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The Use of Planning in English and German (NRW) Geography School Textbooks


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Although it is not possible to predict the future, at least some ideas can be developed through planning. Geography focuses on current social, environmental and spatial problems; however, it should, at the same time, teach us to plan its future handling. At school, this is a responsible role for the subject geography. This article compares how nineteen different English and German (North Rhine-Westphalian) geography textbooks deal with planning through various tasks. These tasks are identified with a definition, based on a multidisciplinary literature review, and are examined by qualitative content analysis. It appears that planning skills for shaping the future are dealt with differently in both countries, with respect to branches of geography, topic of concern, planning method, time frame and perspectivity. Implications and limitations of the findings for geography teachers, international researchers in science education, publishing houses and other persons responsible for geography education programs are discussed.
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Review of International Geographical Education Online ©RIGEO 2016, 6 (1), 8-31
© Review of International Geographical Education Online RIGEO 2016
ISSN: 2146-0353
The Use of Planning in English and German
(NRW) Geography School Textbooks
University of Cologne, Cologne, GERMANY
Alexandra BUDKE
University of Cologne, Cologne, GERMANY
Corresponding author: PhD. Student, Institute for Geography Education, University of Cologne, Gronewaldstr. 2 50931 Cologne
Germany, e-mail: veit.maier[at] +49221 470 3534
Prof.; Institute for Geography Education, University of Cologne, Germany, e-mail: alexandra.budke[at]
Research Article Copyright © RIGEO 2016
To cite this article: Maier, V.; Budke, A. (2016). The Use of Planning in English and German (NRW) Geography School
Textbooks. RIGEO, 6 (1), 8-31. Retrieved from
Submitted: February 11, 2016 / Revised: March 19, 2016 / Accepted: April 1, 2016
Although it is not possible to predict the future, at least some ideas can be developed through planning.
Geography focuses on current social, environmental and spatial problems; however, it should, at the same
time, teach us to plan its future handling. At school, this is a responsible role for the subject geography.
This article compares how nineteen different English and German (North Rhine-Westphalian) geography
textbooks deal with planning through various tasks. These tasks are identified with a definition, based on a
multidisciplinary literature review, and are examined by qualitative content analysis. It appears that
planning skills for shaping the future are dealt with differently in both countries, with respect to branches
of geography, topic of concern, planning method, time frame and perspectivity. Implications and
limitations of the findings for geography teachers, international researchers in science education,
publishing houses and other persons responsible for geography education programs are discussed.
Planning, Planning Methods, Time Frame, Perspectivity, English-German Textbook Comparison
Review of International Geographical Education Online ©RIGEO Volume 6, Number 1, Spring 2016
Teaching the subject of planning in geography lessons is a possibility to reach the
goals of geography education, an understanding of central social, environmental and
spatial issues and to ensure participation in a democratic society. Important themes in
this field include urbanisation, population, international development, the use of natural
resources and climate change in Germany and the United Kingdom (Department for
Education, 2014, p. 230; DGfG, 2014, p. 5). A research field currently gaining
popularity is how geography education can affect politics and society or how geography
contributes to solving key issues (Budke and Kanwischer, 2015). It seems important to
identify reasons of these key issues, as showing ways of participation and solution
during geography classes. Climate change and spatial disparities are defined in
particular as central social problems, which concern students in geography classes.
These themes should be dealt with in school (Schultz, 2013). However, students should
also learn to develop ideas to solve these problems and, in doing so, helping to shape
the future. New ideas are often developed in negotiation processes. Competence in
communication is learned especially well in planning, as negotiation involve
argumentation processes. Using discussion during these processes, particularly for civic
concepts, allows studying different perspectives within the subject of geography. In this
context, geography education is also political education and a requirement for a
functioning democracy. It helps people to play an effective role in democracy
(Crittenden and Levine, 2013). This competence is part of an especially orientated
“action competence” (Handlungskompetenz). If we do not learn how to use given
options and take decisions, we behave irresponsibly, as we leave the search for solutions
to social and environmental issues for future generations (Butt, 2013; de Haan, 2014, p.
382). From this point of view arises the duty to teach planning skills, if we want to have
responsible students and adults. There is only little knowledge about planning in school
and, so far, there is no textbook analysis published. A possibility to deal with this
important fact is to analyse planning tasks in geography textbooks. Planning tasks are a
tool to teach different knowledge and skills. Thus, the aim of this article is to discover
the status quo of how students become educated in planning skills. Moreover, there will
be an international comparison: We examine how textbooks from England (United
Kingdom) and North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany) deal with planning through planning
tasks. Important aspects, which are considered, are branches of geography, topics of
concern, planning methods, time frame and perspectivity.
The research questions are:
How relevant is planning in geography textbooks?
How do geography textbooks instruct on planning?
What are the similarities and differences between planning tasks in textbooks
from England and North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) used in school?
Theoretical Framework
Planning is a multidisciplinary subject (Parker and Doak, 2012, p. 1). There is
political, social, economic and educational planning. The literature used for developing
a definition of planning in geography lessons were from geography, urban planning,
Maier, V., Budke, A. / The Use of Planning in English and German (NRW) Geography….
psychology and politics. These disciplines were chosen because of their different
understanding of planning that is explained below and because of their relevance for
geography education in school. The integration of the following main aspects of the
different ways of understanding planning leads us to a final definition which is the basis
for our identification of planning tasks: Planning in geography classes can be
understood as a spatial, value-orientated and creative shaping practice of the future. As
a preparation for decisions, it is part of a problem-solving process. Each paragraph is the
theoretical background of an aspect of the definition and, at the same time, represents
the theoretical background of the results.
Planning as Problem-Solving
Many themes in geography are connected to complex problems like demographic
developments, sustainable international developments, limited natural resources and
climate change. Problem-solving skills in geography lessons could help students to
understand these problems and to learn about problem-solving strategies. These skills
enable students to participate as responsible citizens and to solve these and other
problems in the future. For geography education, it is a great possibility to show its
significance in problem-solving, which is not yet fully used (Budke, 2013a, p. 23; Laske
and Schuler, 2012). Whereas there already exists many studies about problem-solving in
general (Greiff, 2012). Some psychologists understand planning as a part of a problem-
solving process or creative problem-solving process, while others understand planning
as the problem-solving process itself (Kofsky Scholnick, & Friedman, 1987). The
process can be divided into four to seven steps, depending on the literature (Hussy,
1998; Betsch, Funke, & Plessner, 2011, p. 146). The five-step process is most common
and contains problem identification, problem analysis, plan development, plan
implementation and plan evaluation. Problem identification describes the stage of
recognizing the problem and setting a goal. Problem analysis is sometimes
differentiated into exact goal analysis and exact initial situation analysis. At the stage of
plan development, consequences and circumstances are discovered, intermediate targets
identified and alternatives developed. Plan implementation includes monitoring and, if
necessary, revision. The final stage of plan evaluation contains references to the goal.
Some famous problem-solving models, which are suitable for work in school and which
take up these stages are Bransford’s IDEAL Model (1984) or the See-Plan-Do-Reflect-
Cycle (Conrad, Koch & Laske, 2012). Often, the adjective creative is added to the
problem-solving process. The distinguishing feature is a vague and indefinite solution
of the problem. A creative problem-solving process requires a new reaction or the
search for alternative solutions (Schuy, 1985, p. 22; Wiegand, 1995, p. 53). Some
methods to solve these problems are Brainstorming, Six Thinking Hats and SWOT
analysis. Brainstorming is a simple technique to create new ideas. Six Thinking Hats
organize different modes of thinking to solve problems and SWOT analysis is a method
to develop a strategy, for example for projects. Steps involved in solving a creative
problem were already described early on by Wallas as preparation, incubation,
illumination and verification (Wallas, 1926; Schuy, 1985; Holm-Hadulla, 2005, p. 54).
Preparation is the stage in which the problem is analysed, the goal is identified and the
circumstances as space, time and values are taken into consideration. In incubation
Review of International Geographical Education Online ©RIGEO Volume 6, Number 1, Spring 2016
stage, material is analysed by process design methods, for example by changing
perspective. Illumination is the stage in which a discovery is made and ideas are
elaborated upon. During the stage of verification, evaluation methods are used for
decision-making. Reflection of the process as a whole should take place here. In this
study, planning methods are distinguished in process design methods, which support the
communicative process and valuation methods, which are more rational (Diller, 2010).
Process design methods are methods to frame the planning process. Examples are future
workshops, moderation or many simulation games (Diller, 2010, p. 38). Valuation
methods are methods to evaluate alternatives. Examples are cost-benefit analysis or
(cost) effectiveness analysis.
Planning to Prepare Decisions
Geography education is not just teaching facts, it is also reflecting attitudes and
discussing values that provide the basis for future decisions and attitudes. In this
context, it is possible to describe planning as a value-orientated preparation of
decisions. Luhmann (2007, p. 67) summarizes planning as “deciding over decisions”.
Further, he explains planning as the determination of premises of later decisions, or as
the preparation of decisions. This is comparable with Foucault’s (1982, p. 220)
understanding of government “le conduire des conduits”, the “conduct of conducts”.
Preparation and its following decisions are value-orientated and these values are
internalised both by society at large and by the individual planner. Planning can be seen
as a particular understanding of society’s deficits and these deficits are defined by the
values that guide society’s behaviour. These values should thus be taken into account
while developing alternatives, making political planning a normative process (Albers
and Wékel, 2008). Foucault describes this subtle exercise of power as an aspect of
governmentality (Huxley, 2007). For a better understanding we have to recognize that
he describes government and to govern not only as the activity of a state, but also as the
guidance of children in a pedagogical manner or as guiding ourselves (Foucault, 1996,
p. 118). His concept of governmentality, developed in 1979, had a huge influence in
social science. The idea of governmentality is taken up especially in poststructuralist
trends for example within political geography, by analysing societal discourses to
reflect attitudes. The results show how different branches of geography use planning
tasks. For the development of the branches of geography, we used the “Drei-Säulen-
Modell” and its separation in human geography, physical geography and human-
environment geography (Weichhart, 2003, p. 25). This classification is applicable in
answering whether human geography is more suitable for planning tasks than physical
geography. Decisions in physical geography are taken by factual arguments while
decisions in human geography are taken by normative and factual arguments (Budke,
2013c, p. 356). Deciding in human-environmental geography should be founded on
both, too. Furthermore, the topics of concern are shown and discussed.
Spatial Planning and Planning Theory
Students might understand planning as described in geography dictionaries namely
as the construction of a plan that coordinates the social and economic development and
land use (Brunotte, Gebhardt, Meurer, Meusburger, & Nipper, 2001); Castree, Kitchin,
Maier, V., Budke, A. / The Use of Planning in English and German (NRW) Geography….
& Rogers, 2013, p. 376). Planning in this sense could be described as spatial. Regional
planners understand planning as a spatial shaping practice of the future as described
above. The characteristics of shaping practice in planning emphasise that planning is not
only dreaming, but that it is an active and creative practice (Healey, 2010, p. 37). This
practice is implemented through different methods, which refer to different planning
theories and generations. The first generation of planning theories made use of rational
planning models. Cost-benefit analysis is an important method of identifying the
objective and is the most rational alternative. In this stage, everything appears possible
and plannable. The criticism of the objective and rational planning theories, which are
focused on norms, has led to the second generation of planning theories. The main
difference between these generations is the assumption that planning tasks are “wicked
problems”, where problems are ill-defined, have a lack of obvious solutions, and cannot
be answered with right or wrong (Rittel, 1972). The third generation of planning could
be identified by the argumentative turn in planning, which focuses on communication
and collaborative planning. The commonality of these kinds of theories is the mediation
role of the planner between society and those in power. Examples nowadays are civic
participation in planning processes (Albers, 1996; Brooks, 2002; Schönwandt and Jung,
2005, p. 792; Friedmann, 2006; Huxley, 2009). Applied methods are, for example,
“future workshop” or “moderation” (Diller, 2010). Hall (1992, p. 9) identified “blurred
goals” as one characteristic of urban planning. He described them as multidimensional
because they should envisage alternative action goals, so planning is an act that focuses
on the future. The future is everything from this point onward. Some authors use the
plural form futures to involve a set of possible or alternative futures (Healey, 2010, p.
37; Bishop and Hines, 2012). The timeline in this imagination is consequently a cone,
rather than a line, and in this sense, a plurality of aims is arranged. There is often a
distinction found between short, long term and strategic planning (Kurian, 2013, p.
214). Uhlenwinkel and Schramke (2000, p. 4) hint that statements of the future
nowadays tell us more about imaginative power, anxieties and hopes. The results show
if planning tasks use any time frame to specify the planning context.
Planning as Part of Education for Sustainable Development
Some of the key themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) are
sustainable production and consumption, overcoming poverty, environmental
conservation and protection and rural transformation (UNESCO, 2010). All of these
themes are strongly connected with geography because of the three dimensions of
sustainability: economy, environment and society. These themes and dimensions can be
found in the National Curriculum of England, section geography, key stage one to three
and in the geography curriculum for secondary level I and II in North Rhine-Westphalia
(Department for Education, 2014; Ministerium für Schule und Weiterbildung des
Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen, 2007, 2014). ESD is a framework to teach and learn
skills, knowledge, attitudes and values in shaping the future. This competence is
The understanding of competence mostly follows the definition of Weinert. He describes competence as cognitive skills and
abilities that a person has or can learn, allowing them to solve certain problems, as well as the attendant motivational, volitional
Review of International Geographical Education Online ©RIGEO Volume 6, Number 1, Spring 2016
summarized in the concept of “Gestaltungskompetenz” (“shaping competence”) (de
Haan, 2010). The UN Decade of Sustainable Development was completed in 2014 and
this article could be seen as a study of how geography school textbooks incorporate
ESD because shaping is commonly closely related to planning.
“Gestaltungskompetenz” is divided into twelve skills and planning is a considerable
component in half of the mentioned sub-competencies. The relevant skills for planning
are “the ability to:
think and act in a forward-looking manner
co-operate in (the) decision-making processes
cope with individual dilemmatic situation(s) of decision-making
participate in collective decision-making processes
refer to the idea of equity in decision-making and planning actions and
plan and act autonomously” (de Haan, 2010, p. 320).
These skills are important for planning because they require reflection of the
consequences of future actions. Students should learn to be familiar with decision-
making processes. In this context, it is important to be able to argue and to find
solutions on one’s own and in teamwork. Moreover, students should be capable of
designing and reflecting their own plans for the future from the perspective of
sustainability (Bormann and de Haan, 2008, p. 23; de Haan, 2010). Personal, social and
methodical competencies are described by these skills that are necessary for planning in
geography. The official final report of ESD shows that it is included in primary and
secondary education curricula in many countries (Buckler and Creech, 2014). As
described, ESD is dealing with different dimensions or perspectivities. Rhode-Jüchtern
(2013, p. 214) describes perspectivity on one hand as multiple points of view of a
subject and on the other hand as multiple properties of an object. In this study we
analyze how planning tasks deal with different perspectivity.
Planning in School
School has an elementary role in learning geography. In the Educational Standards in
Geography for the Intermediate School Certificate in Germany, planning and reflection
of its consequences are goals for geography lessons (DGfG, 2014). “Natural and social
spatial consequences” and alternatives of actions should be developed (DGfG, 2014, p.
24). The understanding of planning as designing or creating is not explicitly mentioned.
In the geography curriculum for secondary level I in North Rhine-Westphalia, planning
is mentioned as an important part of economic and citizenship education but further
explanations are missing, whereas in the geography curriculum for secondary level II in
North Rhine-Westphalia planning is elaborated in sections about competencies of action
and judgment (Handlungskompetenz and Urteilskompetenz) (Ministerium für Schule
und Weiterbildung des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen, 2007, 2014). In The National
and social skills and abilities required to be able to apply these solutions successfully and responsibly in a range of situations
(Weinert, 2002, p. 27).
It is a common goal to adapt the exams and curricula of the federal states in Germany to the (national) Educational Standards for
the Intermediate School Certificate but it is not mandatory. We consider the geography curriculum here, too.
Maier, V., Budke, A. / The Use of Planning in English and German (NRW) Geography….
Curriculum of England of 2014, key stage one to three, planning aspects are mostly
missing. However, the National Curriculum of 2000 discusses planning (and managing)
in combination with environmental change, sustainable development, resources and its
effects. Decision-making skills are explicitly listed (Department for Education and
Skills, 2004; Department for Education, 2014). Planning is associated with the concept
of change. This is one of the organising concepts identified by Taylor (2008, p. 51) in
The National Curriculum of England, which is in turn connected with the key concept
of time (Uhlenwinkel, 2013). Both of these concepts are closely associated with the
topic of planning because planning can consciously influence future changes. In
German Education Standards and the geography curricula of North Rhine-Westphalia,
geography is defined as a human-environment-system and this system is influenced by
processes, where planning could be embedded (DGfG, 2014, pp. 10-11; Ministerium für
Schule und Weiterbildung des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen, 2007 & 2014). Attention
should be paid to the quantity of different curricula. In England’s National Curriculum
geography is described on five pages (Department for Education, 2014). The published
educational standards in geography in Germany are explained over twenty-six pages,
the corresponding curricula over ten pages (Sekundarstufe I) respectively over thirty-
three pages (Sekundarstufe II) (DGfG, 2014; Ministerium für Schule und Weiterbildung
des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen, 2007, 2014).
Piaget (1992, p. 140) postulates in his theory of cognitive development that children
from the age of eleven or twelve, at the formal operational stage, are able to plan and
thereby also to make decisions, which is associated with the ability of hypothetic-
deductive reasoning. Kreitler and Kreitler (1987a; b), however, emphasize that verbal
communication skills are important when thinking about the future. This leads them to
the assumption that children already begin to think about the future at the age of four or
five. At this age, time is seen in intervals that are adapted to children’s necessary
activities, and planning is thereby limited. Verbal skills increase with words like
“tomorrow” or “after” (Page, 2000; Hicks, 2007, p. 181). Declarative knowledge
(knowing what) is important for planning, but only complete and useful in combination
with procedural knowledge (knowing how) (Lisi, 1987, p. 80). With problem-based
learning and problem-solving these knowledge could be learned in school. These
concepts can be very well applied in geography lessons, but the specific requirements
and conditions are at least in Germany rarely considered (Laske and Schuler, 2012,
p. 12). Problem-based learning is more discussed in geography in English-speaking
countries because of the project “Thinking Through Geography”, developed by Leat
(1998). The methods of the book are translated into German and edited by Vankan,
Rohwer and Schuler (2007). In a meta-analysis study Dochy, Segers, Van den Bossche,
& Gijbels, 2003) found that problem-based learning has a positive effect on skills but a
tendency to negative effects on knowledge. We should add that the analysis involves
only publications about university students and no perfect amount of problem-based
learning could be declared. The authors do not know any meta-analysis of problem-
based learning in school. Another way to learn planing in school is playing simulation
games. These games simulate complex systems, for example in business, ecology or
politics, and give feedback to the player, making it useful for education (Greco,
Review of International Geographical Education Online ©RIGEO Volume 6, Number 1, Spring 2016
Baldissin, & Nonino, 2013, p. 649). In Germany, the Raumwissenschaftliches
Curriculum-Forschungssprojekt (RCFP) developed some business games in the 1970s.
The project was oriented towards the American High School Geography (HSGP). After
this period, decades of remarkably little new development followed (Brühne, 2009, p.
179182). How frequent planning tasks in recent school textbooks under analysis are, is
shown in the results.
Materials and Methods
In this article textbooks are analysed, based on the compiled definitions of planning.
The following section describes the methodical approach.
Purpose of Textbook Analysis
A textbook analysis can help us to understand what kind of material children work
with in geography lessons. Further, a comparison between textbooks can help us to
recognize how the importance of planning varies in different regions; what
understanding do the authors of the textbooks have about planning and how they do
think students should learn to plan. Some recent publications, which include the work
with geography textbooks, focus on international comparisons or analysis tasks
(Bagoly-Simó, 2013; Budke, 2013b; Matuskova and Rousova, 2013; Yang, 2015).
The analysed material is composed of nineteen recent geography textbooks used in
school, ten from England and nine from North Rhine-Westphalia. North Rhine-
Westphalia in Germany and England in the United Kingdom have the highest
population in their countries and therefor a high relevance for many people. The schools
in Wales are using the same books and curriculum as England, so the relevance is even
higher. For reasons of legibility, writing England always includes Wales. Nonetheless,
we have to underline that results apply only to the analysed textbooks from the
mentioned regions. Conclusions to other textbooks or generalisations are speculation.
The regions were chosen because of their similar social and ecological problems and
resources to solve them, for example the challenge of deindustrialisation. This
international study offers the chance to compare the different national understanding of
planning presented in school textbooks. This could be productive for textbook authors,
editors and publishing houses from these regions and other countries to improve their
material and develop new planning tasks. There is no data analysis we could consult
about the number of copies of recent textbooks in both regions. Therefore geography
teachers from both regions were asked to get information about recent textbooks. The
answers were the publishing houses Klett and Westermann for North Rhine-Westphalia,
while Hodder Education, Nelson Thornes, Pearson and Oxford University Press for
England. Since there are books from other publishing companies available, the results
of this study have to be restricted to the books under analyses. All analysed books can
be found below. The analysed textbooks have some commonalities, for example that
topics are structured and printed on double pages. The distribution of the questions and
tasks is similarly organised. The analysed textbooks are applied for all grades in
Maier, V., Budke, A. / The Use of Planning in English and German (NRW) Geography….
secondary school in England and North Rhine-Westphalia. Nevertheless, the analysed
German textbooks are only used in grammar school (Gymnasium). These were chosen
to compare the textbooks for the ages of eleven to eighteen. For these samples there
were two exemplary textbooks chosen for every grade, respectively age with the result
of 6058 tasks.
Data Identification
To indicate planning tasks, all aspects of the compiled definition (theoretical
framework) are identified in the tasks. Geography teachers and scientists of our working
group of geography education were asked to classify tasks of the same textbooks to
verify our selection and to increase objectivity. These experts completed a table with all
mentiond aspects of the definition of planning tasks. In cases of doubt, the researchers
asked the same experts for discussion. For a better understanding, here is an example of
a planning task. “Discuss with somebody possibilities for shrinking cities, to end the
vicious cycle shown in M1” (Bethke et al., 2009, p. 102).
Every aspect of the planning task definition has to match as shown here: The
planning task is spatial because of the shrinking cities and their effects on the
environment. Values are brought into question through the vicious cycle of
demographical, economical negative growth and a loss of importance for the shrinking
cities. Creative shaping is possible because of the open-ended question. Shrinking cities
are a challenge with huge effects on the future, and the discussion about the options is
preparation for decisions. Learning to answer this task supports problem-solving
competencies. A problematic consequence of this methodical approach is that tasks
which do not fulfil every aspect of the planning definition, are omitted. In a discussion
with the mentioned experts, the following example was clarified as not a planning task
because only an explanation is required and shaping and decision-making are not
required here. “Give an example of a) short-term and b) long-term consequences of
flooding” (Milner and Witherick, 2010, p. 32).
After identifying the planning tasks, their frequency was calculated for comparison.
The numbers of pages including planning tasks were also counted. The results help in
understanding the importance of planning. Following this, a qualitative content analysis,
as described by Mayring (2010), was performed with the support of qualitative data
analysis software MAXQDA. Categories were developed deductively and inductively.
A coding agenda with samples and coding rules was developed. The coding agenda was
specified in four loops, reducing the material by paraphrasing, summarising,
generalising and structuring. To ensure acceptable inter-coder reliability and for
consensual validity, members of the scientific working group geography education were
asked to identify categories in the original material during and after the process. The
categories branches of geography, planning methods and perspectivity were developed
in a deductive way. For the development of branches of geography, we use the division
in human geography, physical geography and human-environment geography
(Weichhart, 2003, p. 25). The category planning methods were developed on the basis
Review of International Geographical Education Online ©RIGEO Volume 6, Number 1, Spring 2016
of Diller (2010) and his differentiation in process design methods, valuation methods
and other methods. This disposition shows how working methods are introduced. The
category perspectivity is built on the basis of the distinction between explicit
multiperspective and not explicit multiperspective (Rhode-Jüchtern, 2013, p. 214). The
category topics of concern and the different subcategories of time frame were developed
inductively. For the topics of concerns the planning task issues are defined, accumulated
and brought together to broader topics in an iterative process. The category time frame
is divided into subcategories with any point in time and without any point in time.
These subcategories are developed in an iterative process and are representing the
dealing with time and time-management. One problem with our methodical approach
was the iterative process of forming broader topics. However, for the development of
the category topics of concern we focused ourselves towards the branches of geography
but subjectivity of the researchers is part of the results. The category time frame was
easier to develop because much of the task does not consist of time specification. For
these processes, some members of the workgroup were involved as well.
Planning in English and German (NRW) Textbooks
In the following paragraph, the collected data is organized in tables. The results are
described and subsequently interpreted.
Importance of Planning Tasks
Initially, we answer the question, which relevance planning tasks have in the two
textbook samples. The result can give us evidence of commonalities and differences in
planning tasks. The frequency of planning tasks is compared in table 1.
Table 1
The Use of Planning Tasks in English and NRW Geography Textbooks
Object of investigation
English textbooks
NRW textbooks
Pages in total
Tasks in total
Planning tasks (in %)
288 (10%)
126 (4%)
In the analysed textbooks 10% in the English sample and 4% in the North Rhine-
Westphalian sample of all tasks were defined as planning tasks. Although, the sample
from North Rhine-Westphalia gives more tasks in total (3173) on less pages (2284) than
the English sample with 2885 tasks on 2548 pages, they give less planning tasks. The
task/page ratio in the English sample is 1.13 and in the North Rhine-Westphalian
sample 1.39. The quantity of planning tasks could possibly be explained by the authors’
preference of tasks with only one clear result. However, this is not the case for planning
tasks because here creativity is needed and unforeseen different results can be correct
solutions. Tasks with more than one correct result are more complicated to grade for
teachers. This might be a reason why creative problem-solving as described above is not
Maier, V., Budke, A. / The Use of Planning in English and German (NRW) Geography….
taught systematically. Valuation standards for planning tasks have not been developed
yet. Furthermore, planning tasks probably need more material than do description or
explanation tasks. Since the English and North Rhine-Westphalian textbooks under
analysis are organized on double pages, they often cannot present enough materials to
meet the requirements for high-quality planning. This could also reduce the number of
planning tasks. This is between 3.0% and 5.1% in the North Rhine-Westphalian sample,
respectively between 3.1% and 18.3% in the English sample. The greater variability in
the analysed English textbooks is probably a result of the greater number of publishers
with different concepts of textbooks. This is illustrated by the fact that both extreme
values came from books for students of the same age (low: Nagle and Cook, 2011; high:
Waugh 2009). In addition, Lambert and Balderstone (2010) already criticise that in
textbooks higher order tasks, were planning in our understanding can be added, are not
given satisfactorily. Surprisingly, our result shows that planning tasks are given more
often in English than in the North Rhine-Westphalian sample. A reason could be that
the freedom of the publishers in England is probably greater because of the shorter
geography section in the National Curriculum in comparison to curricula in North
Rhine-Westphalia. The opportunity of geography to teach planning skills and prepare
children for the future is, based on this result, very small. A greater number of planning
tasks in books could increase the chance that they will be used in geography lessons.
Planning Tasks Dedicated to Branches of Geography and Topics of Concern
An interesting question is to which branch of geography the planning tasks belong,
and to what topic of concern the planning tasks can be allocated. The results show what
kind of issues textbook authors see as particularly suitable when imparting planning
skills to students. These are possible issues that either have a higher impact on students,
or they are particularly urgent and important issues, as described by Klafki (1996).
Table 2
Planning Tasks Dedicated to Branches of Geography
English textbooks
Human geography
Human-environment geography
Physical geography
Table 2 indicates the identified planning tasks dedicated to the branches of
geography. In English and North Rhine-Westphalian geography textbooks under
analysis, 4.2% respectively 2.4% of the planning tasks were dedicated to physical
geography. This result shows that planning, as a human activity, is quite difficult to find
in the branch of physical geography in both samples. In the sample from North Rhine-
Westphalia 60%, the majority of planning tasks were dedicated to human geography. In
the English textbooks under analysis, 34.6% were allocated to human geography. The
following task is an example from the human geography subject area of migration:
“Should Pepe emigrate? Re-enact the conflict in role-play(Brodengeier et al., 2011b,
p. 77).
Review of International Geographical Education Online ©RIGEO Volume 6, Number 1, Spring 2016
Students are invited to exchange arguments about the decision of whether Pepe
should emigrate to earn more money in Europe than spending his life in his home
country, Ecuador. Even if physical geography aspects could be responsible for poverty
too, only economic reasons are described in the teaching material and these can be
discussed in a role-play. The example task captures some issues from population
geography and economic geography. In contrast, 61.2% of the planning tasks were
dedicated to human-environmental geography in the analysed English textbooks. In the
analysed North Rhine-Westphalian textbooks 37.6% was allocated to this field. The
following task is an example from the subject area of flood protection: “How does the
UK cope with the floods? Describe three ways that the Environment Agency can help
reduce the risk of flooding” (Waugh and Bushell, 2010b, p. 51).
More than three ways are explained in the book, and more are said to be possible.
The human-environmental context of the explanation is clarified by human action being
a response to a natural danger. Such topics could be a great source for planning tasks, as
the example shows. The result emphasizes that planning as a human activity is mainly
taught within the branches of human-environmental geography and human geography.
This outcome confirms the result that North Rhine-Westphalian geography textbooks
use argument tasks predominantly with human geography topics, as Budke (2011, p.
259) already detected. The results could reflect the traditions of geography education in
different countries. It seems that education of human-environment geography is
dominant in the English sample, whereas education of human geography is dominant in
the North Rhine-Westphalian sample. It appears that physical geography is involved in
planning almost only through tasks that were allocated in this analysis to human-
environmental geography. Table 3 shows a detailed examination of the tasks allocated
to more specific divisions of geography. The divisions are combined to meaningful
classifications for a better readability. The analyses can give us evidence of the authors’
understanding of planning. The topics of concern are fields in which textbook authors
see the potential of a creative planning process.
Table 3
Topics of Concern of the Planning Tasks
Topic of concern
English textbooks
NRW textbooks
Natural disasters & climate change
Tourism and travel
Urban and regional planning
Settlement and location factor
Consumption and lifestyle
Natural resources and energy
Agriculture and livestock
In the analysed English textbooks, natural disasters and climate change were the
most frequently used topic of concern to set a planning task (21.4%). This topic
includes questions of how to handle the consequences of climate change such as floods
Maier, V., Budke, A. / The Use of Planning in English and German (NRW) Geography….
and droughts but also includes the effects of volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. In the
following example, the risk of tsunamis is included into the planning: “How can the
tsunami danger be reduced?” (Waugh and Bushell, 2010b, p. 99).
Authors of the North Rhine-Westphalian textbooks under analysis rarely use natural
disasters and climate change when creating planning tasks (5.4%). There is a potential
for more relevant planning tasks as the result of the English sample shows. However, in
the analysed North Rhine-Westphalian textbooks, tourism and travel is the most
frequently used topic of concern to set a planning task (27.7%). Authors of the English
textbooks under analysis use this topic less often (14.1%). It subsumes tasks to plan
development of tourism in various places like at the beach or at mountain villages, as in
the following example: “Construct different scenarios for the tourism development of
the municipal Sölden” (Bauer et al., 2011, p. 77).
The topics agriculture and livestock and consumption and lifestyle are used more
often in the analysed North Rhine-Westphalian textbooks (11.5% respectively 10.8%)
than in the analysed English textbooks (4.5% respectively 5.9%). Consumption and
lifestyle include topics about sustainable customer behaviour and the way of life. It can
be a very realistic topic for children to start with planning, as this example shows:
“Discuss with your classmates how you can become active in terms of sustainable
consumer behaviour” (Brodengeier et al., 2011d, p. 335).
Agriculture and livestock include tasks about the origin of our food and production
methods, as the following example shows. More planning tasks in this field could
educate children on a healthier diet, a healthier lifestyle and on more self-reflected
behaviour. “You are taking over a farm and have the choice between a mixed farm and
a specialized farm. Which one do you choose? Why?” (Brodengeier et al., 2011a, p.
The topic of concern settlement and location factor includes tasks about establishing
industries and businesses. Even if the difference in frequency is not huge, it is
remarkable that authors of the analysed English textbooks mention settlement and
location factors more often (12.8%) than the authors of the North Rhine-Westphalian
textbooks (6.9%). The following task is an example, which allows getting an idea of
globalisation from different perspectives. “Look at photo M. Design an advert for
Cyberbad to attract British-based companies to outsource their activities to India”
(Widdowson, 2009, p. 63).
In English and in North Rhine-Westphalia geography textbooks under analysis, the
proportion of urban and regional planning, development and natural resources and
energy is almost the same. Urban and regional planning summarize tasks about
sustainable urban development or for example traffic management. This is maybe the
first topic of concern that comes to mind when thinking about planning tasks.
Surprisingly, the quantity is low in both countries. An example is shown in materials
and methods about shrinking cities. The subcategory development includes examples
about good governance in developing countries and potentials of some rural areas. The
quantity is also low. The following example displays the topic inherent complexity.
Review of International Geographical Education Online ©RIGEO Volume 6, Number 1, Spring 2016
“Find a recent example of bad governance in the developing world and discuss
possibilities of influence by states or communities of states” (Bauer et al., 2011, p. 99).
The subcategory natural resources and energy summarises preparation of strategies
of the gain of mineral resources or questions on the use of renewable or non-renewable
energy. The quantity is surprisingly low in both countries, although it is a current issue
all over the world. An example is a following task, addressing the energy supply with
renewable raw materials. “Discuss the benefit and problems that would be involved in
an increasing reliance on biomass as a major source of energy supply” (Waugh, 2009, p.
All these topics of concern about urban and regional planning, development and
natural resources and energy are set in proportion quite similarly. This means that both
groups of authors use these topics of concern just as often as the others to set planning
tasks. Students in both countries could learn with these tasks to be creative in answering
important and potentially raising questions about our energy supply, development
assistance and urban planning but the amount is comparatively low. Energy transition
has captured the media’s attention gaining relevance only after the publishing of
textbooks, especially with the Fukushima disaster in 2011. The results suggest that
children who work with English geography textbooks under analysis learn how to plan
using examples of natural disasters and climate change and settlement and location
factors. This could be a reflection of the long coastline of the United Kingdom and the
historical connection to members of the Commonwealth like Bangladesh, Kenya,
Micronesia etc., which suffer from climate change and accompanied disasters (Kreft
and Eckstein, 2013). The result of the North Rhine-Westphalian sample is not surprising
if we acknowledge the money spend on holidays. For example, in 2013 Germans spent
the second highest amount of money, globally, on tourism (United Nations World
Tourism Organization, 2013). The different results from the two samples are possibly
based on a different understanding of planning. While authors of the English textbooks
under analysis understand planning with the wish to find solutions to urgent key social
issues such as climate change, authors of the North Rhine-Westphalian textbooks under
analysis seem to understand planning primarily as preparation for individual lifestyles,
self-fulfilment such as travelling, and consumption of organic food. The results also
show potential for improvements in especially underrepresented branches respectively
identified underrepresented topics of concern. Greater involvement of ESD as described
in 2.4 could be helpful.
Planning Methods
We also researched what kind of planning methods geography textbook authors
suggest. Textbooks not only contain specialised knowledge; they are a didactical
support for students as well as for teachers. Table 4 indicates the usage of planning
methods, in English and North Rhine-Westphalian geography textbooks under analysis.
Maier, V., Budke, A. / The Use of Planning in English and German (NRW) Geography….
Table 4
Planning Methods Used in Geography Textbooks
Planning method
English textbooks
NRW textbooks
Process design methods
Valuation methods
With any method
Without a method
These results show major differences between the analysed English and North Rhine-
Westphalian textbooks. While 55.8% of the planning tasks in English sample suggest
any planning method, 38.1% of the planning tasks in the North Rhine-Westphalian
sample suggest any method. The following example is embedded in a chapter about
climate change. Since there is no method used, it could be more complex for students
because they receive no information to start planning and how to deal with the planning
process: “What could we do today to affect one of the big challenges of the future?”
(Bethke et al., 2009, p. 40).
A way to make planning tasks less complex is to specify them with a process design
method. However, tasks that do not suggest a process design method allow more
possibilities in answering. In the presented task, students are initially encouraged to
define “big challenges of the future”. Afterwards, they need to analyse the reasons for
the problems. At the end, they are asked to develop suggestions to resolve the problems.
The methodical and thematic liberty could lead to a cognitive overload. The authors of
both geography textbook samples use process design methods to set planning tasks,
whereas North Rhine-Westphalian textbooks under analysis instruct these methods
somewhat more frequently (27.8%) than English textbooks (20.8%). Here is an
example: “Debate, for example within the framework of a ‘round table’ with involved
and affected people, how socially compatible resettlement is (Brodengeier et al.,
2011b, p. 243).
This example uses process design methods because round table discussions are
communicative and have framing character in a discussion. These methods could
conduct and help students through planning processes. In English geography textbooks
under analysis, valuation methods appear by far more often (26.2%) than in the North
Rhine-Westphalian sample (2.4%), as in this planning task:
You have been asked to advise the government on the best way to produce energy in the
future. a) Think about the costs and benefits of building a new coal power station, like the
one on page 124. Do a simple cost-benefit analysis for a power station (Widdowson, 2008, p.
The author suggests doing a cost-benefit analysis. This method is used for rational
planning methods because of its benefit of evaluating alternatives. It could be a great
help for students, especially in discussions about numbers. The results could indicate
that the authors of the analysed North Rhine-Westphalian geography textbooks concede
more methodical freedom to teachers in their lessons because 61.9% of all planning
Review of International Geographical Education Online ©RIGEO Volume 6, Number 1, Spring 2016
tasks are without any methodical suggestions. Teachers who work with English
textbooks under analysis appear to be more structured because 44.2% of the analysed
tasks are without any methodical suggestion. A possible interpretation could be, that the
authors of the analysed English textbooks view the subject of geography as leading
more to rational methods, whereas the authors of the analysed North Rhine-Westphalian
geography textbooks understand geography more as a communication and mediation
science. It seems that the authors self-concept of geography affects how children learn
to plan the future. To improve planning tasks, an option would be to offer methods on a
separate page for students to choose from. An important aspect of methodical approach
in planning is consideration of the time frame. Short-term planning, which refers for
example to a visit of friends in another city, differs from long-term planning, such as the
decision to emigrate. While considering time frame, it is possible to gain more in-depth
understanding of how authors think about time horizon of planning and how they teach
an understanding of it.
Table 5
Time Frame of the Planning Tasks
Time frame
English textbooks
NRW textbooks
Without any point in time
With any point in time
Table 5 indicates specification of the planning tasks with a time frame in English and
North Rhine-Westphalian geography textbooks under analysis. This is given if any
point in time or any term is mentioned in planning tasks. An example is a following task
about energy supply: “Should the UK increase its use of nuclear energy over the next 10
years? Justify your answer” (Waugh, 2009, p. 550).
In the example, a time frame of ten years is given. Some authors use a specific year
to set a time frame. The problem arises from that is the subsequent editions of the
textbook are no longer up to date. The distinction in short-term and long-term planning
is rarely found but if so, particularly in English textbooks under analysis. The results
point out, however, that time frames need to be considered when planning and give, in
this sense, methodical support. Most of the planning tasks in English and in North
Rhine-Westphalian geography textbooks under analysis surprisingly do not use any
specific point in time to specify planning tasks. If time is an organising concept in
geography, as described above, planning tasks could be suitable to integrate this
concept. The opportunity to teach an understanding of time is thus omitted. Authors of
the English sample give a time frame as a detail of the planning tasks more often
(12.1%) than authors of the North Rhine-Westphalian sample (6.2%). A possible
explanation is that authors of the textbooks under analysis do not expect students to be
able to handle different time designations. If it is our wish that they learn to plan well,
students should acquire time management skills. A possibility to improve these skills
could be to pose more planning tasks with time specifications. Another important aspect
of methods in planning is perspectivity in planning processes.
Maier, V., Budke, A. / The Use of Planning in English and German (NRW) Geography….
Table 6
Perspectivity in the Planning Process
English textbooks
NRW textbooks
Not explicit multiperspective
Explicit multiperspective
Table 6 indicates that the authors of English textbooks under analysis give
multiperspective planning tasks more often (52%) than authors of North Rhine-
Westphalian textbooks (24%) under analysis. By contrast, North Rhine-Westphalia
geography sample uses not explicit multiperspective planning tasks more often (76%)
than the English sample (48%). An example for not explicit multiperspective is the
following task: Plan, on your own, one day in CentrO. Assuming that you are not on a
budget, what would you like to do? (Frambach et al., 2011, p. 94)
The example emphasises one specific view with the words “on your own”. On the
one hand, pupils are instructed to develop leisure activities in CentrO, a shopping mall.
Multiperspectivity might be especially helpful in this space to show younger pupils
different interests and perspectivity. On the other hand, not explicit multiperspective,
respectively monoperspective planning tasks help to develop and to communicate
individual interests. However, an explicit multiperspective planning task is the
following example, pointed out through the word “two” which is used twice.
Should the quarry in the Dun valley be allowed to remain open? Present the arguments for
two groups that think the quarry should continue and for two groups that think it should be
closed. Then present a conclusion, taking the arguments of both sides into consideration
(Waugh, 2009, p. 205).
Planning tasks not explicit multiperspective give students the chance to formulate
their own view of a problem, albeit it does not include a possibility to reflect it. This is
possible with the emphasis on multiperspectivity. Spatial, environmental and social
problems should be considered from multiple viewpoints to plan solutions that pay
attention to every participant. This could be a way to learn values that lead to decisions
as described above. The reduction of complex issues to only one perspective does not
lead to appropriate planning. Authors could increase in tasks the perspectivity from
grade to grade to develop individual interest and community involvement.
The aim of this article was to discover how textbooks from England and North
Rhine-Westphalia under analysis educate planning tasks. These tasks have been
identified by a developed definition of planning and they have been the basis for the
qualitative analyses. The study shows that the textbooks under analysis attach little
importance to planning tasks. This result is surprising, as both current social and
environmental problems and spatial developments in both regions need to be
considered. Students should not take them as unchangeable, but rather act as responsible
citizens in future through helping to shape it. It appears that there is a distinct lack of
Emphasis in the original
Review of International Geographical Education Online ©RIGEO Volume 6, Number 1, Spring 2016
preparation of planning skills for shaping the future in both planning task samples.
Teachers need to develop tasks on their own if they want to give planning lessons. This
is why in new geography education programs planning tasks should be taken into
account. While planning tasks from the English textbooks under analysis largely cover
natural disasters and climate change in the branch of human-environment geography,
planning tasks from the North Rhine-Westphalian textbooks under analysis focus
mainly on aspects in the field of tourism, consumerism and lifestyle in the branch of
human geography. A different understanding of the subject of geography and different
didactical goals of the textbook authors could explain these results. In both textbook
samples, improvements could be made in topics that are not yet covered, for example in
textbooks from North Rhine-Westphalia under analysis in human-environmental
geography and in English textbooks under analysis in human geography. It appears that
in the English sample, planning tasks deal more often with problem-solving, whereas in
the North Rhine-Westphalian sample planning tasks rather deal with the individual
fulfilment of one’s aims in life. It could be for this reason that the results of the
perspectivity are different. Authors of the North Rhine-Westphalian textbooks under
analysis formulate planning tasks more often in a not explicit multiperspective way,
whereas authors of the English sample use explicit multiperspectivity for planning tasks
more frequently. A look into textbooks of other countries could stimulate teachers,
researchers and persons responsible for education programs to see the potential of
planning tasks in their class and their system.
In the analysed planning tasks of the nineteen textbooks, methodical preparation of
planning processes of the students appears particularly deficient. Time frames, planning
process steps and methodical support are mostly missing in the analysed planning tasks,
even if geographical concepts of time and change are embedded in the National
Curriculum of England. This could lead to a cognitive overload and however, it seems it
does not extend the methodical understanding and knowledge of the students. The
opportunity for students to use suggested methods could make different levels of
complexity of the planning tasks available. An idea to teach this missing information is
to integrate an extra page in school textbooks about different methods that could be
used to solve planning tasks. Textbook editors could pay attention to which planning
methods could be used more often in the textbooks. Different time specification of tasks
could develop an understanding of the influence of time on planning. Geography
teachers should discuss with students the influence of different time frames for planning
The results of this study only refer to geography textbooks under analysis from
England and North Rhine-Westphalia. Planning in actual geography lessons was not
analysed. We cannot answer the question of how students deal with different time
frames in planning or how results in planning can be marked. The results are
nevertheless an interesting basis for further research. This is needed if we want that
nowadays students resolve the problems of tomorrow. Interesting points for new
research are also the comparison between textbooks from Hauptschule, Realschule and
Gymnasium and the question which books give more planning tasks and why. This
could be helpful for teachers if they were searching for creative planning tasks, too.
Maier, V., Budke, A. / The Use of Planning in English and German (NRW) Geography….
Since the analysis of the planning tasks as a function of the age level of the textbooks
could not deliver a clear result, further research could help to understand in which grade
teachers could give more planning tasks. The influence of the current curriculum in
England could be studied because it seems that planning is less important in there. The
curriculum was established in 2014 and the analysed textbooks have been published
before. Another interesting field for researchers is how often problem-based learning
could be useful in school. Furthermore, the influence of the centralistic respectively
federal political planning system on the planning culture in school could be studied. The
results would be interesting in relation to methods and could be a contribution to
citizenship education.
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Biographical Statements
Veit MAIER is a Ph.D. student at the University of Cologne in Germany. His research is focused
on, argumentation in geography, creativity in geography lessons and international geography education.
Alexandra BUDKE is a professor of geography education at the University of Cologne. Her
research is focused on argumentation in geography, civic education, intercultural learning, problem-
solving and more.
... They used a sample of 25 different textbooks designed for 14-to 16-year-old students in 14 countries in Europe and Africa. In 2016, Maier and Budke [45] conducted and analysis of the way 19 geography textbooks (10 British and 9 German) taught students about socio-environmental and spatial problems about the present and future. Their findings revealed considerable differences between the books in both countries (the British ones being more positive), none of them gave the issues the importance they deserve, considering the social, environmental, and spatial problems of these two territories. ...
... The analysis was conducted using a specially created coding sheet Table 1. Its design considered contributions from previous studies [15,19,20,23,25,29,41,[43][44][45]48,55,56] and the current Spanish legislation. The coding sheet has two different parts, one devoted to format analysis, with a quantitative focus (Table 1), and the other dedicated to content analysis, drawing on a qualitative perspective ( Table 2). ...
... The coding sheet has two different parts, one devoted to format analysis, with a quantitative focus (Table 1), and the other dedicated to content analysis, drawing on a qualitative perspective ( Table 2). This blended methodology has been used in previous research, such as that used in [25,29,43,45,48,55]. ...
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Environmental problems endanger the sustainability and survival of our planet. A way to raise awareness of the seriousness of the current environmental situation among future citizens and instill proactive behaviors that place the environment at the center of decision-making is environmental education. This study analyzes nine primary and secondary education textbooks in order to see what environmental education students receive as part of the subject of geography across the years of compulsory education in Spain. These textbooks are published by three different and main companies, which are a good example of the adaptation of the official curriculum. The study was conducted using the design and development of a coding sheet combining analysis of format (quantitative) and content (qualitative). The results show much room for improvement there is in environmental education in Spain. This improvement should start from the organization of the curriculum and its subsequent transposition into the textbooks. Thus, many changes are needed if we wish to build a society capable of effectively solving the threat of the environmental problems that surround us.
... The results of an analysis of North Rhine-Westphalian geography textbooks also showed that multiperspectivity is rarely considered in planning tasks [70]. However, different perspectives and interests need to be considered so that solutions can be discussed and planned [70] (pp. ...
... The results of an analysis of North Rhine-Westphalian geography textbooks also showed that multiperspectivity is rarely considered in planning tasks [70]. However, different perspectives and interests need to be considered so that solutions can be discussed and planned [70] (pp. [24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31], especially in the case of social, spatial, and ecological problems. ...
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This exploratory qualitative study reports student teachers’ knowledge of multiperspectivity as well as how student teachers consider multiperspectivity in lesson planning. The study was embedded in a project in which German and Dutch student teachers dealt with multiperspectivity for one semester. Based on the theoretical literature and the empirical results, we identified a set of criteria for multiperspectivity in geography lessons. These criteria were then applied to analyse the student teachers’ lesson plans and teaching materials as well as the student teachers’ answers in the qualitative questionnaires, which the student teachers answered at the beginning and at the end of the semester. The results of this study show that the professional knowledge of student teachers in terms of multiperspectivity was not extensively represented or apparent from the answers to either the pre- or the postquestionnaire. The analysis of the lesson plans and the teaching materials showed that the student teacher groups were able to form a multiperspective topic didactically. However, not all groups had considered promoting evaluation competence in lesson planning, and the reflection competence was hardly considered. Therefore, our developed criteria for multiperspectivity in geography lessons could help student teachers to better understand and consider multiperspectivity when planning lessons.
... Recent empirical research in regard to tasks in geography education mainly concentrates on three aspects. Firstly, the research examines textbook tasks as part of the implemented curriculum concerning cognitive processes [1,16,20,36,37] or specific aspects such as spatial thinking, spatial planning, or future orientation [6,38,39]. Findings show tasks in textbooks that focus on higher order thinking skills, more complex spatial thinking, and on future orientation and planning generally, are scarce in all examined curriculum contexts. Secondly, the use of tasks in geography lessons has been examined, and a focus on the cognitive processes the tasks foster [1,40], or on aspects related to tasks such as thinking skills, argumentation, or spatial planning has been identified [18,41,42]. ...
... It is important that challenging tasks are also set in the classroom to enable students to deal with the subject matter in a creative way, although this is only partly the case in textbooks. Studies show that German and Dutch textbooks, for example, integrate very few argumentation tasks, challenging comparative tasks, and planning tasks [1,20,38,94,95]. The following questions are part of the observation form: "In which category (NL)/performance level (D) can the task be classified?", ...
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Setting tasks plays a key role in geography lessons, as they enable students to engage withthe subject content, guide lessons towards predefined learning outcomes, and are therefore importantfor assessment. At the same time, the use of tasks is complex as numerous aspects regarding thecontent and the students have to be taken into account. Based on theoretical and empirical literature,we identify seven quality criteria for tasks in geography education: motivating and engaging students;addressing the heterogeneity of students; structuring learning processes; comprehensible formulation;considering individual and social learning processes; making meaningful use of materials; andfostering the development of subject specific competences. These criteria were applied in observationof lessons, which were given during an exchange between student geography teachers from a Dutchand German university. Overall, it was found that student teachers recognize the defined qualitycriteria, but half of them focus on only one or two aspects. The difficulties student teachers facein task setting during their traineeship can partly be explained by their phase of apprenticeshipand the context. The developed observation form was considered to be valuable for preparationand observation of and reflection on tasks in geography lessons, and the exchange enabled studentteachers to gain an insight into their own teaching practice.
... Perspective-taking is considered an important method in geography education [35]. Furthermore, geography textbooks have been analysed in terms of how multiperspectivity is implemented [37], or how multiperspectivity is used in planning tasks [38]. Additionally, role plays with multiperspectivity as a guiding concept were analysed in various exercises [39]. ...
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Perspective-taking is an essential competency because it enables a better understanding of complex issues or conflicts with various actors and different points of view involved. However, no competency model for perspective-taking has been provided in geography education to date, which is why a respective model was developed in this study. The model was then applied by analysing 28 articles from four practice journals of geography education from German-speaking countries. This analysis focused on the dimensions of the perspective-taking competencies that were required by respective tasks within the lesson concepts. The results show that the tasks hardly promoted competence-oriented geography teaching in terms of perspective-taking. Therefore, the competency model could be a suitable tool for analysing and developing teaching materials that implement perspective-taking.
... Comparing mathematics textbooks from Cyprus, Ireland and Taiwan, Charalambous et al. (2010) found a greater variety across countries than within any individual country. Other studies have also confirmed differences between countries in the tasks in mathematics (Gatabi et al., 2012;Jiang & Cai, 2014) and geography (Maier & Budke, 2016;Simon et al., 2020) textbooks. ...
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Schools today face the challenge of preparing students to live, work, and prosper in a rapidly changing world. As a response to this global challenge, Norway has adopted a national curriculum focusing on the development of 21st-century skills. In this study, we investigate if and how the tasks in science and language arts textbooks in upper-secondary school have changed after the curriculum reform. We conduct a content analysis of 5,067 tasks in science and language arts textbooks and compare them to tasks in textbooks published before the reform, which we analysed in two previous studies. The results show only a marginal change in tasks in each subject, indicating that the tasks do not present the students with sufficient opportunities to practice the competences highlighted in the new curriculum. As a possible explanation regarding why textbook tasks in Norway—as well as a number of other countries—appear to change so little over time, we advance the hypothesis that the formulation of tasks in textbooks is influenced and constrained by culturally specific genre norms. These norms may represent a challenge to curriculum implementation and school change, and it is therefore important to raise awareness of textbook tasks.
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У статті здійснено аналіз сучасного стану шкільної природничої освіти за резуль- татами опитування з використанням технології гугл-форм, яким охоплено понад 7 тисяч учите- лів закладів загальної середньої освіти. Висвітлено питання діагностики реалізації прикладної спрямованості у контексті вдосконалення змісту навчання та його дидактичного забезпечення, системи методів і прийомів, спрямованих на оптимізацію освітнього процесу, ефективного фор- мування ключових компетентностей. З’ясовано, що ключовим аспектом прикладної спрямованості сучасної шкільної природни- чої освіти є максимальна орієнтованість її змісту, методів, форм і засобів навчання на застосу- вання знань у техніці й технологіях, наукових дослідженнях і професійній діяльності людини та її повсякденному житті. Зроблено висновок, що посилення прикладної спрямованості шкільної природничої освіти може стати важливою дидактичною умовою формування в учнів ключових компетентностей. Встановлено, що важливим інструментом реалізації прикладної спрямованості природни- чої освіти є практико-орієнтовані дослідницькі завдання, як правило, міжпредметного змісту, розв’язування яких сприяє ґрунтовному засвоєнню здобувачами знаннями світу природи, умін- нями і навичками, усвідомленню практичного значення наукових теорій та їх впливу на розвиток техніки і технологій. Виконання завдань прикладного характеру сприяє як формуванню пред- метної компетентності з конкретного природничого предмету, так і ключової компетентності в галузі природничих наук, техніки та технологій. Обґрунтовано наявність значущих зв’язків між компетентнісним потенціалом змісту шкіль- ної природничої освіти та його прикладною спрямованістю, що є засобом установлення відпо- відності між змістовим та цільовим складниками природничої галузі, пріоритетом опанування якою є набуття учнями знань і вмінь, потрібних їм упродовж життя. Акцентовано увагу на проблемі реалізації дидактичних функцій навчального експерименту в умовах дистанційного навчання як інструменту посилення прикладної спрямованості шкільної природничої освіти.
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Nauru ist eines der am wenigsten besuchten Länder der Erde, gilt jedoch als Geheimtipp für Backpacker, Surfer und Taucher. Der Phosphatabbau hatte einst großen wirtschaftlichen Einfluss auf den Inselstaat und brachte diesem Wohlstand und Reichtum. Jedoch ist aufgrund von Fehlinvestitionen und Misswirtschaft davon nicht mehr viel übriggeblieben. Hinzu kommt, dass die Phosphatvorkommen größtenteils erschöpft sind. Wohin geht die Reise Naurus? Soll das touristische Potenzial ausgebaut oder sollen die neu entdeckten Phosphatvorkommen ausgeschöpft werden oder geht beides zugleich? Wie soll die Zukunft Naurus aussehen? Am Beispiel des pazifischen Inselstaates Nauru lernen die Schülerinnen und Schüler, eine raumplanerische Entscheidung auf Basis von argumentativer Kartenarbeit zu treffen. Sie arbeiten dabei in Kleingruppen und verfolgen zunächst kontroverse Ziele, bevor diskursiv eine Entscheidung getroffen werden soll.
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Migrationsbewegungen sind für Deutschland schon lange bedeutsam und stehen nicht zuletzt durch die aktuellen Flüchtlingsbewegungen im Zentrum des öffentlichen Interesses. Daher ist Migration auch ein wichtiges Thema im Geographieunterricht. Darüber hinaus beeinflusst Migration in starkem Maße die Lernvoraussetzungen der SchülerInnen: Fast ein Drittel der Kinder und Jugendlichen in Deutschland haben einen Migrationshintergrund. Es müssen daher geeignete geographiedidaktische Ansätze entwickelt werden, um die unterschiedlichen Migrationserfahrungen der SchülerInnen im Unterricht berücksichtigen zu können und um der sprachlichen Heterogenität gerecht zu werden.
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Objective. This study aims to determine the extent to which psycholinguistic variables are included in the analysis of the quality of directive posters on social media during Covid-19. Methods. The methods used in the study include analysis of the relevant scientific literature on the identification of psycholinguistic categories and variables relevant to the study; expert assessment of qualitative parameters of posters published on Facebook by official organizations; methods of descriptive statistics. Results. The analysis of 298 unique works conducted through Ukrainian network on Facebook revealed that the overall average quality of the publications is on the borderline between medium and high levels – 69.3% (by text parameters – 70.0%, graphic parameters – 68.6%). Conclusions. The study revealed that psycholinguistic variables such as readability, imageability, concreteness, conceptual familiarity, semantic size, name agreement, image agreement, visual complexity, typicality, image variability, authenticity of texts, processing fluency, etc. penetrate deeply related research on the creolized texts in various forms and interpretations. The quality of the posters on Facebook made by the official institutions operating in the field of health care is at the borderline between medium and high levels. These indicators are most in need of improvement on text parameters such as “Emphasis” and “Call to action”, as well as on graphical parameters such as “Presence of interactive graphic links” and “Understandability of illustration message without text”.
Geographical concepts are a well-known tool for curriculum making in Britain as well as in France. This paper argues that they would also be helpful to overcome the lasting dichotomy between thematic and regional approaches in the curricula of the German federal states. To validate this view each geographical concept is theoretically explained. Its practical value is then demonstrated using Israel as an example. While this discussion draws heavily on British and French resources, the paper then turns to the German context and examines the concepts in relation to the spatial concepts used in the Educational Standards. From here the argument leads to practical proposals for a convergence of thematic and regional approaches in geography teaching. Finally the concepts are discussed in the relation to educational debates on constructivism, spatial thinking, cross-curricular approaches and competences.
Final Monitoring and Evaluation report of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. Can be downloaded from:
Die allgemeine Psychologie in 4 kompakten Bänden! – Stellen Sie sich je nach Studien- und Prüfungsschwerpunkten aus dieser neuen Reihe die Module zusammen, die Sie benötigen. Dieser Band enthält alle prüfungsrelevanten Themen des Faches „Denken“: Im Teil „Entscheiden“ werden die zentralen Phasen des Entscheidungsprozesses vorgestellt, von der Informationssuche über Bewertungsprozesse bis zu den Effekten einer getroffenen Entscheidung. Im zweiten Teil „Urteilen“ lernt der Leser die menschlichen Strategien und Regeln der Urteilsbildung kennen und wie Urteile sozial, emotional und motivational beeinflusst werden. Theorien und spannende Phänomene des „Problemlösens“ bilden Teil 3 des Bandes. Die prüfungsrelevanten Themen des Faches sind vollständig abgedeckt und sehr lernfreundlich aufbereitet durch zahlreiche Fallbeispiele, Bezüge zur Berufspraxis, Definitionen, Lernziele, Kontrollfragen und vertiefende Literatur. Das Buch ist gleichzeitig sehr kompakt: eine ausführliche Randspalte (fast-track) bietet das Wichtigste in Kürze – damit auch unter Zeitdruck alles Wesentliche hängenbleibt. Und es bietet noch mehr: Die begleitende Website enthält zahlreiche Lerntools für Studierende und Materialien für Dozenten sowie alle Kapitel als mp3-Hörbeiträge zum kostenlosen Download.
Denken lernen mit Geographie ist ein konstruktivistisch geprägter unterrichtsmethodischer Ansatz, der in Großbritannien von einem Team um den Geographiedidaktiker David Leat (1998) entwickelt und in den beiden Bänden „Diercke Methoden 1 und 2“ (Vankan et al. 2007, Schuler et al. 2013) auch in Deutschland etabliert wurde. Ein zentrales Ziel ist die Förderung von verschiedenen Denkfertigkeiten („thinking skills“) im Geographieunterricht durch Aufgabentypen, die motivierend, problemorientiert und kognitiv aktivierend sind. Dies gelingt durch drei Merkmale dieser Methoden: - Bei den Aufgaben werden geographische Problemstellungen in alltagsnahe, möglichst authentische Kontexte eingebettet. - Die Aufgaben sind in der Regel lösungsoffen formuliert, d. h., es gibt mehrere korrekte Lösungen, die die Schülerinnen und Schüler entwickeln und miteinander diskutieren können. - Bei der Aufgabenbearbeitung werden alltagsnahe Denkprozesse angeregt und auf recht intuitive Weise Problemlösungsstrategien entwickelt bzw. eingesetzt, die in der metakognitiven Reflexionsphase bewusst gemacht und damit gezielt bearbeitet werden können.
Liz Taylor proposes that enquiry-based learning sequences can produce medium term plans where the geography is engaging, challenging and rigorous.