this program specifically, Blackboard provides a complementary
interface that enhances critical thinking (cf. Deloach and Greenlaw
2005; Francescato et al. 2005), inquiry, and collegial communica-
tion (cf. Gokhale 1995; Bradshaw 2002; Francescato et al. 2005; and
Frederickson et al. 2005). Yet aside from the course survey (below),
the discussion-thread leader option represents the only other use
of Blackboard’s assessment features.
Geographic Education
Table 2. The six assessment options available for GCU 672, 673,
and 676. Teachers are instructed to select the six assessments that
best improve their teaching. In this table, “Limit” represents how
many times an option may be selected for a single course.
Option Limit Description
Bulletin Board
for Classroom
(or Hallway
Prepare a hallway display or classroom bulletin board
that incorporates most of the elements from the lessons
in this module. You will send in (e-mail, if you have a
digital camera) photographs of the display.
Design your
own assess-
Your assessment must involve synthesizing the informa-
tion presented. There must be criteria for grading this
performance assessment. It must link to the standards
that you teach, and it most important, it should involve
an outcome that would improve your teaching.
Thread Leader
The blackboard web interface has a feature that allows
students to discuss the material in a flowing thread.
If you are greatly interested in a particular topic, this
assessment encourages you to lead a discussion thread
that goes into depth on that topic. The key to this as-
sessment option is enthusiasm for a topic and working
with the instructor.
Journal Article
Find a journal article from ASU’s library on a topic that
was covered in lecture. Summarize the article, and
compare the article’s content to the presentation that
you watched. This summary should be in the following
• 1/2 page of brainstorming how this material might be
used in your educational setting.
• 1/2 page of Summary of journal article
• 1 page of comparison
Lesson – Binko
Write a “Binko”-style lesson. Remember, the “Binko”
style is the lesson format used by geographic alliances
and illustrated extensively in the GCU 671 class. The
only addition is that you would add a new section:
“Background Information.” In this background infor-
mation section, you would provide your notes and
research on the lesson. The notes and research might
come from the class materials, the readings, indepen-
dent sources, or a mixture. The Background Information
might also be a reading that the students would use in
order to complete the tasks in the lesson.
Online Lesson
Analysis and
There exists a plethora of lessons on the internet. Some
present incorrect information on a topic, but have the
core of a great student activity. Others have outstand-
ing content but were designed by scientists with little
real classroom experience.
This assessment involves you taking an internet les-
son that relates to the unit being covered, doing the
research to determine if the content is valid, and then
modifying the lesson to improve deficiencies.
14 The California Geographer Volume 48, 2008
Make a PowerPoint presentation (or modify the present-
ed powerpoint) to fit your grade level. You must submit
your performance objectives for the powerpoint, and
provide the materials for student assessment of your
powerpoint (quiz, notetaking sheet, worksheet, or other
student activity) along with the answer key.
Student Read-
Find grade appropriate readings/literature on the
subject matter. Then, develop the complete assign-
ment that you would give your own students, including
handouts, instructions, worksheets, keys, or other items
that would make this “ready to use tomorrow.”
Study Guide
and Test
Develop a study guide and test for your own classroom
for when you would teach the material in this module.
The end-of-course surveys use Blackboard’s survey feature. Although
initially time-consuming to create, these surveys have provided
constructive comments from teachers regarding the course layouts,
designs, and level of content. From these surveys, it is clear that
while the courses are “Very Challenging” for a majority of teachers,
they found the content and workload acceptable. Further, teacher
responses about what they learned ran the gamut of positives, from
“I think that this course helped me teach better this year and will
help me in the years to come” to “I was challenged to see things in
a different light and apply what I learned.”
In addition, two other qualitative summative assessments should be
mentioned. First, halfway through the programs first cohort (started
in September 2007), we reached the point of deciding whether or
not to continue the program and recruit a second cohort (starting
in September 2008). Thus, we asked the harshest question possible
to all teachers in the cohort: did they feel the program worthy of
recruiting a second group? We made it clear that, no matter what, we
were committed to helping them complete their degrees. However,
we honestly wanted to know the ultimate summative assessment of
a program. Table 3 provides representative responses of the feedback
received, edited to reduce journal space, but presented in a way that
retains the assessment’s flavor.
We also undertook qualitative summative evaluations at two well-
attended optional face-to-face meetings. We learned that there is an
overwhelming preference for Adobe Breeze Presenter as the mode
of instruction. Teachers cited several reasons for this inclination:
Option Limit Description
Table 2 continued
Geographic Education
ability to review material, ability to stop and go whenever conve-
nient, and ability to take notes while both seeing and listening to
the presentation.
Table 3. Summative assessment of the MAS-GE program after its
first year, undertaken by asking an honest question of “whether
we should continue this program. In other words, do you think
that it is worthwhile for other teachers?” If the answers were
negative, we were fully prepared to close the program after the
first cohort completed their degrees. This table compiles segments
of their responses.
Teachers’ Responses
• Absolutely! …The content courses were my favorite and am sad that we will
soon start turning from that.
• I’ve wanted a Masters for some time but had the greatest reluctance to
subject myself to the typical masters programs that teachers usually do. This
program has offered a real alternative to the mind numbing standards of typical
masters programs, indeed, this would be a great advantage in recruitment as
far as I’m concerned.
• I think it’s very cool. I recommend keeping the program. Yes, it involves a lot
of time and work, but it is online, so that helps so much with flexibility.
• It has gotten me thinking about what else I might want to do, now that I
have a course almost prepared for an adult audience.
• I think it is a worthwhile program because I wanted a degree in geography
and I waited forever (okay, 8 years) and there was never a program that suited
in this area.
• The different assessments for each course got me excited! Requiring us to cre-
ate our own world regional course and learning to create maps and simple GISs
well, now, instead of just telling my AP students about GIS, they can make an
easy map using it. That is worthwhile in itself.
• For me personally it has been a valuable experience. Some of my colleagues
are doing master’s in Curriculum and Instruction or Admin, and though they
seem to have less of a work load than I do, I think I am receiving something
more valuable: content training that can be used in the classroom.
• Not only will I be one of the few teachers Highly Qualified in Geography but
I am being prepared to teach a course at the Community College level. My col-
leagues with their C & I degree will not be able to do that.
16 The California Geographer Volume 48, 2008
• As a teacher, this program has not only inspired me and provided the tools
to integrate geography into the subjects I teach the most (History and Civics), it
has helped me evolve as an educator.
• My lesson plans are infinitely more structured and executable. My confidence
in the classroom is much higher, because I possess the tools and now have
practice delivering more three-dimensional lessons.
• The program has given me both a sense of specialization and has broadened
me, at the same time. As a result of the program, so far, I see content and cur-
riculum differently. Not only do I see geography in everything, I have learned
how to “think” about geography standards not as something I have to do, but
as an imperative to provide perspective for students.
• I feel illuminated and challenged, by the program. It’s intoxicating. Now,
when I look out of an airplane, leaving Albuquerque, I look for the “calcrete
duri-crust” around the river valley and analyze the clouds building over Flag-
• I would encourage you to persist. I believe you and your staff have created
something special. If you were to offer a PhD sister program, I would be the
first to sign up.
• I LOVE this program! I have no complaints at all (so far), and would “sell” this
program to anyone! I’m learning so many new things, and I’m also inspired to
discover more.
• I found all of the classes helpful. My overall impression is very positive.
• I have been telling many people about this program, recommending it to
those who have an interest in geography.
• All grad programs place stress on the teachers enrolled in them. Stress from
the MAS-GE program, however, comes from the work involved, not from the
logistics of participating in and completing the program. That’s a big differ-
Table 3 continued
Teachers’ Responses
Geographic Education
• I would highly recommend the MAS-GE program at ASU! It allows for a
reasonable amount of flexibility into a teachers schedule, especially with breaks
and summer without a rigorous commute for evening classes, weekends, etc.
• The degree is from ASU and not a little heard of or possibly questionable on-
line school.
• The faculty is most attentive and I truly feel their desire for success to all
those involved in the cohort.
• The workload is no pushover, but assignments are focused on materials you
can create and use in any classroom.
• This program is completely worth it. I have used so much of what we have
done for the classes in this program in my classroom this year.
• Please continue the program.
• This has not been a waste at all. I can use this in my classroom!
• Someone commented to me that it would be wonderful to see the history
department do something similar.
• It would be a shame to not see others follow behind us in this program.
Future Plans
No graduate program properly assessing its learner objectives can
truly predict its future. This program’s future rests in continued as-
sessment from each cohort and from the external evaluators exam-
ining formative and summative assessments. Still, based on existing
feedback, we anticipate programmatic growth with at least three
themes. First, we hope to establish a cycle of professional growth,
employing recent graduates as course instructors and as individuals
improving course content. Second, we hope to add history, political
science, and economics courses to develop a concentration in social
studies education. Third, we hope to add courses to develop a con-
centration in geographic techniques for teachers. One great hurdle
to this program rests in keeping down costs. As ASU increases its
tuition rates, the cost of the program rises. Of course, the greatest
hurdle to any innovative program rests in the changing dynamics
of academic administrations.
Table 3 continued
Teachers’ Responses
18 The California Geographer Volume 48, 2008
We thank Arizona Board of Regents Grant AR0605 for partial sup-
port in construction of MAS-GE; the National Geographic Education
Foundation for partial support in the development of banks of vid-
eotaped teachers and curriculum materials; partners at the Mary Lou
Fulton College of Education and the College of Teacher Education
and Leadership (Billie Enz, Tirupalavanam Ganesh, and Elizabeth
Hinde); ASU’s School of Extended Education; faculty at the Univer-
sity of Arizona and Arizona State University contributing content
(Malcolm Comeaux, Andrew Comrie, Gale Ekiss, Dave Froenander,
J. P. Jones III, Sallie Marston, Robert Mings, J. Duncan Shaeffer, and
Stephen Yool); the support of administrators and faculty in the
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the School of Geographical
Sciences at Arizona State; co-coordinator of the Arizona Geographic
Alliance Gale Ekiss; teacher consultants of the Arizona Geographic
Alliance who contributed video presentations about their lessons
and pedagogy; and David Rutherford for conversations about the
pros and cons of going down this road.
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cal Pedagogy, and Geographic Education.” Journal of Geography
Neubert, G. A. and J. B. Binko. 1991. “Using Inductive Learning
to Construct Content Knowledge.” The Teacher Educator (sum-
Full-text available
This article explores the implementation of critical pedagogic practices into a graduate level landscape seminar Web site. Critical pedagogy seeks to reconfigure student-teacher relationships and disrupt embedded power regimes within academia and society. Critical pedagogic practices create a dialogue amongst learners, where everyone has a stake in the learning process. By turning all students into instructors on the course Web site, a virtual community was created that allowed for theories and identities to be openly explored and contested. In the seminar, the inherent hierarchies of power between teacher-students were removed, allowing for the formation of a critical moral consciousness that permitted deep learning.
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A graduate level research methods and statistics course offered on the World-Wide Web was evaluated relative to the traditional lWith their consent, course members were randomly assigned to the two versions of the course for the first block of sessions. For the second block of sessions the groups crossed over to access the alternative version of the course. Quantitative and qualitative outcome data were collected to sample cognitive and affective domains. Improvements in knowledge and reductions in anxiety were apparent following both versions, with no significant differences between versions being detected. Analysis of course member comments indicated less satisfaction with the teaching input on the web-based version but more satisfaction with the peer collaboration that was stimulated. An activity theory framework is applied in conceptualising the findings and generating recommendations for further course development and evaluation.
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Few academics question the relevance of critical thinking in higher education, yet there has been little attempt to investigate which specific pedagogies aid in its development. In this study we assess whether critical thinking can be taught effectively using electronic discussions. In most discussions analyzed, the data show that the quality of a student's argument is positively influenced by the quality of their peers' arguments (critical thinking spillovers). While the use of this pedagogy is promising, best results require an appropriate topic as well as effective management of the discussion. (JEL A2) Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.
Intended for geography teachers and school library media specialists, this book is a resource for providing classroom lessons and activities in critical thinking for geography students in grades 7-12. The book is filled with over 75 primary source Internet sites covering such topics as Places and Regions, Physical Systems, Human Systems, Environment and Society, and the Uses of Geography. Each web site is accompanied by a summary of its contents and usefulness to geography teachers and school library media specialists. The questions and activities that follow are designed to develop critical thinking skills for both oral and written presentations. An appendix of additional geography resources includes Internet addresses for approximately 25 sites relating to maps, primary sources, and critical thinking. (BT)
English language development classes focus on teaching students of other languages how to speak, read, and write English. They must also prepare students to meet the many standards and requirements that are prerequisites to content classes, such as geography, and high school graduation. This discussion focuses on the integration of literacy and geography in a classroom with English language learners. A common English language development model, the "Into, Through, Beyond" model of learning, sets a foundation that integrates components of English language acquisition with language arts and geography standards. In turn, this approach to learning prepares the learners for success in social and academic arenas.
This study aimed to compare the efficacy of collaborative learning in face-to-face and online groups. Fifty psychology majors learnt the same professional skill (a community evaluation methodology) in two seminars taught over a two month period by the same teacher online and face-to-face. Participants in both seminars achieved similar growth in level of professional competence, academic self-efficacy, social self-efficacy and self efficacy for problem solving among members. Post-course evaluation of collaborative experience showed no significant differences between online and face-to-face seminar participants in perceived social presence, cooperation and satisfaction with the learning experience. Our results support the claim of advocates of third generation distance education methodologies that computers can be an effective enabler, not only of independent learning, but also of collaborative learning. Furthermore, computer-supported collaborative learning environments are as efficient as collaborative learning in face-to-face seminars in developing social presence and increasing professional competencies and self-efficacy.
solve problems, and make decisions Anuradha A. Gokhale is an Associate Professor at Western Illinois University in the Department of Industrial Education and Technology, and is currently a Visiting Associate Professor at Illinois State University. -23- as a team. Therefore, the development and enhancement of critical-thinking skills through collaborative learning is one of the primary goals of technology education. The present research was designed to study the effectiveness of collaborative learning as it relates to learning outcomes at the college level, for students in technology. Purpose of Study This study examined the effectiveness of individual learning versus collaborative learning in enhancing drill-and-practice skills and criticalthinking skills. The subject matter was series and parallel dc circuits. Research Questions The research questions examined in this study were: 1. Will there be a significant difference in achievement on a test comprised of "drill-and practice
National Geography Advanced Professional Endorsement, External Survey Results
  • M Libbee
Libbee, M. 2006. "National Geography Advanced Professional Endorsement, External Survey Results." National Council for Geographic Education Annual Meeting, Lake Tahoe, NV.