Geography Teacher Education Problem Statement

998 WordsOct 19, 20144 Pages
EDLF 7300: Preservice Geography Teacher Education Problem Statement Katie Loftin University of Virginia Over the last several decades, geographers and educators have worked diligently to improve geography education in the United States and their greatest success has been in establishing a firmer place for geography in K-12 curriculum (Edelson, Wertheim, Schell, & The Leadership Team of the Road Map for Geography Education Project, 2013). While geography is not a high school graduation requirement for most states, it is often offered in middle school as a standalone course and again in high school as an option for social studies credit. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) recognized geography as a core academic subject in 2001, and thanks to Geography for Life, there are now K-12 standards for geography in all 50 states (Heffron & Downs, 2012). Human Geography is now being offered as an Advanced Placement course in many high schools across the country, and legislative steps (H.R. 822) are being taken to emphasize geography’s importance in the curriculum. Given this recent emphasis placed on the importance of geography education, it is crucial that we look at the preservice training and qualification of geography teachers. Researchers (Bednarz, Stoltman, & Lee, 2004; Shulman, 1986; Shulman, 1987) have identified content knowledge (knowledge about the subject matter) and pedagogical content knowledge (the best way to teach that subject matter) as
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